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Abstract

During the life of Miguel de Cervantes, Spain was comprised of a society in

conflict through divisions between the old and the new Christians. The old, traditional and religious, were against new forms of spirituality of Erasmus, which were minority. This social binary was the result of The Reconquista and present throughout the twenty- first century. Moreover, the division of society into commoners and nobility had a substantial impact on Cervantes, as social mobility was nonexistent. El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote De La Mancha by Miguel Cervantes serves to promote the values of chivalry through the characterization of Don Quixote. The chivalric ideals translate into a criticism of the Spanish society at this time. In this work Don Quixote will be considered as a political allegory analyzing formal, discursive and thematic elements.

Parody can be applied to the knighting ceremony of Don Quixote in Chapter III as it functions as a mockery of the upper class domination in the Spanish society during the sixteenth century. Marxist theory explains this social inequality in Chapters IV and XI in order to illustrate how Cervantes questions the structure of Spanish classes. Finally, the application of the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin, hybridization, heteroglossia, and polyphony, in Chapter XXII solidify the strong tension prevalent between social classes.

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