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Don Quixote: Chivalry Then and Now

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modern history
Boston College

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  1. Introduction
  2. Don Quixote: A man of considerable wealth
  3. Highlighting key point in the novel through two adventures
  4. Simple courtesy in todays world
  5. Conclusion

?A manifestation of any of these qualities: bravery, courtesy, honor.? This is the definition of the world chivalry as found in the dictionary. Though it was first coined during the Medieval Age, the idea still hold true today. One of the greatest books of chivalry is Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote. The hero of the story, Don Quixote, rides into the world to correct the evils that have befallen society. Over the course of his journeys, he routinely mistakes situations and tries to help where his assistance is not needed, usually resulting in creating more problems for the victim. He is driven by the idea of chivalry and idea that had been imbedded in his mind from the books he has read about knights of old. By showing different instances how Quixote makes things worse and not better, Cervantes both glorifies and pokes fun at the notion of chivalry. However, as a reader, one can not admire a man who leaves behind is home to help others in the world. Even if he creates and imaginary problem out of nothing, the reader still recognizes that he genuinely tries and help, as opposed to just sitting back and watching the world go by. In today's society, Quixote would feel out of place, not only for his dress and manner of speaking, but also because the world today lacks the kind of people who would go out of their way to help someone else. It appears that many people today or so wrapped up in their own lives that they do not take the time to help others. Thought Cervantes' book was written centuries ago, the chivalric qualities of honor, courtesy, and bravery displayed by Quixote are ones that are lacking in today's society.

[...] It is uncommon to hear many kids say and ?thank most just demand what they want. The books kids read and the TV shows they watch do not hammer in their mind ideas of courtesy or simple good manners. The situation is not unique to children because it is the adults who raise the kids to be like this. When the situation arises the grownups need to take a little time out of their hectic lives and do the polite thing. [...]

[...] He takes a local named Sancho Panzo as his squire and the two set out into the world. Despite his local power and wealth, Quixote decides to put all the behind for the idea of chivalry. When we think of men with great power today, many of them would pale in comparison to Quixote. These men, instead of using their power and wealth to benefit others, abuse their status and end up making society worse. George Bush, for example, is considered one of the most powerful men in the world. [...]

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