Illusion In Man Of La Mancha

1560 words - 6 pages

In the real world, one is always advised to face reality, confront fears instinctively, and deal with adversity objectively in order to learn, mature and acquire wisdom. This philosophy of life seems the most reasonable in attaining the life skills which individuals need to cope. The play, Man of La Mancha, however offers an alternative philosophy to this where illusion is seen as the best coping mechanism for unhappiness. Sancho, Alonso Quijana and Aldonza all use illusion as a means of escaping unhappiness, whereas neither Alonso nor Sancho achieves anything practical, Aldonza find meaning in her life as a result.
Alonso Quijana, a retired country gentleman, wishes to no longer, “be a plain Alonso Quijana but a dauntless knight” thus he puts on the imaginary armour of a soldier in the hope of battling evil in the world. Burning with “the fire of an inner vision,” Quijana, oppressed and indignant of man’s “murderous ways toward man,” seeks to challenge the Great Enchanter whom he has characterised as the representative of all evil. It is only through a world of illusion that Quijana becomes an intrepid foot soldier empowered to confront the “bleak and unbearable world...base and debauched.” Quijana’s view of the world was that evil is rampant and the weak are slaves to this evil and injustice. “He ponders the problem... how to make better a world...” and “to become a knight-errant, and sally forth...to roam the world in search of adventures...to right all wrongs, to mount a crusade...to raise up the weak and those in need.” By becoming a knight he would have more powers to stop these “wrongs” from occurring. In the movie, Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote says, “he transformed the giant into a windmill...to prevent me the honor of victory.” There is always the reference to honour and being noble, qualities of any and every knight. He continues by stating that, “how he was able to upset me. It is because I have never properly been dubbed a knight. “Don Quixote thinks that if he is a knight all his problems would be eradicated and he would be invincible and have the power to destroy any evil. In the end he is not able to destroy all evil, if any at all which was his mission. He also says “Oh, thou bleak and unbearable world,” like if the world would crumble if Don Quixote, the knight did not come to the rescue. He is very delusional as seen in this final quote, “There will be knights and nations...warlocks and wizards...a cavalcade of vast, unending armies!” There were none of these things and worst of all there was no Great Enchanter who was the manifestation of all evil. However he achieves one thing though. When he says “to raise up the weak and those in need,” the weak refers to Aldonza. He is able to transform a prostitute into a dignified lady known as Dulcinea. It was very difficult for him to do this as in their first meeting when she calls her Dulcinea she is furious and states boldly that her name in Aldonza. This...

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