Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra conceived a novel about Don Quixote as a parody of the knightly novels that overrun medieval Spain. But the parodies, according to critics, did not work. There was a novel that did not resemble any of those that existed at that time – a novel about a naive, noble, half-twisted man who imagines himself a knight, a novel about how real people and what they are like in fantasy and eccentrics living in an unreal world real life.
Before us is Don Quixote, a man who read novels about knights, their exploits and beautiful ladies. Slightly damaged in the mind precisely because of these books, the hidalgo puts on his armor, helmet, calls his old horse Rosinant, and himself – Don Quixote of La Mancha, chooses his lady of the heart some Dulcinea of Tobos and, like a true knight, rides on his nag to meet adventure. The adventures did not take long to wait: over the ornate phrases the idalgo laugh at the inn where he stopped to sleep; merchants, whom the knight urges to recognize Dulcinea Tobosskaya as the most beautiful woman in the world, pound him. Returning to his native village, Don Quixote finds himself a “squire” – plowman Sancho Panza, and the adventure continues. The knight fought with windmills, which he took for giants; almost crippled many rams from the herd, which was imagined by an enemy army; freed convicts; began to write poetry and dedicated them to his lady… Many more “feats” was
Is it ridiculous? Yes, outwardly the hero is very ridiculous. Comed of his speeches, his actions, his appearance. But most often it causes pity and good sadness. In the soul of an hidalgo unselfish, he is humane and noble. He believes that he can eradicate evil, and it’s not funny at all. How disappointed Don Quixote, when, meeting a shepherd boy, for whom he stood up to an evil peasant, learns that this shepherd’s owner still beat – and it is because of the intervention of a knight! Don Quixote was often insulted in his best feelings. Everything, that he tried to make good, delivered people only troubles. For the sake of others he sacrificed himself, but did not receive any gratitude for this. And he waved everything.
The image of this awkward, self-denying knight causing a smile became one of the eternal images of world literature. And if so, then he is not so ridiculous, this kind, honest and naive defender of the oppressed!