Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Cervantes!

Today, Miguel Cervantes, the creator of the idealistic, chivalrous knight Don Quixote, celebrates his 466th birthday.

Actually, I have never read Don Quixote, but I played Sancho Panza's mule in the musical based off of it (Man of La Mancha), and danced in excerpts from the ballet. Does that count?

Don Quixote is, however, on my TBR list, so I will get to it hopefully this summer.

Don Quixote, along with his trusty squire Sancho, are superficially laughable, but ultimately symbolize true goodness - Quixote has a heart that believes that all humankind is good and honorable, and that the only villains are ogre shape-shifters (aka windmills) and wizards that are made of pure evil.

The Mad Knight teaches us to enjoy the simpler, purer things in life, and never to take things for granted. We would do well to heed his words:

"Call nothing thine own except thy soul. Love not what thou art, but only what thou may become. Do not pursue pleasure, for thou may have the misfortune to overtake it. Look always forward: in last year's net there are no birds this year. Be just to all men. Be courteous to all women." 
 ~Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha

A sketch by Picasso

Thank you to Cervantes for giving us such a character. And Happy Birthday!


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