In "From Don Quixote," how does the work fit into the category of satire?

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mrerick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Satire is the use of irony or sarcasm to illuminate the flaws of humans and humanity.  Don Quixote calls into question the whole idea of chivalry and the actions of knights in general.  As Quixote travels the countryside fixing the wrongs of the world as a proper knight should, we see the error of believing what a perfect knight is.  Certainly at the time Cervantes wrote his novel, there was an ideal for how a knight should look and act, the idea of chivalry.  Don Quixote juxtaposes that ideal against the reality of trying to live up to that standard on a day to day basis.  The folly of Quixote is in stark contrast to what a proper knight should be, an excellent example of satire.