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Imagination In Don Quixote By Miguel Cervantes

941 words - 4 pages

"Life itself seems lunatic. Who knows where madness lies! To be too practical is madness, to seek treasure where there is only trash, to surrender dreams may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness, but maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be." -Miguel Cervantes

In his novel, Don Quixote, Miguel Cervantes proves that a strong imagination is necessary to lead a fulfilling life. The main character, Alonso Quejana, is a man close to the age of fifty who has spent most of his life reading books about the medieval knights. In doing so, he has altered his sense of reality and came to believing he himself was a knight errant. He gave himself the name Don Quixote and decided to follow the chivalric code and bring justice to the world. Before Quejana became Quixote, he had no desire to help out humanity or bring an end to injustice, but with the help of his imagination his whole outlook on life changed. He saw life how it should be through his ideals rather than the reality of it.

Don Quixote set out on a quest with his squire Sancho. The first obstacle they run into is a field of windmills. Using his vivid imagination, Quixote views them as giants and makes it his mission to defeat the foes. Any normal person would call Quixote crazy, but Sancho sticks with Quixote's antics and watches as he attempts to fight windmills. This is where Sancho truly shows his loyalty towards Quixote. Any person who stands by the side of a windmill-warrior is truly a good friend. This is the first of many scenes which show his imagination having an impact on people.

The second person who is affected by the charm of Don Quixote's imagination is his peasant neighbor Aldonza. After he declares himself a knight errant he runs into her and tells her that he will serve under her. He gives her the name Princess Dulcinea and is willing to do anything she desires. Throughout much of the story she thinks that he is mocking her because she is just a mere peasant, but when she realizes that his imagination has taken over his mind her feelings change. He sees her as a princess in his own mind because he sees through social status and looks at people for who they are. Don Quixote is one of the first people to treat Dulcinea as an equal rather than of low stature, and she begins to care for him.

Miguel Cervantes was imprisoned when he wrote the novel, and that is where he most likely learned to use the imagination embodied in Don Quixote. Twiddling your thumbs while in prison may be amusing for a few hours, but when it comes to...

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