Hamlet Vs Don Quixote

Decent Essays
Within narratives throughout the centuries, some protagonists have been set in a frame where readers question the sanity of the main character by the end of the novel. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, some believe Hamlet is indeed insane by the end of the play whether it was due to circumstances or not. Don Quixote is a similar but different story. It presents a case of insanity, but it becomes a little more specific as symptoms begin come across more clearly. As a psychology double major, the manifestation of schizophrenia with a sprinkle of dissociative identity disorder and the possibility of a dementia undercurrent becomes apparent as I progressed through this novel. What makes readers like me even more concerned is the fact that his symptoms …show more content…
While this was a conscious decision, the presence of two or more distinctive personalities—Don Alonso Quijano and Don Quixote—account for an identification of dissociative identity disorder. Don Alonso Quijano is more meek and mild while Don Quixote is brave and adventurous. When it comes to schizophrenia and dementia, and more specifically, hallucinations, examples exist throughout the novel. One earlier hallucination involves the distorted view that Sancho’s donkey and his horse that had hooves with “more cracks than his masters pate and…showed more flaws that Gonnella’s horse” were “noble steeds” (Cervantes 22). This is a clear indication that Don Alonso Quijano perceives reality in an alternate way, and serves as a testimony to his mental illness. If this were a one-time occurrence, it could be attributed to his lack of sleep due to his insane fascination and devotion towards books. However, this was not the case because more hallucinations occur. The first paragraphs of chapter VIII tell of the party reaching “thirty or forty of the windmills found in the country side.” However, once Don Quixote sees the windmills, he declares that he has seen “thirty or forty more enormous giants” (Cervantes 58). Hallucinations made appearances throughout the whole novel (including the jousting incident in chapter LIX that was a tad humorous) and serve as a good measure of mental illness. If hallucinations were the only symptom he showed, it could all be attributed to a lack of sleep. However, more serious symptoms occur throughout the novel as well. Moreover, Don Alonso Quijano experiences delusions of grandeur (which is also a symptom of schizophrenia). He creates another identity for himself so that he may win the heart of lady Dulcinea. In reality, she barely knows he exists and has no intentions towards him. Thus it is highly likely that Don Alonso

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