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Don Quixote, Beware the Sheep! April 8, 2012

Posted by nrlymrtl in Don Quixote.
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Clementine and Don Quixote

I am about 12 discs into the 17 discs of Part I of Don Quixote. We already know from my earlier post that our Knight of the Sorrowful Face attacked a herd of sheep, and lost. This dude gets his ass kicked by everything and everyone. Yet, I still route for him. Probably because he is a dreamer….and maybe, just a little, because I like seeing him get into situations that he has to extricate himself from.

So, what intrigued me about the latest installment? One of my favorite topics – the treatment of ladies. Yep, imagine feminism in 1600s Spain, in all it’s glory…. uh. There wasn’t much bra burning going on in Spain in the 1600s, was there?

Don Quixote ends up in the forested hills, a pretty desolate location. There he comes across a madman. His love and grief and shame have driven him to the wilds where he alternately begs and steals from the shepherds. Cardeno eventually sits down and chats with Quixote and tells his tale of woe. In short he and Lucinda have been friends since childhood and had planned to marry. As they near the age to be betrothed to each other, Cardeno is summoned away by the local Duke to be a companion to his son, Ferdando (?). This dude is a womanizer, and goes around the countryside breaking hearts and promises of fair maidens. He eventually sets his eyes on Lucinda and schemes a way to marry her. Cardeno lurks around until the vows are said and then sets out on his personal quest to become mad in the foot hills.

Cardeno goes on and on about Lucinda’s awesome qualities. He truly loves her and holds her in high regard – her beauty and gentleness and her willingness and be his wife and best friend. It is very touching. Until he compares her to a sheep. In all sincerity. I am not kidding. Stop giggling.

Sigh…. I asked my man to compare me to a sheep in a loving way. He snorted.

Later on, Cardeno comes across a young lady in these same hills, Dorotea. It turns out Ferdando did her wrong, taking her virtue (which seems to be a bit of membranous skin that is made way too much of) while promising to marry her. In shame, she fled to the hills to live out the rest of her days and to avoid bringing said shame upon her parents. Cardeno swears with all sincerity to restore her to her family and force Ferdando to give her back her honor by marrying her.

Great. Just what a happy marriage that will be.

Maybe it was better to be a shepherdess in 1600s Spain. At least the male shepherds clearly understood the difference between a human female and a sheep.