Don Quixote and Embracing Your Inner Madman

Photo+via+Wikimedia+under+Public+Domain+license
Back to Article
Back to Article

Don Quixote and Embracing Your Inner Madman

Photo via Wikimedia under Public Domain license

Photo via Wikimedia under Public Domain license

Photo via Wikimedia under Public Domain license

Photo via Wikimedia under Public Domain license

Daniel Hancock, Journalist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Don Quixote is a Spanish novel written by 17th century novelist and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Intended as a satire of chivalry romance novels, the book tells the tale of a man named Don Quixote who becomes convinced he is a knight-errant after severely over-dosing on chivalry romances. After an unsuccessful first sally that ends in his getting beat up, Quixote returns to his village of La Mancha and bribes his neighbor Sancho Panza into becoming his squire. After promising him governorship of an island in return for his loyalty, Quixote and Sancho begin travelling around Spain in search of adventures. They literally tilt at windmills, fight lions, visit enchanted inns, and break their ribs one too many times.

The novel appears to have no central plotline, relating instead a series of outlandishly comedic exploits and experience. But amid Don Quixote’s rambling nonsense, I think there’s an overarching message. And that message is to embrace the madman within us.

Like Don Quixote, life doesn’t always have a clear plotline. We may have some idea of where we want to go, but often we are furiously blown around to and fro. Other times, the monotony of daily life gets to us and we wish for some new adventure.

If you feel the struggle of daily existence weighing upon your shoulders, my advice is to stop waiting for stuff to happen and instead make stuff happen. Disrupt equilibrium, brighten up, seek out adventures, embrace spontaneity, and welcome that inner little madman inside who pushes you to take (responsible) chances.

About halfway through the book in the fourth chapter of the second part, Sancho gives a monologue in which he utters forth a profound maxim: “Being brave is halfway between the extremes of being a coward and being foolhardy.” Find your personal middle ground between cowardice and foolhardiness and go for it.

I put Sancho’s maxim to the test last Christmas by participating in a performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It was equal parts fun and nerve-racking to play the part of Jacob Marley and walk on stage with chains trailing behind. Despite having no prior theater experience, I seized the opportunity and emerged with a new enjoyment for acting and improved self-confidence.

So embrace your inner madman. See what adventures you encounter along the way. Just please don’t stay awake all day and all night reading chivalry romances. That’s just mental.

 

Bibliography

De Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel. Don Quixote. New York, NY: Penguin, 2003. Print.

Riley, Edward C., and Anne J. Cruz. “Miguel De Cervantes.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Apr. 2018. Web. 17 Jan. 2019.

Don Quixote.Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2019.

Don Quixote.Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2019.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email