Liberty and Theatrical Space in Montesquieu's Political Theory: The Poetics of Public Life in The Persian Letters
“The crowns and scepters of stage emperors,” remarked Sancho, “were never known to be of pure gold; they are always of tinsel or tinplate.” “That is the truth,” said Don Quixote, “for it is only right that the accessories of a drama should be fictitious and not real, like the play itself. Speaking of that, Sancho, I would have you look kindly upon the art of the theater and, as a consequence, upon those who write the pieces and perform in them, for they render a great service to the state by holding up a mirror for us at each step we take, wherein we may observe, vividly depicted, all the varied aspects of human life; and I may add that there is nothing that shows us more clearly, by similitude, what we are and what we ought to be than do plays and players.” Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, II, iii, 12.
Hundert, E.J., & Nelles, P. (1989). Liberty and Theatrical Space in Montesquieu's Political Theory: The Poetics of Public Life in The Persian Letters. Political Theory, 17(2), 223–246. doi:10.1177/0090591789017002004