Why is Don Quixote (First book) viewed as a tragedy by some people? Explain, and use references.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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On many levels, Quixote and the book for which he is named can be seen as a tragedy.  I think that there are a couple of reasons for this.  The first being that Quixote's quest is unrealized in reality.  In the end, Quixote's voyage and purpose to honor Dulcinea, live the code of the knight, and bring justice to a world lacking it are elements that are not fully realized.  While Quixote is fully confident in what he does and self assured in the value of these elements, they are not values that the world embraces as transcendent.  In this light, there is a certain tragic condition in Quixote the character and book.  There is a certain level of sadness and tragedy in how people take advantage of him and how his sense of self, something so pure ends up being manipulated and discarded.  Quixote aims for the stars and crashes to Earth, full of bruises and scratches.  There is something tragic and sad within this vision.

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