Method to Madness Essay

This essay has a total of 707 words and 4 pages.

Method to Madness

Don Quixote: Method to Madness

Don Quixote is a middle-aged gentleman of La Mancha who reads one too many books of
chivalry and decides to become a knight. He polishes an old suit of armor, takes a peasant
named Sancho Panza as his squire, and sets out into the world to do good deeds in the name
of his love, Dulcinea. To the concern of friends from his village, he has dozens of
hapless adventures: he rescues prisoners, defends the weak, and reunites old loves. He
also battles enemy knights and soldiers. His only problem is that he often gets things
wrong, mistaking strangers for enemies, falling off his horse, and being beaten senseless
by mule-drivers. He blames every failure on the magic of an evil enchanter he believes to
be his nemesis.

Everywhere he goes, Don Quixote sees the everyday as the legendary: he confuses inns for
castles, windmills for giants, and prostitutes for princesses. These misinterpretations
often make him the center of other people's jokes: a duke and a duchess play tricks on
him, even Sancho and his friends the barber and the priest try to fool him for his own
good from time to time. But just as often, Don Quixote's vision of the world asserts
itself in the lives of those around him, and those who begin by mocking him end by
following his example. A young student named Sampson Carrasco first poses as the Knight of
Mirrors and does battle with Don Quixote as a jest, but when he loses, he dedicates
himself to revenge and becomes the Knight of the White Moon, who will finally end the
great hero's career.

Don Quixote travels throughout Spain, from La Mancha and the Sierra Morena to Barcelona,
stopping at countless inns and villages along the way. He befriends goatherds and
gentlemen, and his story is written as a history . The knight is sometimes triumphant, as
in the battle with the Knight of Mirrors, and sometimes ridiculous, helplessly trampled by
cattle or pigs as the result of some misadventure. But in each of his exploits, he ignores
social convention and remains faithful to his fantastic vision of the world. When he
finally renounces chivalry on his deathbed, his once-skeptical friends beg him to
reconsider, and even the practical Sancho Panza longs to resume their adventures. Though
he is out of place and often ludicrous, Don Quixote's innate goodness and unwavering
commitment to chivalry persuade those around him that his madness is profound.

Man of La Mancha, written by Dale Wassermann, is a powerful blend of tragedy, romance,
comedy, and adventure which moves its audience through the entire spectrum of emotion.
While the ravaging of Aldonza may challenge the limits for the faint of heart, it is a
"must have" theatrical experience for all.

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