Lecture 18 - Don Quixote, Part II: Chapters XXII-XXXV (cont.)

author: Roberto González Echevarría, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Sept. 28, 2012,   recorded: November 2009,   views: 6833
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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The fact that the second part of the Quixote is the first political novel is manifested in several ways. The second part adds (taken from the picaresque novel) geographic concreteness to its realistic portrayal of Spanish life and sociopolitical background to the novel: the episode of the boat shows the contrast between Don Quixote's Ptolemaic obsolete notions of geography and the new Copernican conception of an infinite universe. The duke and duchess represent the Spanish idle upper classes in debt and kept financially afloat through loans, like the Spanish Crown. Don Quixote's debate with the ecclesiastic is a critique of the Church, not of religion. The hunt in the wood was a reproduction of a leisure activity, a sport. The pageant in the forest is a baroque perversion of Dante's Purgatorio (XXVIII-XXX). Dulcinea as a transvestite seems to represent a burlesque manifestation of Don Quixote's repressed inner desire.

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