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Abstract

This essay explores the role of marriage and love during the time of Cervantes in his novel Don Quijote de la Mancha. Using the ideas of psychoanalysis, Marxism, and feminism, I analyze the relationships between Cardenio/Luscinda and Don Fernando/Dorotea. Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis centers around the role of one’s id, ego, and superego to define the decisions made in their lives. My use of the ideas of Marxism sheds light on the way society is shaped with regards to the social hierarchy and how that affects the mentality and actions of individual characters. Lastly, I apply the theory of feminism to question whether the women within these relationships—Dorotea and Luscinda—demonstrate feminist ideals. Through the application of these lenses, I conclude that true love does not exist within these relationships because external forces imposed by society’s norms define them.

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