The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote Of La Mancha, By Miguel Cervantes

1079 words - 4 pages

Through the use of tone, authors can appear objective, while in reality they use their attitude to influence their readers. The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha is a novel written in episodic form, by Miguel Cervantes in 1615. By ridiculing Don Quixote, the protagonist, this novel parodies medieval romances and satirizes the hero knight. Joe Darion’s songs, “The Impossible Dream” and “Man of La Mancha”, are from the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha. In this musical, a more serious tone is applied, since Don Quixote is regarded with respect. Throughout the literary works, Cervantes’ contemptuous tone characterizes Don Quixote as nonsensical, while Darion’s reverent tone portrays Don Quixote as a valiant knight errant.
In The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, Cervantes mocks Don Quixote by condemning his actions and by sarcastically praising Don Quixote. This influences the audience to believe that Don Quixote is a simpleton. Due to Don Quixote’s grave fascination with medieval books, he becomes engrossed in these stories to the point where it is abnormal. This interest leads Don Quixote to make irrational decisions, which earns him the censure of Cervantes. “His foolish curiosity reached / such extremes that he / sold acres of arable land / to buy these books of / chivalry” (Cervantes 826). Cervantes uses a condemning tone while he depreciates Don Quixote’s actions. Cervantes expresses a belittling tone by using strong diction with words such as, “foolish” and “extreme”. Through these words, Cervantes communicates that Don Quixote’s actions are irrational and outlandish. By chastising Don Quixote’s handling of money, Cervantes is able to convince the audience that Don Quixote is an imprudent character. The constant derogatory language that is addressed towards Don Quixote allows the audience to perceive him as an unwise and unreasonable person. Since Don Quixote is viewed as a senseless character, the only admiration that Cervantes provides is rooted in sarcasm. Cervantes speaks of Don Quixote with mock praise, which further ridicules him. “He was ingenious / enough, however, to overcome this problem, / constructing out of cardboard something / resembling a visor” (Cervantes 827). Cervantes mocks Don Quixote by caustically praising his solution to a problem. By characterizing Don Quixote as “ingenious”, Cervantes uses wordplay, since the prefix “in” typically means “not”. However, by definition, the word “ingenious” means “brilliant”. Cervantes uses the opposite meaning of the word “ingenious” to depict the nature of Don Quixote. This creates a cynical tone, which diminishes any respectable sentiments that the audience might have had about Don Quixote. This sardonic form of acclaim leads the reader to further conclude that Don Quixote is a protagonist who should be derided. In this novel, Cervantes’ satiric tone not only characterizes Don Quixote as foolish, but also influences the audience to think so as well. Through this...

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