Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Contexts for Don Quixote and quixotism: Beyond hero or fool
by Mayea, Liesder, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2009, 211; 3374429
Abstract (Summary)

This study is an attempt to present through my understanding of history, religion, and literature a comparison between Don Quixote and other legendary or historical personages and texts. The task this manuscript proposes is never-ending, since there will always be great men and women, either fictional or historical, who will keep shaping the outcome of this great play called human life. The proposed methodology is a socio-historical approach, since, in order to properly and accurately judge certain characters or personages it is important to be aware of their historical background. As a result, the reader will notice that the fictional characters and the historical personages are very similar, and it will therefore become paramount to distinguish between the two to avoid any confusion.

This dissertation opens with a general introduction where the main points to be addressed are reviewed. The first chapter also includes discussion of the issue of knowledge and faith, where a comparative study on general aspects of the philosophies of Karl Marx and Thomas Aquinas introduces concepts that are treated throughout in one way or another. There is also an analysis of Don Quixote's madness and of Plato's Phaedrus. The second chapter focuses on the figure of Gilgamesh and a study of the 'good books,' and the comments that Don Quixote makes in regard to issues like the reading or the historicity of certain events. Chapter three is a study of Don Quixote's journey and that of Odysseus. There is great contrast between the two, and yet there are also certain similarities that cannot be ignored. Chapter four is a generic study on tragedy, including also a comparative study between Don Quixote and certain examples of tragedy from a socio-historical perspective. In this chapter, there is also an analysis of certain theories of tragedy, beginning in the 4th century BC with Aristotle, and culminating in the 19th century with Nietzsche. Chapter five focuses on foundational heroes as well as the greatest villains and how both of these groups illustrate quixotism. The conclusion to this dissertation constitutes a recapitulation of the main ideas throughout the study as well as my observations on the issues treated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Parr, James A.
Commitee:
School: University of California, Riverside
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Comparative literature, Religion, History
Keywords: Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, Don Quixote, Don Quixote and Homer, Don Quixote and madness, Don Quixote and the tragic heroes, Don Quixote as hero or villain, Don Quixote--Epistemological issues, Five Arguments, Quixotism, Spain, Thomas Aquinas, Saint
Publication Number: 3374429
ISBN: 9781109354201
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