Man Of La Mancha Character Analysis

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The play, Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman is a story inspired by Miguel de Cervantes. The major theme that is constantly shown throughout the play is idealism and realism. But what exactly is idealism and realism? Idealism is the pursuit of ideas that seem to be unrealistic, where realism is viewing something as it actually is. Back to the story line; Cervantes is taken to prison during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. In the prison, Cervantes creates a play within a play, involving himself and his fellow prisoners as the characters. The play is based on an idealist, Don Quixote. Don Quixote is a “mad” knight on a quest, who has a dream mistress and squire. In contrast to Quixote being an idealist, Dr. Carassco, Aldonza (Quixote’s mistress),…show more content…
Don Quixote of La Mancha has a great passion for knighthood/chivalry. Quixote reads books about chivalry and knighthood, and he believes every word in these books to be true. His dedication to become a knight is astounding. Quixote 's idealism is shown as he believes more in fantasy than reality. Don Quixote: “... I have never actually been dubbed a knight... And yet I am well qualified, my lord. I am brave, courteous, bold, generous, affable and patient” (Wasserman 44). Quixote tells his squire, Sancho, about his plans to escape, find an island to govern, and to follow other knightly duties. Quixote dresses like a knight, dreams of a mistress, talks as though he’s in the medieval times, etcetera. Quixote, now being a “knight”, creates a quest to follow. Don Quixote: “To dream the impossible dream... To run where the brave dare not go…To reach the unreachable star! This is my Quest... And the world will be better for this...” (49-50). His quest is to show that by dreaming impossible things, and believing in anything, something good will happen. Again, his idealistic personality allows him to love and imagine like no other. “Don Quixote: I see heaven when I see thee, and thy name is like a prayer an angel whispers, Dulcinea... I have sought thee, sung thee, dreamed thee, Dulcinea” (23). Quixote describes his mistress Dulcinea as his and every knight’s dream woman, and as “the…show more content…
Carrasco, who is a pessimist, relies on facts to draw conclusions to a situation. Because he is considered the ‘man of science’, Dr. Carrasco gives a logical reasoning to any situation. Dr. Carrasco: “There are no giants. No Knights under enchantment. No Chivalry. No knights. There has been no knights for three hundred years” (39). Unlike Quixote, who always sees the good in people and in life, Dr. Carrasco is prejudice towards people and to life. Carrasco is prejudice towards people as he believes they don’t focus on the reality of the situation. Dr. Carrasco: "Our marriage, my dear. There is a certain embarrassment at having a madman in the family. In the eyes of others-” (29). Carrasco is saying that if he marries Antonia, who is Quixote’s niece, he will have a mad man in the family. He believes that having a mad man in the family, people may assume the worst and may believe that he too, is mad. Also because Carrasco only cares about himself, that image would be tainted if he were to marry Antonia. Later on in the play, Dr. Carrasco’s pessimistic personality comes into play yet again. He is disguised as the “Knight of Mirrors,” the great enchanter. Knight of Mirrors: “Thy lady... is an alley cat!” (69). The Knight of Mirrors uses that quote to describe Aldonza. By saying that about Aldonza, it concludes his facts that she is a whore with no redeeming values. Don Quixote draws his sword in fury when Carrasco makes that statement,
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