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Abstract

Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes is a parody of the hierarchial relationships between the different sociopolitical levels of Spanish society. Authors use parody in circumstances where it is not possible to make direct social criticisms. Like a Trojan Horse, the ideas of social change in the novel Don Quijote escape the attention of the censor and infiltrate the minds of the readers, opening the possibility of a modern individual formed by their own beliefs and actions. The double structure of parody creates a space in which the reader is able to reflect on the injustices in their community that deviate from a utopian vision of society. Additionally, there are parallelisms between the social critiques of Don Quijote regarding the death of chivalry and the political thoughts of Karl Marx, particularly the concepts of base and superstructure, hegemony, and false consciousness. The following essay explores how the theory of parody applies to the tension between the socio-economic realities and Don Quijote’s idealized social system. The paper examines the applications of Marxist theory to the sociopolitical analysis of Miguel de Cervantes, and analyzes how the interactions of the duo of Don Quijote and his squire Sancho Panza influence the protagonists’ social perspectives and ultimately reinforce Cervantes’ arguments.

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