Jennifer Balli
Professor Alvarez
English 363
3 October 2011

Don Quixote and Sancho: Static And Round Characters

  The narrative of The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha offers readers a glimpse into the strange world of characters Don Quixote and Sancho. Throughout their adventures, it is evident that the through their interactions, Don Quixote and Sancho are portrayed as both flat or static and round or dynamic characters. Manfred Jahn explains that a flat or static character is one that “does not develop in the course of the action and can often be reduced to a type or even a caricature” while a round or dynamic character is one that “tends to develop in the course of the action and is not reducible to a type” (Jahn N7.7). Although throughout most of the narrative, Don Quixote appears to be a flat or static character, caught up in his own madness of being a knight errant from the points of view of others, his transformation as a dynamic character is often revealed to his confidant, Sancho (Jahn N7.8). As the two lay awake one night, Don Quixote comments:

“‘I’ve never heard you speak, Sancho,’ said Don Quixote, ‘with such elegance;
and now I can appreciate the truth of that proverb that you sometimes quote, “Not
who you were bred with, but who you are fed with”’” (Cervantes 945).

Don Quixote interprets the proverb that Sancho has previously quoted as meaning that one should cherish the people that have stood by their side rather than those they’ve known the longest or those whom they were raised with. Having previously rejected and detested many of Sancho’s proverbs, this instance depicts a more developed Don Quixote. Here, readers are exposed to a more understanding and appreciative Don Quixote, one that values, heeds, and recognizes the importance of Sancho’s words. Don Quixote is once again revealed to be a dynamic character in the final chapter of the narrative, in which he recognizes the extent of his madness and insanity and reverts back to his rational and composed self. He explains to his friends that “I am no longer Don Quixote de la Mancha but Alonso Quixano, for whom my way of life earned me the nickname of ‘the Good’” (Cervantes 977). Although characters such as Sampson believed that Don Quixote’s apparent madness was permanent, Don Quixote emerges from his supposedly feigned reality and dies with the knowledge that he is the sane Alonso Quixano. Like Don Quixote, Sancho is also portrayed as both a static and dynamic character. In his depiction as a static character, Sancho remains adamant in refusing to whip himself to free Dulcinea from her enchantment. Despite this fact, Sancho does develop as a character. Even though Sancho doubts that he would make an admirable and respectable governor, he achieved his goal. Like Don Quixote who would later heed Sancho’s words, Sancho considers Don Quixote’s advice on how to maintain justice in his decisions. As governor, Sancho is faced with the decision of either executing a traveler whose statement contradicted a law which was punishable by death or allowing him to be freed and live. After careful consideration, he resolves to set the traveler free. Sancho’s argument for doing so was “doing good is always more highly praised than doing harm” (Cervantes 833). Though he had his doubts of his own abilities, Sancho rises to the occasion and is able to preserve moral goodness and justice.

Works Cited

de Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel. The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha.
  Trans. John Rutherford. New York: Penguin, 2000. Print.

Jahn, Manfred. 2005. Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative. English
  Department, University of Cologne. Web. 2 Oct. 2011.
  <http://www.unikoeln.de/~ame02/pppn.htm>.

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One Response to “Response 2: Don Quixote and Sancho: Static And Round Characters”

  1.   salvarez said:

    When you write, “Having previously rejected and detested many of Sancho’s proverbs, this instance depicts a more developed Don Quixote. Here, readers are exposed to a more understanding and appreciative Don Quixote, one that values, heeds, and recognizes the importance of Sancho’s words.” you should end the paragraph there and begin a new one at the next sentence. I think you have to different places to quote from. You still need to take a look at this first quote though. Why does Don Quixote become round here exactly? I think you still have a few more sentences to try to prove how you got that interpretation from those lines. If that’s going to be hard, then maybe you could find some different lines that match up better. Think about any points when DQ is apart from Sancho when he talks about missing him for example. That might make him seem more “real” and less like a cartoon character. The places where he gives Sancho advice about ruling his island might also be good spots as well.

    When you write, “Like Don Quixote, Sancho is also portrayed as both a static and dynamic character. In his depiction as a static character, Sancho remains adamant in refusing to whip himself to free Dulcinea from her enchantment” this should be the first sentence of a new PIE paragraph. Only one citation per paragraph, but make sure you give plenty of E to what you cite. Read it closely and “explain” to your audience step by step what the passage says and how it connects to your point for quoting it.

    I like the ideas you’re developing though, and I’m glad to see you using the Jahn. I hope it’s making things easier for you. Once we have another novel or two to compare, the terms will become easier to handle.

    Also, I can see the structure of the title starting, but it still needs a little work. I think what you have here could all be put after the colon so you would have (adding the author and title) the following:

    Don Quixote and Sancho as Static And Round Characters in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha

    That’s long already, but you still need the first part, something to catch attention: maybe, “Changing Shapes”, so it would be, now, hold your breath:

    “Changing Shapes: Don Quixote and Sancho as Static And Round Characters in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha

    It’s long and maybe ugly, but it’s scholarly because it includes what you’ll be analyzing, the author, the text, and also something that gives the audience ideas about what the essay’s going to be discussing. Keep practicing with these, they get easier once you get used to them, then they’ll be easy, once you have the formula down.

    Check here http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/ for the MLA to use for Jahn.

    4.6 out of 5 points.

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