Compare and contrast Don Quixote with Sundiata in Don Quixote de la Mancha.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the fundamental differences between Quixote and any king lies in the fact that Quixote never had to be in the position of political leadership.  Quixote was able to remain as an outsider, fighting for the life of the knight, upholding the virtues of chivalry.  This is in stark opposition to political leaders like Sundiata, who were responsible for kingdoms and their protection.  In this light, there is a difference between seeking power from the outside, on a quest, and the realization of this with the ascent into political power.  In this realm, I think that Sundiata was fundamentally different than Quixote because of having to govern and rule over territories, something that Quixote never had to do.  In his rule, Sunidata and Quixote were similar in that they both sought to bring people together.  Sunidata sought to bring people together in his empire in a type of federation where voices were heard and validated.  In his quest through the code of the knight, Quixote operates in much of the same way, negating voices that only seek to bring disgrace to fair Dulcinea or the code of the knight.  Both embody the ideal of social justice.  Yet, again the manner in which Sunidata had to wrestle with it in the form of political power is vastly different to Quixote, who was never in such a position.