What episodes in Don Quixote display bewilderment, dismay, hilarity, violence, or suspense? Why are those episodes interesting?

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ftl2105 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An apt episode from Don Quixote comes from Don Quixote's showdown with a windmill. The episode consists mostly of absurd violence: after all, Don Quixote's opponent (a windmill) is entirely unable to (1) take any damage, or (2) consciously fight him back. The image of Don Quixote fighting a windmill (and losing) is one of maximum absurdity.

One interesting idea this raises can be tied into the question of violence at large: is regular violence any different from what we see in this episode? More specifically, are all objects toward which one acts violently simply inane delusions, pointless and unconscious windmills? By painting Don Quixote's violence in such an absurd backdrop, Cervantes seems to be saying something about the pointlessness of violence as a whole.

Don Quixote's conclusion -- after losing to the windmill, he rationalizes his vision of giants and states that some evil force had, at the last minute, turned his imagined giants into windmills -- seems to answer a 'yes' to the question of whether Cervantes is working with a broader idea of violence here: are not all enemies at first seen as giants and only later realized to be harmless windmills?