By the age of sixteen, you might have already wondered about romantic relationships and romantic feelings. I, for one, noticed several pertinent points regarding those matters. The most salient of all points was that these kind of feelings are fleeting. Like people, they come and go.
However, they don’t flutter away like how butterflies go from one flower to another. They don’t just get carried away by a mellow breeze nor do they get washed off in the rain. Another important detail I have learned is that, although fleeting, feelings linger. Like people, they like to linger.
Lingering feelings sometimes hurt especially if you have acclaimed unrequited love. But, hey, Don Quixote didn’t mind his unrequited love for his lady.
Some readers think that his declaration for his love was merely to conform to a knight’s typical livelihood for a knight in the Middle Ages usually always had a lady in his heart; someone to fight for. But deeper in the story, Don Quixote’s feelings for her remained as strong as reciprocated love.
If you were able to read as far as Chapter 33 of Book 1 of Don Quixote, then you probably remember “The Novel of Curious Impertinent.”
This novel was narrated within the story by another character from Chapter 33. It was actually ironic, for me, that a priest read it to the other characters that were present inside the inn considering that the novel he read involved disrespecting matrimony, one of the seven sacraments of our Catholic lives.
Moving on, a query I would like to raise is that why did Cervantes dedicate three whole chapters to just the priest narrating “The Novel of Curious Impertinent” when the whole story [of the book Don Quixote] was supposed to be about the exploits of a knight-errant in pursuit of his ideals in a world where his norms aren’t norms? Why dedicate three whole chapters about stories of love and deceit?
As from what I’ve observed, as Cervantes was ending the exploits of Quixote, in the last few chapters, he has start to let deceit loom over the pages of his book. The rest of the characters were attempting to pull off a hoax. They initiated attempts to deceiving Quixote into believing he has been successful in his idealistic pursuit as a knight-errant.
Likewise, The Novel of Curios Impertinent was all about deception. A guy named Anselmo decided to stage a deceit to verify a truth. In the end, karma had the right arm and hence, his duplicity was backfired. He died out of the desperate attempts his wife and his best friend had done just to keep him from finding out that Anselmo was betrayed by those he held dear.
Anselmo has this stubborn ideal that nothing is guaranteed to be true unless he has seen it for himself. He refuses to believe what he has not perceived that he’ll go as far as he could just to be able to attest to his own wife’s loyalty. In parallel to his character, Quixote has a similar dogged character. He valued so much the Code of Chivalry that he wanted to live by it. Which simply resulted to him pushing his own obstinate, out-of-the-world ideals. And these obstinate, out-of-the-world ideals cost him a place in society.
Cervantes probably introduced Anselmo not to represent a foil for Quixote but instead, a co-definer. The Novel of Curious Impertinent was merely to conform to the looming theme of deception in Don Quixote. The story was a vague symbolism of the entirety of Cervantes’ novel. But in The Novel of Curious Impertinent, the characters disgraced holy matrimony and took love as a light matter.
Don Quixote acted otherwise. Being a knight-errant, he duly noted fidelity. He had solid respect for Courtly Love for, in the Middle Ages, Courtly Love emphasized the Code of Chivalry. I guess that makes sense as to why Cervantes casually brought up Don Quixote’s perpetual love for Lady Dulcinea. It was to substantiate the plot of his own novel.
Source of featured image: https://noddfacrafts.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/image18.jpg