"In his ideals and desire for a better world, Don Quixote mirrors Christ and characterises a world that lacks a genuine spiritual center." Discuss in relation to Don Quixote.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is of course a compelling question, and forces us to compare the character of Don Quixote with that of Christ. The big problem with this comparison is that Don Quixote is compared unfavourably with Christ due to his absolute obsession with knighterrantry and the way that he lives it so completely that he almost passes into insanity as a result. Note how knighterrantry, by Don Quixote's own admission, completely dominates his every thought, as he says to his niece, "if these knightly thoughts did not monopolize all my faculties, there would be nothing I could not do.…" Although he does not become insane, he does give in to his imagination to such an extent that he allows himself to dream he can bring knight-errantry back into popularity based on his own modeling of what it is to be a knight-errant. Consider his plan:

And that is where the subtleness of my plan comes in. A knighterrant who goes mad for a good reason deserves no credit; the whole point consists in going crazy without cause.

Although Don Quixote clearly is trying to act to save his country in some way by bringing knight-errantry back into fashion, his mission is based on naivety and innocence rather than the serious and divine motivation behind Christ's mission. Throughout this novel, we can see that Don Quixote's mission is to make his fantasy become reality. The only way that Don Quixote gains success in this is through the cooperation of his friends who willingly partake of this fantasy to make Don Quixote believe that his dream hs become reality. At the end of the day though he does not see or understand that his dreams still remain a firm fantasy. Although Don Quixote's world therefore certainly is shown to lack a spiritual centre, Don Quixote makes a poor comparison to Christ due to his gullibility and naivety.

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