Nirmine P.A. Moore
Mr. John Cabascango
IB English HL
27 October 2014
The Many Interpretations of Don Quixote: Which one is the most correct?
Being an old book of over 400 years, Cervantes' Don Quixote has been read by many all over the world and has been translated into 60 different languages (online-literature.com). However, being available to such a global audience makes the novel susceptible to being interpreted in several different ways; from the belief that the novel was written only to make people laugh at Don Quixote's foolishness, to the belief that the character of Don Quixote is a symbol that represents the islamophobes present in Europe at the time the novel was written. One cannot be absolutely certain as to which interpretation is the correct one, but, by looking at a variety of interpretations and historical fact, one can conclude that, because of Spain's intolerance of non-Christians at the time and Cervantes' Jewish ancestry, the most plausible interpretation is that there is hidden Jewish meaning in Don Quixote.
There has long been an argument between those who believe that Don Quixote was meant to be a fool for the audience to laugh at, and those who believe he was meant to be a hero that inspires people. Those who see Don Quixote as a fool are called hard critics, their opposition known as soft critics. Those who do not fall into either category are called perspectivists or relativists. A significant amount of the English audience sided with Quixote and, although they may laugh at him, instead of ridiculing him, they sympathized with him. They saw him as a hero because he stood firmly by his beliefs, no matter how ridiculous they may have seemed (spainthenandnow.com). Harold Bloom, an American literary critic and Sterling Professor...