"Don Quixote": The Book That Revolutionized Literature

1030 words - 4 pages

Literature is a very diverse and interesting subject today, with many different kinds of stories that all echo different ideas. Although, this was not always the case, because in the Elizabethan Era, almost all novels consisted of a boring theme and a chivalrous knight that would save his love. When Miguel de Cervantes wrote The Ingenious Gentelman Don Quixote de la Mancha, it shattered the concept of what was that literature. It did this with its use of satire, fundamental importance to that period, quirky protagonist, and his refusal to directly state the morals of the time.Miguel de Cervantes's single-handed changing of literature is first attributed to its vital importance to the world's past and present literature. As the Encarta Encyclopedia states, "The greatest figure of the Golden Age was Miguel de Cervantes... Don Quixote is generally considered the first great Western novel" ("Spanish"). As Charles Marvin Fairchild of Georgetown University said in his art exhibit,The work became the most frequently translated and reprinted in the histories of the world's secular literature. Many hundreds of copies of the novel were shipped to America in the early 1600s. Indeed, the collection of Juan Sedo, of Barcelona, includes around 2000 editions ("Tilting").As one can see, this amazing record of reprinting shows the worldwide and current interest of this classic. As Answers.com, one of the leading online references, says, "It stands in a unique position between medieval chivalric romance and the modern novel" ("Don Quixote"). The way that this book changed literature was through its vital importance to the start of the modern novel.The use of satire is one of the elements of this book that changed the world. What I am referring to is the mockery of other then present-day novels. According to Paul Brians, "Don Quixote is typical of the Renaissance in the way that it satirizes the chivalric traditions of the Middle Ages as absurdly old-fashioned" ("Reading"). The premise of Don Quixote is that the age of complete chivalric romance was dead. It began the age of comedy. Encarta said, "After reading too many novels about chivalry, Don Quixote loses his mind" ("Spanish"). Miguel de Cervantes's main mission by writing this fine piece of literature was to sell books and, through that, mock the novels that had come before it. This was a major part of the infamous book which changed the world's literature.Another facet of Don Quixote: De la Mancha was the quirky and comedic character of the protagonist, which revolutionized literature. In fact, the main character, Quixote, has a name based after the word "quixotic." Quixotic means foolishly impractical, capricious, and unpredictable, especially in the pursuit of ideals. This definition matches the character of Quixote exactly, with the main quest of the book being about his fascinations about the nonexistent. Miguel de Cervantes talked of one of Quixote's odd encounters with windmills in the book.At this...

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