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Abstract

Known as the first modern novel, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, illustrates the adventures and misadventures of a crazy man who believes himself to be a knight errant. In this work, I will analyze how Don Quijote’s insanity takes away a typical narrator’s omniscience. Thus, the points of view of secondary characters contribute equally, and in some cases are even more reliable than that of the protagonist. Using the theory of deconstruction established by Jacques Derrida, I present how in the same manner that the meaning of a word is based on its context, the points of view of supporting characters enrich the interpretation of a quixotic episode. Specifically, I am going to examine the relationship between Sancho Panza and don Quijote, as well as the oral defenses of Marcela and Dorotea. Moreover, it is the separate worlds and ways of living of each individual character that promote multiple interpretations of this text. The moments in which the characters’ worlds overlap establish important events that develop their human experience. Cervantes presentation of don Quijote’s life examines possible manifestations of the human condition. The madness of Spain’s most famous nobleman permits the reader to interpret the novel in whatever manner most applies to their way of being and in this way, even today, we are still re-interpreting Don Quijote.

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