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True Honor

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True Honor "For liberty, as well as for honor, man ought to risk even his life, and he should reckon captivity, the greatest evil life can bring." In the novel Don Quixote, there are several instances where the characters of the book struggle to find their true honor and overcome the captivity of their own social class. Don Quixote, however, searches for liberty throughout the book. Once you overcome the captivities of your social class, and find one's true personal honor, as opposed to the honor associated with one's social position, then will you find liberty. For example, Don Quixote's squire Sancho, is the best example of this. ...read more.


Also, Anselmo, for example, is so overly protective of his wife's honor that he distrusts her loyalty, which leads to her adultery and his death. These characters are primarily concerned with socially prescribed codes of honor. They, in turn, meet their liberty with difficulty. However, those who set out merely to protect their own personal honor, such as Dorothea, meet their liberty with success. Dorothea's concern for her personal honor leads her to pursue Ferdinand, which ends with happy results for both of them. Many times in the book it is evident how two lovers must overcome difficulties of class difference to achieve their love, as well as their liberty. ...read more.


Cervantes shows that personal honor can be a powerful and positive motivation, while socially prescribed notions of honor, which are often false, can be destructive. By the end of the book, it is clear how one's true personal honor has nothing to do with the honor typically associated with one's social position. Only once a character does break through this understanding and part the captivity of social position can they find their true liberty. When Don Quixote broke his bounds of captivity, he said, "Liberty, Sancho, my friend, is one of the most precious gifts that Heaven has bestowed on mankind; all the treasures the earth contains within its bosom or the ocean within its depths cannot be compared with it." ...read more.

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