Similarities Between Don Qixote And Don Quixote

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While studying Nazi war criminals in the World War II, Hannah Arendt discovered that Eichmann, who was sentenced to death for devising egregious methods for massive Jews execution, was in fact a passive receptor of authoritative orders from the Nazi regime. She proclaimed the concept of “banality of evil”, noting that “There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking in itself is dangerous.” Such fickle and even potentially dangerous orientation of humanity is well demonstrated in An Essay on Man, where Alexander Pope illustrates the constantly errant and confused nature of human. Similarly, in Miguel Cervantes’s Don Quixote, the foolish protagonist Don Quixote shows how men may often fail to notice the absurdity and errors in certain actions. Here, exploration of the similarities and differences between two pieces and search for relevant contemporary examples may reveal how two works effectively characterize the faults and flaws that humans fail to learn from and constantly commit.

In An Essay on Man, Alexander Pope characterizes men as inherently bemused beings who will continuously commit numerous errors. For one, by suggesting that men are “placed on this isthmus of middle state” (3), he illustrates how men were involuntarily thrust between divine and beastly characters. Failing to belong in neither end of the spectrum, men have innately indistinct identity which keeps them in confusion. Pope also elaborates on how men cannot properly reason without errors and deviations.

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