Cervantes – Don Quixote

Cervantes’ greatest work, Don Quixote, is a unique book of multiple dimensions. From the moment of its appearance it has amused readers or caused them to think, and its influence has extended in literature not only to works of secondary value but also to those which have universal importance. Don Quixote is a country gentleman, an enthusiastic visionary crazed by his reading of romances of chivalry, who rides forth to defend the oppressed and to right wrongs; so vividly was he presented by Cervantes that many languages have borrowed the name of the hero as the common term to designate a person inspired by lofty and impractical ideals.

The theme of the book, in brief, concerns Hidalgo Alonso Quijano, who, because of his reading in books about chivalry, comes to believe that everything they say is true and decides to become a knight-errant himself. He assumes the name of Don Quixote de la Mancha and, accompanied by a peasant, Sancho Panza, who serves him as a squire, sets forth in search of adventures. Don Quixote interprets all that he encounters in accordance with his readings and thus imagines himself to be living in a world quite different from the one familiar to the ordinary men he meets. Windmills are thus transformed into giants, and this illusion, together with many others, is the basis for the beatings and misadventures suffered by the intrepid hero. After the knight’s second sally in search of adventure, friends and neighbors in his village decide to force him to forget his wild fancy and to reintegrate himself into his former life. The “knight” insists upon following his calling, but at the end of the first part of the book they make him return to his home by means of a sly stratagem. In the second part the hidalgo leaves for the third time and alternately gives indication of folly and of wisdom in a dazzling array of artistic inventions. But now even his enemies force him to abandon his endeavors. Don Quixote finally recognizes that romances of chivalry are mere lying inventions, but upon recovering the clarity of his mind, he loses his life.

The idea that Don Quixote is a symbol of the noblest generosity, dedicated to the purpose of doing good disinterestedly, suggests the moral common denominator to be found in Cervantes’ creation. But in addition to furnishing a moral type capable of being recognized and accepted as a symbol of values in any time or place, Don Quixote is a work of art with as many aspects and reflections as it has readers to seek them. Considerations of general morality thus become intermingled with the psychological and aesthetic experience of each individual reader in a way that vastly stimulated the development of the literary genre later known as the novel, and Fielding, Dickens, Flaubert, Stendhal, Dostoyevsky, and many others have thus been inspired by Cervantes. In Madame Bovary, is Gustave Flaubert, for example, the heroine changes the orientation of her life because she, like Don Quixote, has read her romances of chivalry, the romantic novels of the nineteenth century.

Cervantes demonstrated to the Western world how poetry and fantasy could coexist with the experience of reality which is perceptible to the senses. He did this by presenting poetic reality, which previously had been confined to the ideal region of dream, as something experienced by a real person, and the dream thus became the reality of any man living his dream. Therefore, the trivial fact that a poor hidalgo loses his reason for one cause or another is of little importance. The innovation is that Don Quixote’s madness is converted into the theme of his life and into a theme for the life of other people, who are affected as much by the madness of the hidalgo as is he himself. Some want him to revert to his condition of a peaceful and sedentary hidalgo; others would like him to keep on amusing or stupefying people with his deeds, insane and wise at the same time.

Before Cervantes, literature was, as occasion offered, fantastic, idealistic, naturalistic, moralistic, or didactic. After his time, literature continued to exploit all these types, but with them it was inclined to incorporate, as well, some readers’ experience of them. Romances of chivalry could now attain a significance beyond that of mere books and could become what people felt or thought about them, thus growing to be the very dynamic functioning of living persons. In Don Quixote, for example, the hero takes them for the gospel; the priest believes them to be false; the innkeeper admires the tremendous blows delivered by the knights; his daughter is taken by the sentimental aspect of the love affairs which they describe; and so on. But the reality of the literary work is the ideal integration of all possible experience which all of the possible readers undergo. This point can be further illustrated by taking proverbs as an example. Before Don Quixote, many collections of sayings and proverbs had been published, but when Sancho interspersed these proverbs helter-skelter in his conversation and thus brought his master to despair, the proverbs became the living experiences which Sancho and Don Quixote derived from them. In this manner, everything in Don Quixote can be either real or ideal, either fantastic or possible, according to the manner in which it affects the variety of readers, whether they be creators of beautiful and comforting illusions or dispassionate demolishers of dreams. To live, for Cervantes, is to let loose the extensive capacity of all that is human; it may also be to remain deaf and inert before the attractions of love, faith, and enthusiasm. All who live in the human universe of the greatest book of Spanish literature succeed or destroy themselves, according to one of these opposing trends.

When compared with such a prodigious book, all of Cervantes’ works which have not previously been mentioned, no matter what their value, must be relegated to a lower level. Among his dramatic works, La Numancia, a description of the heroic defense of that Iberian city during the Roman conquest of Spain in the second century b.c., and the amusing Interludes, such as El Juez de los divorcios (“The Judge of Divorces”) and El Retablo de las maravillas (“The Picture of Marvels”), are outstanding. Also worth mentioning is the verse Voyage to Parnassus (1614), in which almost all of the Spanish writers of the period are lauded, and Persiles y Sigismunda, published posthumously in 1617. In this last-named work the author returns to the theme of the Byzantine novel and relates the ideal love and unbelievable vicissitudes of a couple who, starting from the Arctic regions, arrive in Rome, where they find a happy ending for their complicated adventures.

Don Quixote: Book Report

The novel opens by briefly describing Don Quixote and his fascination with chivalric stories. With his “wits gone”, Don Quixote decides to become a knight and ream the country side righting wrong and rescuing damsels in distress. He outfits himself in some old armor and professes his love and service to Aldonsa Lorenzo whom he refers to as Dulcinea Del Toboso. After a long hot ride on his horse he comes upon an inn which he thinks is a castle and the innkeeper whom he believes to be the king.

That evening Don begs the innkeeper to knight him and the innkeeper agrees to do so as self amusement. He tells Don that he must return to his village for money, clean shirts and other provisions. Don agrees but before he is knighted, he beats up two carriers who were attempting water their mules at the trough where Don has stowed his armor. This was such a commotion at the inn, that the deeper quickly smacks Don on the neck and he is knighted and sent back to his village. On the way back he encounters two adventures; a farmer whipping his servant and the other six merchants, from Toledo who refuse to agrees that Dulcinea is the fairest maiden in the world. Don then attacks them and serves a beating for his troubles.

A peasant passing by recognizes Quixote and loads him across his donkey. They head back to their village as Don wildly describes his mishaps. Don Quixote returns to his village where his met by his niece and housekeeper. While he is sleeping, his chivalric romance books are burned and the room is sealed off by well intentional friends and family. They believe that Don’s nonsense is caused by the devil’s work. Throughout the rest of the book, Friston is blamed for all the misconceptions. Don Quixote will experience. A knight-errant must have a squire, so he convinces his neighbor, Sancho Panza, to accompany him by promising to conquer an island and make him the governor.

So after convincing him, they head out and come upon thirty or forty windmills which Don thinks are the Giants. Sancho is unable to convince him otherwise and quixote attacks them, experiencing a bad fall. He blames Friston for turning them into windmills. Continuing along the highway, Don Quixote frightens a couple of priests and then looses part of his ear in a fight when he attempts to rescue a lady from a stagecoach. Don tells Sancho that he has a special recipe for a magic balsam that will instantly mend broken bones and other injuries and Sancho believes him. They pass a group of goatherds which have no idea what Quixote talks about and attend a funeral of a goatherder who died of unrequited love.

Sancho and Don are resting by a brook and nearby is a herd of Galacian penies. Rocinante tries to mate and the Yanguesans’ see their horses being attacked and beat Rocinante off. The knight and his squire see this and immediately attack. They are beaten badly and limp off, when they come across an Inn(castle). When day comes, Don makes up some magic balsam. Taking a dose, he vomits, falls asleep and wakes up feeling better. Sancho takes a larger dose and almost dies. They finally leave and continue their journey, as Don comes across a herd of sheep which he thinks are waring armies.

He charges the sheep, killing seven of them before he is stoned and hurt badly by the shephards. Again Friston is blamed for turning the army into sheep. That night a group of robed figures approach with torches and Don knocks one of them off his mule. It was a priest with a funeral procession. The priest takes off and leaves the corpse on the mule with provisions which Sancho eagerly takes. During that night they are frightened by a loud noise. In the morning they learn that is was harmless and Sancho begins laughing. Quixote is not amuse and smacks Sancho and he quickly shuts up. It starts to rain and Don sees a man with a helmet coming down the road.

Thinking he is a rival knight, he attacks. He actually attacks the local barber who has put a basin on his head due to the rain. Quixote takes the basin as his own and wears it proudly. Farther down the road he meets a file of chained criminals on their way to the king’s galleys. The guards allow him to spead with the criminals who convince him they are innocent. He urges the guards to release them, but they refuse. He suddenly overpowers one of the guards and the prisoners finish the job.

Before they leave Quixote asks them to go to Toboso and present themselves to Dulcinea. They turn on him with rocks and sticks, leaving Quixote and Sancho badly beaten. Sancho is worried that the Brotherhood Crusade police will be after them for freeing the galley slaves, so they go into the mountains of Sierra Morena. There they meet Cardenio who tells them how his fiance, Lucinda, was stolen from him by Don Fernando. Before the story was finished, Cardenio flees leaving Quixote curious to hear the rest.

The next part of the novel deals primarily with the efforts of the curate and barber to get Don Quixote to return home. They pursuade Sancho to lead them to Don, without telling them of their intentions. The curate and barber disguise themselves and once in the mountains come across Cardenio who finishes his story of unrequited love. On the way, they meet Dorothea, the daughter of a wealthy farmer. She had been courted by Don Fernando, but before he kept his pledge to marry her, he fell in love with Lucinda and left. She is in search for Don Quixote and in exchange for her pretending to be a damsel in distress for Don, he will help find them. They find Don and convince him to go back to the Inn, where they witness a puppet show. Don takes this show literally and smashes the puppets on stage to bits.

After Don destroys a room full of wine skins during a nightmare, the landlord demands restitution. A party of masked people ride up to the Inn. The leader is Don Fernando, who Dorothea recognizes and persuades him to return Lucinda to Cardenio. After a long discussion, the right man and woman are paired off, Cardenio and Fernando reconcile their differences.

A cannon does his best to pursuade Don to abandon his knight-errant ways. While out of his cage for lunch, Don confirms his madness by attacking a religious procession. He is knocked off Rocinante by a peasant and ends up in his cage again, sadder but not wiser. They arrive at the village and Sancho and his wife are reunited, she is more concerned with the ass, than Sancho. Quixote is attended to by his niece and housekeeper who take him home. For the third and last time Quixote sets out where he supposedly has his most glorious and final battle. Details of his death are sketchy but his tale is passed on in Castilean verse which is detailed in his many achievements. The noble Rocinante is described along with the devoted Sancho Panza.

Comments:

Don Quixote is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. I think all of us are familiar with Don Quixote attacking the windmills, but few of us have actually read the whole story. For some reason, I had no idea of how humorous this story actually was. I laughed out loud at situations that he got himself into. I particularly enjoyed when his well meaning family, sealed off his reading room. Poor Quixote, searching in vain for his beloved books. Sancho was always good for a laugh, especially when he would anger the so called knight-errant and get whacked in the head.

The story was easy to visualize, as I could just picture Don Quixote on Rocinante and Sancho following close behind on his mule. An outstanding literary masterpiece. It makes me wonder how Don Quixote lost his wits and decided to become a knight. Up until that point he seemed to lead a normal life of existence, with no signs of craziness. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Quixote. Throughout the story I was hoping he would accomplish his dreams of a chivalric lifestyle. I had to admire his convictions, when all around him people were calling him crazy.

Don Quixote De La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes

Type of Work:

Symbolic Spanish Novel

Setting

Spain; Seventeenth Century

Don Quixote: Characters
Don Quixote Main Characters

Story Overveiw

Alonso Quejana was an ordinary Spanish country gentleman, except in one particular: he was addicted to books of chivalry. He spent every moment engrossed in thick, meandering tomes filled with tales of knights and squires, magicians and giants, and beautiful ladies.

At last, he began to sell parts of his estate in order to buy even more books. Devotin whole days to reading them, Quejana allowed the estate to fall into neglect. Still he paid no notice, and continued to immerse himself in his romantic stories “until, finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”

And so, the poor man who had read so much about great knights of the past now came upon the idea of becoming a knight himself. He poked around his house and found a moldering suit of armor left by his great-grandfather, polished it up, and put it on. Other odd knickknacks, including a helmet visor hastily made of cardboard, added just the “right” touches to his armor; and though his attire looked ridiculous, Quejana imaged it to be the finest in the world.

Since every good knight needed a horse, Quejana went to his stables, where he found only his dilapidated old nag, its hide blemished and its hooves full of cracks. But fancying it a healthy, noble steed, he renamed it “Rocinante,” for “superlative Nag.”

A knight, as well as his mount, ought to have a dignified, sonorous name. And so’ Alonso Quejana determined henceforth to be known as Don Quixote de la Mancha, after his native village.

Finally, before roaming the world to right wrongs, Don Quixote chose his lady-love – a buxom country girl, Aldonza Lorenzo, famous for her skill at salting pork; and upon her he bestowed the title of Dulcinea del Toboso.

Decked out in his clattering armor and dreaming of fame, the Don wasted no time in mounting Rocinante and setting out in search of adventure. Early in his travels he happened upon an inn, which he imagined to be an enchanted castle. During his stay there, he persuaded the bewildered innkeeper to officially dub him a knight.

Meanwhile, back at Quixote’s home, two of the townsmen had learned of their friend’s strange departure. Blaming his foolishness on the books of chivalry, they conducted a rollicking inquisition, ordering dozens of the books to be burned. Then these men decided that they would pursue Quejana, bring him back to the village, and cure him of his madness.

Quixote, by this time, had already run into his first adventure: freeing a young boy from a flogging by his master.

Later, he challenged a party of puzzled travelers, engaging them in battle; but Rocinante tripped, sending Don Quixote to the ground. The travelers seized him and promptly beat him senseless. Quixote then returned home long enough to cajole a rotund, peasant farmer, Sancho Panza, into accompanying him as his squire.

With Sancho in tow on Dapple, a small ass, the duo fell into outrageous undertakings, usually springing from Don Quixote’s hallucinations. On the plains of La Mancha the pair spotted a cluster of huge windmills. Quixote instantly declared them to be giants, and, despite Sancho’s protests, charged on them with lowered lance. The great arms of a windmill caught the knight and his steed and sent them both rolling. Quixote blamed the disaster on the work of a magician, who must have changed the giants into windmills “in order to deprive me of the glory of overcoming them.”

Occasionally, though, the deluded Quixote came off the victor, as when he heroically broke up a band of innocent Biscayan travelers. He continually mistook the most common sights for exotic vistas. Once he insisted that a far-off herd of sheep was, in reality, an evil army, and launched an attack on the poor animals. This noble intervention only brought a volley of rocks from the angry shepherds whose sheep had been scattered.

The knight also charged a funeral procession (claiming that the pallbearers were devils carrying away a princess), forced himself to undergo a solitary penance in the mountains, and mistook a common barber’s basin for the magical Helmet of Mambrino. Knight and squire crossed paths with a variety of rural characters – goatherds, galley slaves, innkeepers, and others – all of whom had rambling stories to tell. Meeting such people, Don Quixote inevitably embarked on long-winded, fantastic dissertations, which his listeners found either hilarious or annoying. Amid these blunders and misadventures, poor Sancho tried in vain to deal out a little common sense to his headstrong master.

But alas, Quixote’s valiant exploits were soon to end. His two friends had located him and had enlisted the services of a young girl to pose as a damsel in distress to lure Don Quixote into their hands. The old knight, hungry and cold, was easily deceived; he was captured, placed in a cage, and hauled towards his village home. Along the way, his captors coaxed him to give up his preoccupation with chivalry, spelling out to him that the stories of knights were nothing but fanciful and vain fiction. “Do you mean to tell me they are but lies?” Quixote stormed in disbelief.

Arriving home, though welcomed by the villagers, Quejana could not be cured of his fantasies. He was, in fact, Don Quixote the knight. He remained tied up in bed most of the time, scheming his escape to resume his wanderings.

Sancho, for his part, found himself assailed by his enraged wife. How could he have spent so much time away and then come home not a penny richer than before? Following Don Quixote’s example, Sancho calmed her by insisting that he would one day, as a reward for his brave exploits, be made governor of an island and become immensely rich.

Don Quixote and Sancho one day learned from a student that a best-selling book had already been written about their deeds. Thus encouraged, the knight and his squire set out again, and encountered scores of new adventures as violent and as absurd as the first. Among the puppet-masters, apes, and other masquerading knights, they met a certain duke and duchess, who received the pair into their castle.

Amused by this buffoon, they pretended to believe Quixote was a real knight, while at the same time eagerly dispatching the credulous knight on a series of wild escapades.

With Don Quixote away on one such errand, the duke and duchess fulfilled Sancho’s dream of becoming a governor by granting him jurisdiction over a whole town. His governorship served the royalty with a good number of comic scenes.

Meanwhile, Don Quixote had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of a knight who had been so bold as to state that Dulcinea del Toboso was not the most beautiful of women. In consequence, the Don was forced to renounce his knighthood.

When he and faithful Sancho turned homeward a second time, the townspeople once more greeted them as returning heroes. But Don Quixote soon fell ill, and a physician’s visit revealed that he was dying.

Neighbors waited at his death-bed as Don Quixote slept for long stretches of time. When he finally awoke, however, all were surprised to find that his mind had somehow cleared; his insanity had vanished. In stirring language, Don Quixote renounced his books of chivalry, confessing “how foolish I was and the danger I courted in reading them; but I am in my right sense now and I abominate them.” Then, in a pathetic moment, he begged forgiveness of Sancho for the delusions he had inspired. Sancho beseeched his master not to die and encouraged him by reminding him of Dulcinea. But Don Quixote no longer believed in the fantasy, and insisted, “I was mad and now I am sane; I was Don Quixote de la Manclia, and now I am, as I have said, Alonso Quejana the Good.” After dictating a will, he died.

The novel’s closing lines sadly denounce the dreams of Don Quixote: “… Those false and nonsensical stories … are already tottering and without a doubt are doomed to fall.”

Commentary

It is surprising that Don Quixote should have come to be regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, since Cervantes originally intended it to be little more than a hasty parody of the sort of popular romantic book of chivalry of his time – and a quick money-maker. The book did make money, too: it became a best-seller throughout Europe.

Over the years, the general interpretation of the novel has almost reversed. It is now regarded, not as crude, slapstick humor, but rather, as a warm, human tale, depicting the conflict between noble idealism and brute, unfeeling practicality. The foolish knight, once seen as the butt of all the other characters’ jokes, is now perceived as a symbol of noble though impractical idealism, and has given the adjective”quixotic” to the English language.

In any case, it is hard not to sympathize with Don Quixote, despite his misconceptions. His devotion to high ideals in a world filled with scheming and base men is admirable. In fact, Quixote sometimes seems to be the only sane man in an insane society. Certainly lie wins the reader over with his sincerity.

Sancho, too, despite his coarseness, is endearingly innocent. Bit by bit he becomes more and more like his master, until, by the end of the novel, he has become almost an heir to Don Quixote’s purity and idealism.

The book is so full of events, meanderings, digressions, legends, conversations, and adventures, that a patient reader will never find his interest exhausted.

Don Quixote: The Misadventures of a Lunatic

In medieval times, knight-errants roamed the countryside of Europe, rescuing damsels and vanquishing evil lords and enchanters. This may sound absurd to many people in this time, but what if a person read so many books about these so-called knight-errants that he could not determine the real from that which was read? Such is the case in The Adventures of Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes which takes place probably some time in the fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries. Don Quixote, formerly Quixana, was not really a don at all. He was a wealthy, intelligent farmer who read too many books about knight-errantry and went crazy. He convinced a simple-minded peasant named Sancho to become his squire, promising him wealth and a high spot in society. This book consists of many adventures these two had, both were convinced that they were doing brave and honorable acts of chivalry, when they were only two fools running around the countryside.

Cervantes tries to make his book more interesting with the use of point of view. Don Quixote sees what his mind and imagination create, not that which is transferred through the optic nerves in a very clean-cut scientific manner. He retreats to a world that holds meaning for him. When he first departs, he stops at an inn and his eyes make it a beautiful castle with blushing maids and noble sirs. The wench Aldonza is turned into Dulcinea, his one true love, who he swears by in his battles and contemplates when he is idle. Another example of his point-of-view is the famous windmill incident. Quixote sees “‘thirty monstrous giants… with… long arms… the length of two leagues.'” such is the demented mind of Don Quixote. He went down into a legendary pit to behold its wonders. Once inside, he convinced himself he saw a transparent castle and that the people there were kept alive hundreds of years by Merlin’s magic when he seemed to only dream it.

Another way Cervantes uses point-of-view to let the reader know that Quixote has little grasp of reality. I will refer back to the windmills because that is the clearest example: Sancho tried to tell Quixote that the giants were only windmills, but he didn’t listen and Sancho couldn’t fathom that his master was mad, so he shuts the incident out of his mind, displaying some of the madness of Don Quixote in our supposedly sane squire. When Quixote does something unreasonable, Sancho despises the fact that his master might be mad and accepts some of the lunacy to make his job easier. When Quixote starts to die and loses the madness, Sancho perspective changes and regards Quixote more with pity than with his former respect.

The Adventures of Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes is a long piece that will give you a different perspective on madness and the curing of it. I would recommend this book to someone who relishes long descriptions and speeches full of double-talk. This is not a work of literature for those who like to read a book quickly for I can’t see someone just skimming through Don Quixote. To put it bluntly, this book wasn’t worth the trouble it caused during the Spanish Inquisition. The madness put Quixote’s life in danger, but it was the cure that killed him

The Fantasies of Don Quixote

Don Quixote lived in a fantasy world of chivalry. Chivalry had negative and positive effects on the lives of the people. Don Quixote emphasizes a cross-section of Spanish life, thought, and feeling at the end of chivalry. Don Quixote has been called the best novel in the world, and it cannot be compared to any other novel. Don Quixote has been described as “that genial and just judge of imposture, folly, vanity, affectation, and insincerity; that tragic picture of the brave man born out of his time, too proud and too just to be of use in his age” (Putnam, 15).

The novel has been translated by different people, but it has been said that Shelton’s translation has a charm that no modern translation has because he belonged to the same generation as Cervantes the author of Don Quixote. He could see things as Cervantes saw them. Cervantes’ life had influence on Don Quixote. He could look back on his ancestry of genuine knights-errant. He had a strong feeling on the subject of the sham or false chivalry of the romances. Cervantes says, “any point of view affords only partial insights, even a man’s judgment of his own John Ormsby, in his translation, states that to speak of Don Quixote as it were just a humorous book would be a misdeception.

Cervantes at times makes it a kind of commonplace book for observations and reflections and gathered wisdom of a long and stirring life. According to Ormsby, it is a mine of shrewd observations 2 on mankind and human nature. “Perhaps,” Cervantes said, “more people would be better people if they were able to recognize the knights within them” (Church, 6). It has been said that the humor of Don Quixote is what distinguishes it from All other books of romance. This is what makes it “the best novel in the world.” It is Don Quixote was a Spanish knight about fifty years old. His real name was Alonso Quijano.

He lived in the village of La Mancha with his neice, his house- keeper, and a handy man. He gave up hunting and taking care of his estate to satisfy his passion of reading books of chivalry. He had a large collection of romances of chivalry and in the end they turned his brain. His mind became weak from his reading his many romances of chivalry (Samuel, 57). His mind became stuffed with fantasy accounts of tournaments, knightly quests, damsels or women in distress, and strange enchantments (Grossvogel, 89). His high spirit and his courage never failed him, but his illusions led him into trouble. Warddropper says, “Don Quixote’s madness is not the result of unrequited passion.

It is the result of reading too many books of chivalry. He is a knight gone mad from a platonic love” (Warddropper, One day he decided to imitate the heroes of the books he had read and to revive the ancient custom of knight-erranty. Don believed that he had been called to become a knight-errant (Putnam, 63). Nothing would satisfy him but that he must ride abroad on his old horse, armed with spear and helmet, a knight-errant, to encounter all adventures, and to redress the innumeral wrongs of the world. The 3 people laughed at Don Quixote and his insane ideals of knighthood. Don made preparation to put his plan into effect. “So many things were wrong that were to be righted, the grievances to be redressed, the abuses to be done away with, and the duties to be performed” (Church, 64).

He changed his name to Don Quixote de la Mancha and decided to roam the world righting wrongs (Church, He was determined to dress himself in rusty armor, a cardboard helmet and become a knight-errant (Putnam, 70). Knights were chivalrous and brave. No man could be a knight unless it was bestowed upon him. Knights were true and loyal to their countries, their ladies and to themselves. The morals of a knight were to be respected and noted. Knights were protectors and held in high acclaim.

Knights no longer existed, however, the adoration of knighthood was not unlikely. Don’s fascination and obsession with knighthood is not without merit. Don Quixote’s view of knighthood, realistic or not, of knighthood was based upon such reasoning. He rode a bony horse named Rosinante. He persuaded a neighbor of his, a poor and ignorant peasant called Sancho Panza to be his squire ( Jarvis, 82). He believed in Don’s fantasies. “Sancho is a symbol of the common man of the Renaissance who is discovering himself and his rights and has begun to assert himself but still continues to look to the nobility for protection” (Church, 15).

Sancho is not as intelligent as Don Quixote. Church states, “Through his suffering as a tortoise and in the pit, Sancho has learned his rightful identity, whereas Don Quixote has emerged from his cave even more deeply entangled in his fantasies of 4 Without informing any one of his intentions, Don rode out of town. He saw how easily he had made a beginning toward the fulfillment of his desire (Church, 64). Don saw in the mirror what the wanted to see based on the romances he loved. He mistook inns for enchanted castles, windmills for giants, and prostitutes for respectable women. Because of his fantasies, Don was ridiculed and beaten.

People laughed at him. He got into trouble when he showed a group of men he had met the picture of his fair lady Dulcinea of Toboso. They called Dulcinea ugly. Don became so angry that he fell from his horse. He could not get up because of the weight of his armor. What is sad about this is that Dulcinea, his lady love, did not want Don. She believed that he was insane. Sancho also thought that Don was not in control of himself. At times Sancho would try to help Don, but Don would not listen. Sancho stayed with Don because he wanted to govern his own island one day.

You While Don and Sancho were in Barcelona, a man came to Barcelona who was called a Knight of the White Moon, he was really a student they had met. “The white moon is a symbol of winter and death in contrast to a yellow harvest moon; the moon also symbolizes lunacy to which Don Quixote has fallen prey and which will at last defeat him” (Grossvogel, 295). The student was a part of the plan to get Don to go home. The student was claiming to be a knight, and he wanted to fight Don Quixote.

He and Don had already fought once and Don Quixote beat him. He challenged Don to a second duel and claimed victory over Don Quixote. The 5 knight did not want to kill Don Quixote, instead, he made a bargain with Don Quixote (Van Doren, 253). The bargain was that Don Quixote was sentenced to go home. The bargain included that Don would return home for a year without Don went home determined to follow a pastoral shepherd life. He became ill, and his health began to weaken. Before he died, he renounced as nonsense the idea of knight-errantry. Don Quixote died after he had regained his senses. “I was mad, but I am sane now” (Jarvis, 279). He did not realize that he had been a great man of Don Quixote is not a story about an insane man who had crazy, impossible dreams and followed them. He set out to conqueror his dreams, and he fulfilled his