Envy Theme in Don Quixote
Envy Theme in Don Quixote
The theme of not envying, or being envied, occurs, and reoccurs, in Don Quixote in different forms and in different places. First, envy is discussed in prologue poem 11 and 22, in the following verse stanzas: “From you Don Quixote, courteous and polite, and so I’d envied be, and envy none.” This couplet suggests that given Don Quixote’s character and nature he is above envying others for their good fortune, while, unfortunately, he would be the what are Themes? – Don Quixote (guide to keyword) subject of envy, though not of his design. The idea that Sancho Panza does not want to be envied but is unintentionally envied occurs when Gandalin, Amadis of Gaul’s squire, says to him that he “envies his Donkey and his name, [and also] envies [his] food and wine galore.” Again, when Lady Oriana writes a sonnet to Dulcinea del Toboso about how her ladyship will so envied be and envy none,” the idea comes across that graceful, self-controlled, refined people, are not only above the petty vindictiveness of envying others for their personal accomplishments but, most importantly, are a pattern of example for other people to follow.
During Don Quixote’s second sally our knight opines that while the “bastard Roland [had] been pounding [him] with the trunk of an evergreen oak out of envy because he can see that he is the only man who opposes his bravado,” our knight does not reciprocate that envy because his bravery is real not faked like Roland Furious’s is. Later, when Cardenio is “so well received and treated Don Quixote: Themes: a post by [Duke Ricardo,] that envy immediately started to do its work and to possess his servants,” Cardenio does not return that envy with envy of his own. Again, Don Quixote tells a Catholic Canon that “in spite of envy itself, all the magicians Persia ever bred, all the Brahmans of India, and all the Gymnosophists of Ethiopia, shall write [Villalpando’s] name in the temple of immortality [to] serve as a pattern of example by which knights errant will know the steps they are to follow if they wish to reach the peak and honorable summit of arms.” This statement suggests that despite other people’s envy, a brave and honorable knight named Villalpando’s shall be remembered as an exemplar for others to follow. The priest, father Pero Perez seconds this statement by saying that Villalpando’s “valiant exploits and mighty deeds shall be engraved in durable bronze and eternal marble however much envy may toil to obscure them and malice may labor to conceal them,” because, despite the best efforts of jealous and vindictive men who try to sully his good name and mar his exploits, Villapando accomplished mighty deeds through his brave and steadfast actions.
Sancho Panza picks up on Don Quixote and Sancho Panza’s points by saying that “where envy rules virtue can’t survive.” This statement suggests the opposite viewpoint that wherever virtue rules, envy can’t survive. Nine pages later, when the village priest and the village barber encage Don Quixote in an oxcart, Sancho Panza tells Don Quixote that “they are carrying him away [in an oxcart] because they [are] bursting with envy at [him] getting ahead of them [by] doing famous deeds.” We, as readers know, however, that father Pero Perez and Master Nicholas do not envy Don Quixote. Rather, they are taking him home so he calms down, rests and recovers his mental and physical functions, and does not inflict any more harm on innocent people. In the prologue of part two, Cervantes tells readers that he “resents the fact that [Avellaneda, the author of the bogus sequel of Don Quixote] calls [him] envious, and then explains to [him] what envy is, as if [he] were some ignoramus; [when] the truth is that of the two kinds of envy [he] only know[s] [of] the righteous, noble and well-meaning sort.”
Here, Cervantes, as author and narrator, only means that he does not envy Avellaneda for knocking-off and trying to profit from his book. Rather, he only meant to provide the world with a model of righteous, noble, and well-meaning behavior. Later, Sancho Panza comforts Teresa Panza about him rising from a modest country farmer to the governor of Barataria when he says “if a person that fortune has pulled out of the snow of his pond… to the height of prosperity is well-mannered, generous and polite to everyone, and doesn’t go trying to vie with people who have been noble for ages, then [she] can be sure that nobody’s going to remember what he used to be, but instead they’ll stand in awe of what he is… all except envious people, and nobody’s good fortune is safe from them.” Here, Sancho Panza means that nobles will accept a newcomer if he is gracious to one and all, while only pretend nobles, will resent a person’s good fortune, because they are over competitive, and, thus, resent, any contender who rises to power because he or she merits it. Later, Don Quixote explains that his beloved Dulcinea was transmogrified into a simple farm girl from Sayago, because of “the envy that some evil enchanter feels for [his] affairs.” Thus, he “transforms all things that give [him] pleasure into shapes quite unlike their real ones.”
We, as omniscient readers, know, however, that there is no evil enchanter that is envious of Don Quixote. Such Don Quixote published an article envy is a pure fabrication of his mind. Regardless of this fact, however, Don Quixote does rile against envy when he says “O envy, the root of countless evils, and the tapeworm of virtue! Envy brings only grief, hatred and rage.” This statement, when taken for its moral and ethical value is quite true: If a person envies a pure, virtuous, and competent person, they only diminish their own tranquility of mind and emotion. Hence, envy, is a negative thought process, or emotional response to a person’s achievements in life, because, ultimately, envious thoughts, harm the person who has them, and no other. This is why Don Quixote says that “we must slay envy in our tranquil demeanor and serene disposition,” because, envy, is a vice to be rooted out and cleansed from a person’s inner physcology and thought processes. Later, when Don Quixote talks about why Sanson Carrasco, the village scholar, dresses up as a knight, he tries to a long Themes blog article from Don Quixote find a reason for his supposed envy. This is why our knight asks rhetorical questions like: “has he ever been his enemy? [Or, has he] ever given him cause to bear [him] a grudge? [Or has Don Quixote] taken up the profession of arms, to make [other’s] envious of the fame he has won with them?” We, as privy readers, know that Sanson Carrasco does not envy Don Quixote. Not in the slightest.
Rather, Sanson Carrasco feels sorry for, and, thus, wants to help Don Quixote regain his mental balance, by using chivalric protocol, to persuade him to return to his native village. Seven pages later, Don Quixote expounds on the nature of poetry by asking if “it is permissible for [a] poet to attack envy and speak ill in his verses of the envious.” Here, Don Quixote advises Tome Cecil’s poet son to craft verses that logic chop envious thoughts and feelings in his reader’s minds and hearts, so people can see how harmful and stupid envy is. Subtly, this message is continued by a travelling student when he explicitly says that “leaving envy aside and speaking Don Quixote the honest truth, [Basilio’s] the nimblest lad [he] knows, because he is a great pitcher of the bar, a splendid wrestler and a superb pelota-player [since] he can: run like a deer, jump further than a goat, sing like a lark, [play the guitar wonderfully, and] knock skittles down like magic.” Here, readers see a person acting not out of a sense of envy, but praising another person’s accomplishments. But, unfortunately, envy does exist in this world.
Yet, people, like Sancho Panza, can consciously choose not to be bothered by it. Indeed, our good squire says as much when he avers that “even though [he] was envied for [his donkey braying] skill by more than a few stuck-up people in the village [he] never cared a hoot about that,” because it is wise to focus on one’s own actions, in the positive, as opposed to obsessing over another person’s reactions to their accomplishments, in the negative. Indeed, the Duchess of Aragon tells Sancho Panza that since Don Quixote is an honorable “knight, he’ll keep his word about giving [him the] island [governorship] he has promised, [even if it is] in the face of all of the envy and malice in the world.” Here, we see that a staunch and steadfast person, like Don Quixote, has the resolve to abide by a firm course of action, even if other people do not like, or approve of it, because, ultimately, he knows what should, or should not, be done. Later, the Countess of Trifaldi describes a hypothetical princess named Antonomasia, as follows: “She was as clever as she was lovely, and she was the loveliest girl in the world, and she still is [even] if envious and hard-hearted,” poetic gods think otherwise. This last quote on envy, signals to readers that a person is what they are independent of another person’s evaluation of them, since, a person’s nature is defined by the primacy of identity, not the primacy of consciousness.
Originally posted 2020-01-23 23:28:56.