The developments of Part II of the Quixote are based and measured against Part I. In the episode of the afflicted matron, the story about Countess Trifaldi, and Clavileño, we see these expansions (the presence of love and death, the black color, the monsters, the clashing elements, the cross-dressing, the grotesque, the inclusiveness) which reach the limits of representation, in consonance with baroque aesthetics. The increasing presence of Virgil and to the Aeneid seem to point out that Don Quixote's task is somewhat equivalent to that of Aeneas, but Don Quixote's pursuit is not to found Rome, but to conquer himself. In part one we learned to look for the story behind the story, now, with all the pranks and stories made up by the duke's steward, we learn how a story is made.
- González Echevarría, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, pp. 241-264
- Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469-1716, chapter 9
The course facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain. Students are also expected to read four of Cervantes' Exemplary Stories, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, and J.H. Elliott's Imperial Spain. Cervantes' work will be discussed in relation to paintings by Velázquez. The question of why Don Quixote is read today will be addressed throughout the course. Students are expected to know the book, the background readings and the materials covered in the lectures and class discussions.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.