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Don Quixote

Short Answer Quiz

  1. In the part 1 prologue, the narrator?s friend says about the story of Don Quixote, "All that you have to do is to make proper use of imitation in what you write, and the more perfect the imitation the better will your work be." What does he mean by imitation?

  1. How does Don Quixote pattern himself after the chivalric model? What is his quest? What does he think will be his reward if he is successful?

  1. Don Quixote sets out by letting his horse choose whichever path it wants because he believed that "therein lay the very essence of adventures." Explain what that means to Don Quixote.

  1. Explain the medieval chivalric code. Why is it a worthy subject of satire?

  1. Explain three aspects of chivalry Cervantes satirizes in the adventure of Don Quixote. Why do you think Cervantes wanted or needed to satirize chivalry?

  1. Describe some instances when Don Quixote demonstrates his compassion for his fellow man. How could someone with such noble feelings go so wrong?

  1. How do the people Don Quixote comes into contact with on his travels respond to his chivalric notions of them and their situations? Use specific examples to illustrate your answer.

  1. Violence crops up at unexpected moments. Describe a situation in which violence is unexpected. What caused the violence? Who is responsible for it? What was the outcome?

  1. Although Don Quixote is a comic figure, he causes harm to many people. Describe three incidents in which the comic turns to violence.

  1. Why do you think so many of the people Don Quixote encounters go along with his madness and knight errant self-image? Explain several situations in which Don Quixote?s madness protects him. Explain several examples of his madness taking a dangerous turn for others.

  1. Who is Sancho Panza? How does he come to be Don Quixote?s squire? Does he also suffer from madness or does he have another motivation? To what degree does he participate in Don Quixote?s madness? In what ways does he use their adventures to his own advantage?

  1. What does "picaresque" mean? Explain three ways in which Don Quixote is a picaresque work.

  1. Don Quixote keeps asking people for their word of honor to resolve a situation. Do any of them keep their word? If they do, why do you think they keep their word? If they don?t, why do you think they gave their word?

  1. Explain two instances in which Sancho Panza gives Don Quixote good advice. Does Don Quixote take the advice? Why or why not? What is the outcome? If he had taken the advice, what probably would have happened?

  1. Pick three situations in the work. Who are the people involved and what is their situation? How does Don Quixote see each person and how does he interpret the situation? What do you think is the author?s underlying purpose for the disparity between the two?

  1. Don Quixote?s purpose is to right wrongs. Pick several encounters and describe how each is ironically made worse by Don Quixote?s interference.

  1. Don Quixote is frequently beaten. Pick three instances of beatings. What does he do to warrant each beating? How does he interpret their meaning?

  1. Don Quixote meets three knights in part 2. Who are the Knight of the Wood, the Knight of the Mirrors, and the Knight of the White Moon? What purpose does each character serve in illuminating Don Quixote?s character as well as the chivalric code?

  1. In the final chapter, Don Quixote returns home and repudiates the chivalric code before he dies. Why does he do this? How does this final chapter complete the satire of the chivalric conventions?

  1. Read the lyrics to "The Impossible Dream" from the musical The Man From La Mancha. Do you think the song hits or misses the point of Cervantes? Don Quixote, as well as captures the accuracy of the character of Don Quixote?

    To dream the impossible dream,
    To fight the unbeatable foe,
    To bear with unbearable sorrow,
    To run where the brave dare not go.

    To right the unrightable wrong,
    To love pure and chaste from afar,
    To try when your arms are too weary,
    To reach the unreachable star.

    This is my quest,
    To follow that star—
    No matter how hopeless,
    No matter how far.

    To fight for the right
    Without question or pause,
    To be willing to march
    Into hell for a heavenly cause.

    And I know if I'll only be true
    To this glorious quest
    That my heart will be peaceful and calm
    when I'm laid to my rest.

    And the world will be better for this,
    that one man scorned and covered with scars
    still strove with his last ounce of courage.
    To reach the unreachable star.

    To dream the impossible dream
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To bear with unbearable sorrow
    To run where the brave dare not go.

    To right the unrightable wrong
    To be better far than you are
    To try when your arms are too weary
    To reach the unreachable star.

    This is my quest, to follow that star,
    No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
    To be willing to give when there's no more to give
    To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live

    And I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest
    That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest

    And the world will be better for this
    That one man scorned and covered with scars
    Still strove with his last ounce of courage
    To reach the unreachable star.

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