Don Quixote Book II

Courtly Love vs. Real Love in Don Quijote: Cervantes' View

One recurring motif in Don Quijote is love relationships that develop between males and females and the many different consequences these relationships can have. In fact, most of the "stories" found within the text of the novel are driven in some way by the force of love. The actions of Don Quijote himself are all supposedly spurred on by his love for his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, a woman whom he incidentally has never physically met. Throughout the course of the work, Cervantes seems to be criticizing the notions of courtly love and how it would function in real society, saying that the idealistic belief in courtly love does not translate well into the real world2E Love, to Cervantes, cannot exist under false pretenses and phony emotions; it should be based on genuine feelings of compassion and exist only between two individuals who share an equal bond of respect and understanding.

The first significant story where love plays a major role is the tale involving the shepherdess Marcela and how her incredible beauty inflames the desires of those around her. The former student Grisostomo falls in love with this lady due to her other-worldly beauty; a physical attraction that stems only from the desire of sexual...

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