Don Quixote Summary – Spanish Novel by Miguel de Cervantes

Before starting Don Quixote Summary, let’s discuss the Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes, who was born in September 29, 1547 and died April 22, 1616. He was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language. His famous novel Don Quixote translated into over 140 languages. Don Quixote novel was published in two parts 1605 and 1615.

Don Quixote Summary

In the early seventeenth century, in a little village in the region of La Mancha, Spain, an aging wealthy man Alonso Quixano finds himself bored. Its very much enjoys cervantes don quixote story about knights and fair ladies and adventures and dangerous encounters, but mere books are not enough. He gives himself the title of Don Quixote (“Sir Quixote”). He searches out an old suit of armor which belonged to his great-grandfather, and makes a helmet out of an old metal hat covered in wood. His only horse is as aged and slow as he is, but to him the animal is a splendid charger and he names it Rocinante.

And he chooses a lady to love and fight for from afar. She is a peasant woman named Aldonza from the nearby town of Toboso. Don Quixote has only heard of her and never actually seen her, but he calls her by the noble name of Dulcinea del Toboso and is certain she is beautiful and worth fighting for. All that remains are for someone to officially dub him a knight. On the evening of the first day, Don Quixote rides past an ordinary inn. To him it is a castle with fine ladies and magnificent feasts.

But the next morning, when the innkeeper expects him to pay for his room and his food and his horse’s care, Don Quixote is incensed. In the many stories he has read, knights never pay for anything! He soon begins fighting and trading insults with everyone who passes by. To get him to leave, the innkeeper makes a great show of blessing Don Quixote as a knight and encouraging him to just ride away. Which he does – without paying.

Don Quixote Summary

Next, Don Quixote makes a man stop beating his servant boy. But the moment Don Quixote leaves, the man is even angrier than before and takes it out on the servant boy. The noble efforts have only made matters worse. When Don Quixote believes that a caravan of merchants has insulted Dulcinea, he tries to fight them. But poor Rocinante falls down under the strain and Don Quixote is unable to get up again in his clumsy armor. The merchants beat him and leave him injured, but he accepts the pain as part of being a chivalrous hero. This incident proves to Don Quixote that a knight needs a squire to assist him.

He chooses Sancho Panza, a short, heavy peasant man. Sacho rides his beloved donkey, Dapple, and both of them are sturdy, honest, and hardworking. The man goes along for the journey primarily because Don Quixote is wealthy and Sancho is glad for the work. Sancho is simple and practical where Don Quixote is complex and fanciful. Sancho even tells his master that Aldonza is not really beautiful at all, but simply a very ordinary, thick, strong peasant girl. Yet Don Quixote only thinks of her as his lovely and delicate princess, Dulcinea. The two of them set out together.

Don Quixote Summary – Attacks Windmills

One of their first adventures involves Don Quixote trying to attack a field of windmills, thinking they are enchanted giants. He is injured again but unfazed, and they continue on their way. As they travel the countryside, Sancho eventually gets caught up in Don Quixote’s fantasy and hopes he really will reward his faithful squire with his own governorship of an island, as promised. In the course of the story, Don Quixote and Sancho have many fanciful and sometimes dangerous adventures. It becomes clear that Don Quixote is driven entirely by fantasy, since he claims that he does everything for Dulcinea even though she is never seen in the story and does not really exist.

There are some who try to cure Don Quixote’s obsession and devise schemes to get him home, but the stories have a very strong hold ever him. In modern terms, it’s as though he were addicted to the fantasy and cannot break free of it. Finally Don Quixote battles a man who calls himself the knight of the White Moon.

Don Quixote Summary – Knight of the White Moon

The knight goads him to fight by saying that his own lady is more beautiful than Dulcinea – but if the Knight wins, Don Quixote will have to go back and stop adventuring for at least a year. Don Quixote accepts the challenge, of course, but is easily defeated by the Knight and has no choice now but keep his word and go back home. His days of adventuring and being a chivalrous hero have come to an end. Don Quixote, feeling increasingly weak and tired after the long adventures, finally returns home with Sancho.

Don Quixote is ready to give up on the danger and strain of being a knight and speaks of becoming a shepherd instead. But his family believes this sort of life would be just as much of a hardship at his age, and they beg him to stay at home instead. To their surprise, he agrees, and takes to his bed. Soon he is very ill with what some think is a broken heart from the defeats he suffered while adventuring.

Don Quixote then stated that he regrets the fantasy life he has led and it was all a waste of time. He asks Sancho to forgive him for leading him on such a pointless escapade, and then he is dead. He never once saw Aldonza/Dulcinea, though she is the one who drove nearly all of his adventures. Yet after his death, several villages compere to be known as Don Quixote’s hometown and seem rather proud to have been associated with perhaps the greatest fantasy adventurer of all time.

Adventures of Don Quixote Characters

Sancho Panza, Clavileño, Antonia Quijana, Alonso Quijano, Ginés de Pasamonte, Captain Ahab, Dulcinea del Toboso, Ricote (Don Quixote), Rocinante, Cardenio.

10 Don Quixote Quotes

1. Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.

2. The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

3. There is no book so bad…that it does not have something good in it.

4. There were no embraces, because where there is great love there is often little display of it.

5. Hunger is the best sauce in the world.

6. For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.

7. Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good.

8. What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman’s mind?

9. Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.

10. A tooth is much more to be prized than a diamond.

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