Throughout the novel, the reader is told that Don Quixote
is mad, driven by his irrational belief that he is living out the
romances of chivalry that he has read. However, the contemporary Spain
he encounters seems to be highly immoral and unethical. Are we meant to
see Don Quixote as simply a satire of medieval literature, or is there
some value in his antiquated morality? Make sure to support your answer
with specific examples from the text.
Machiavelli’s concept of a strong ruler, who was driven by
pragmatism instead of morality, was a direct challenge to the political
thought of his time, which insisted on the importance of Christian
ethics. How do Machiavelli’s ideas fit with our contemporary
understanding of politics? Was he correct in his belief that ethics
should be subordinate to other considerations?