Thomas Hart examines Erich Auerbach's contention that Don Quixote is not a tragedy but a comedy and suggests that Auerbach's view was shaped by his reading of Ariosto's chivalric romance Orlando furioso. At the same time Hart argues that neither Don Quixote nor Orlando furioso is so free from political intention as Auerbach believed they were. He demonstrates that Cervantes shared not only Ariosto's attachment to the moral code of chivalry but also his doubts that it could be practiced effectively in the contemporary world.
Originally published in 1989.
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