It Does Not Do To Dwell

“How was Don Quixote’s knight-errant oath in conflict with his deathbed oath?”

The oaths he took reflected what level of sanity he currently possessed. His oath to be a knight and to go on a quest and conquer all of his enemies tells us that his mental health scale was very low. The oath to ask for forgiveness for all he had done and to be apart of the church shows us that his mental health was normal.

Confused, and mixing fantasy with reality, Don Quixote created a world where he himself could live and do what he wanted to do most of all; to be a knight. He wanted glory, he wanted adventures, he wanted to save the beautiful girl. His mind drugged by an illusion along wishes that could never be fulfilled, he made an oath and set off to fulfill it. 

At the end of his journey, that is to say his life, Don Quixote was put to rest and the real man underneath the mask of Don Quixote, called Alonso, came forth after many years of hiding. Realizing his madness and his misdeeds, Alonso made an oath to the church and repented of his sins. 

The conflict of the two oaths goes without saying. In the first, he is flinging himself into a false reality, one that he very well could’ve died from and almost did. In the second and last, he stepped through the door of reality and saw the truth for what it was. One was fantasy and one was reality. The conflict is obvious. 

Having read the story and seeing through his eyes, I can understand how easily Alonso stepped into the fantasy that was Don Quixote. With an overactive imagination and no willpower, anyone can fall into the trap of insanity. I, myself, am tempted from time to time to try to live my fantasies. As a child, this is ok but as a growing human, I must put these aside. This isn’t to say that I will never visit the realm of dreams and fantasy again, just that I shouldn’t live that false reality 24/7. In fact, I think it’s an important lesson for all of us to learn.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. Remember that.” -Albus Dumbledore 

English 3, Lesson 45 

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