Don Quixote: Wikis


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Don Quixote  
Monumento a Cervantes (Madrid) 10.jpg
Bronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, at the Plaza de España in Madrid
Author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Original title El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha
Language Spanish
Genre(s) Picaresco, Satire, Parody, Farce, Psychological novel
Publisher Juan de la Cuesta

Don Quixote (Spanish: About this sound Don Quijote ; English: /ˌdɒn kiːˈhoʊtiː/, see spelling and pronunciation below), fully titled The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha (Spanish: El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha), is a novel written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. Cervantes created a fictional origin for the story by creating a fictional Moorish chronicler for Don Quixote named Cide Hamete Benengeli. Published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published.[1]


Literary attributes

Don Quijote by Honoré Daumier (1868)

The novel's structure is in episodic form. It is written in the picaresco style of the late sixteenth century. The full title is indicative of the tale's object, as ingenioso (Spanish) means "to be quick with inventiveness".[2] Although the novel is farcical on the surface, the second half is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception. Quixote has served as an important thematic source not only in literature but in much of art and music, inspiring works by Pablo Picasso and Richard Strauss. The contrasts between the tall, thin, fancy-struck, and idealistic Quixote and the fat, squat, world-weary Panza is a motif echoed ever since the book’s publication, and Don Quixote's imaginings are the butt of outrageous and cruel practical jokes in the novel. Even faithful and simple Sancho is unintentionally forced to deceive him at certain points. The novel is considered a satire of orthodoxy, truth, veracity, and even nationalism. In going beyond mere storytelling to exploring the individualism of his characters, Cervantes helped move beyond the narrow literary conventions of the chivalric romance literature that he spoofed, which consists of straightforward retelling of a series of acts that redound to the knightly virtues of the hero.

Farce makes use of punning and similar verbal playfulness. Character-naming in Don Quixote makes ample figural use of contradiction, inversion, and irony, such as the names Rocinante[3] (a reversal) and Dulcinea (an allusion to illusion), and the word quixote itself, possibly a pun on quijada (jaw) but certainly cuixot (Catalan: thighs), a reference to a horse's rump.[4] As a military term, the word quijote refers to cuisses, part of a full suit of plate armour protecting the thighs. The Spanish suffix -ote denotes the superlative—for example, grande means large, but grandote means extra large. Following this example, Quixote would suggest 'The Great Quijano', a play on words that makes much sense in light of the character's delusions of grandeur.

The world of ordinary people, from shepherds to tavern-owners and inn-keepers, which figures in Don Quixote, was groundbreaking. The character of Don Quixote became so well-known in its time that the word quixotic was quickly calqued into many languages. Characters such as Sancho Panza and Don Quixote’s steed, Rocinante, are emblems of Western literary culture. The phrase "tilting at windmills" to describe an act of attacking imaginary enemies derives from an iconic scene in the book.

Because of its widespread influence, Don Quixote also helped cement the modern Spanish language. The opening sentence of the book created a classic Spanish cliché with the phrase de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, "whose name I do not care to recall."

En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que vivía un hidalgo de los de lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, rocín flaco y galgo corredor.

[Translation] In a village in La Mancha, whose name I do not care to recall, there lived, not very long ago, one of those gentlemen who keep a lance in the lance-rack, an ancient shield, a skinny old horse, and a fast greyhound.

Plot summary

Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes their every word to be true, despite the fact that many of the events in them are clearly impossible. Quixano eventually appears to other people to have lost his mind from little sleep and food and because of so much reading.


First quest

Gustave Doré: Don Quixote of La Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863

He decides to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armor, renames himself "Don Quixote de la Mancha," and names his skinny horse "Rocinante." He designates a neighboring farm girl, Aldonza Lorenzo, as his lady love, renaming her Dulcinea del Toboso, while she knows nothing about this.

He sets out in the early morning and ends up at an inn, which he believes to be a castle. He asks the innkeeper, who he thinks to be the lord of the castle, to dub him a knight. He spends the night holding vigil over his armor, where he becomes involved in a fight with muleteers who try to remove his armor from the horse trough so that they can water their mules. The innkeeper then "dubs" him a knight, and sends him on his way. Don Quixote battles with traders from Toledo, who "insult" the imaginary Dulcinea, and he also frees a young boy who is tied to a tree by his master because the boy had the audacity to ask his master for the wages the boy had earned but had not yet been paid. Don Quixote is returned to his home by a neighboring peasant, Pedro Crespo.[5]

Second quest

Don Quixote plots an escape. Meanwhile, his niece, the housekeeper, the parish curate, and the local barber secretly burn most of the books of chivalry, and seal up his library pretending that a magician has carried it off. Don Quixote approaches another neighbor, Sancho Panza, and asks him to be his squire, promising him governorship of an island. The dull-witted Sancho agrees, and the pair sneak off in the early dawn. It is here that their series of famous adventures begin, starting with Don Quixote's attack on windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants.

In the course of their travels, the protagonists meet innkeepers, prostitutes, goatherds, soldiers, priests, escaped convicts, and scorned lovers. These encounters are magnified by Don Quixote’s imagination into chivalrous quests. The Don’s tendency to intervene violently in matters which don’t concern him, and his habit of not paying his debts, result in many privations, injuries, and humiliations (with Sancho often getting the worst of it). Finally, Don Quixote is persuaded to return to his home village. The author hints that there was a third quest, but says that records of it have been lost.

Part Two

Although the two parts are now normally published as a single work, Don Quixote, Part Two was actually a sequel published ten years after the original novel. The Don and Sancho are now assumed to be famous throughout the land because of the adventures recounted in Part One. While Part One was mostly farcical, the second half is more serious and philosophical about the theme of deception. Don Quixote's imaginings are made the butt of outrageously cruel practical jokes carried out by wealthy patrons. Even Sancho is unintentionally forced to deceive him at one point. Trapped into finding Dulcinea, Sancho brings back three dirty and ragged peasant girls, and tells Quixote that they are Dulcinea and her ladies-in-waiting. When Don Quixote only sees the peasant girls, Sancho pretends that Quixote suffers from a cruel spell which does not permit him to see the truth. Sancho eventually gets his imaginary island governorship and unexpectedly proves to be wise and practical; though this, too, ends in disaster.


Don Quixote, his horse Rocinante and his squire Sancho Panza after an unsuccessful attack on a windmill. By Gustave Doré

The cruel practical jokes eventually lead Don Quixote to a great melancholy. The novel ends with Don Quixote regaining his full sanity, and renouncing all chivalry. But, the melancholy remains, and grows worse. Sancho tries to restore his quixotic faith, but his attempt to resurrect Alonso's quixotic alter-ego fails, and Alonso Quixano dies, sane and broken.

Other stories

Both parts of Don Quixote contain a number of stories which do not directly involve the two main characters, but which are narrated by some of the picaresque figures encountered by the Don and Sancho during their travels. One of the most famous, known as "The Curious Impertinent," is found in Part One, Book Three. This story, read to a group of travelers at an inn, tells of a Florentine nobleman, Anselmo, who becomes obsessed with testing his wife's fidelity, and talks his close friend Lothario into attempting to seduce her, with disastrous results for all.

Several abridged editions have been published which delete some or all of the extra tales in order to concentrate on the central narrative.[6]

Writing and publication

Cervantes' sources

Tirant lo Blanch

Sources for Don Quixote include the Valencian novel Tirant lo Blanch, one of the first chivalric epics, which Cervantes describes in Chapter VI of Quixote as "the best book in the world." The scene of the book burning gives us an excellent list of Cervantes's likes and dislikes about literature.

Orlando furioso

Cervantes makes a number of references to the Italian poem Orlando furioso. In chapter 10 of the first part of the novel, Don Quixote says he must take the magical helmet of Mambrino, an episode from Canto I of Orlando, and itself a reference to Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando innamorato.[7] The interpolated story in chapter 33 of Part four of the First Part is a retelling of a tale from Canto 43 of Orlando, regarding a man who tests the fidelity of his wife.[8]


Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605), original title page

In July of 1604 Cervantes sold the rights of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha (known as Don Quixote, Part I) to the publisher-bookseller Francisco de Robles for an unknown sum. License to publish was granted in September, the printing was finished in December, and the book came out in January 1605.[9] The novel was an immediate success. Most of the 400 copies of the first edition were sent to the New World, with the publisher hoping to make a better price in the Americas [10]. Although most of them disappeared in a shipwreck near La Havana, approximately 70 copies reached Lima, from where they were sent to Cuzco in the heart of the defunct Inca Empire [10].

There is some evidence of its contents having been known before publication to, among others, Lope de Vega. There is also a tradition that Cervantes reread some portions of his work to a select audience at the court of the Duke of Bejar, which may have helped in making the book known. Don Quixote, Part One remained in Cervantes' hands for some time before he could find a willing publisher.[11] The compositors at Juan de la Cuesta's press in Madrid are now known to have been responsible for errors in the text, many of which were attributed to the author.[citation needed]

No sooner was it in the hands of the public than preparations were made to issue derivative ("pirated") editions. "Don Quixote" had been growing in favour, and its author's name was now known beyond the Pyrenees. By August 1605 there were two Madrid editions, two published in Lisbon, and one in Valencia. A second edition with additional copyrights for Aragon and Portugal, which publisher Francisco de Robles secured.[12] Sale of these publishing rights deprived Cervantes of further financial profit on Part One. In 1607, an edition was printed in Brussels. Robles, the Madrid publisher, found it necessary to meet demand with a third edition, a seventh publication in all, in 1608. Popularity of the book in Italy was such that a Milan bookseller issued an Italian edition in 1610. Yet another Brussels edition was called for in 1611.[9]

In 1613, Cervantes published the Novelas Ejemplares, dedicated to the Maecenas of the day, the Conde de Lemos. Eight and a half years after Part One had appeared, we get the first hint of a forthcoming Segunda Parte (Part Two). "You shall see shortly," Cervantes says, "the further exploits of Don Quixote and humours of Sancho Panza."[13] Don Quixote, Part Two, published by the same press as its predecessor, appeared late in 1615, and quickly reprinted in Brussels and Valencia (1616) and Lisbon (1617). Part two capitalizes on the potential of the first while developing and diversifying the material without sacrificing familiarity. Many people agree that it is richer and more profound. Parts One and Two were published as one edition in Barcelona in 1617.

Some theories exist that question whether Cervantes alone wrote Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes raises an intriguing possibility that, "Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written and it is said that he dies on the same date, though not on the same day, as William Shakespeare. It is further stated that perhaps both were the same man."[14]

Spurious Avellaneda Segunda Parte

It is not certain when Cervantes began writing Part Two of Don Quixote, but he had probably not gotten much further than Chapter LIX by late July of 1614. About September, however, a spurious Part Two, entitled "Second Volume of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha: by the Licenciado (doctorate) Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda, of Tordesillas", was published in Tarragona by an unidentified Aragonese who was an admirer of Lope de Vega, rival of Cervantes.[15] Avellaneda's identity has been the subject of many theories, but there is no consensus as to who he was. In its prologue, the author gratuitously insulted Cervantes, who not surprisingly took offense and responded; the last half of Chapter LIX and most of the following chapters of Cervantes' Segunda Parte lend some insight into the effects upon him.[12] Many scholars agree that this second book is of considerable literary merit.[16] However, in his introduction to The Portable Cervantes, Samuel Putnam, a noted translator of Cervantes' novel, calls Avellaneda's version "one of the most disgraceful performances in history".[citation needed]

The second part of Cervantes' Don Quixote, finished as a direct result of the Avellaneda book, has come to be regarded by some literary critics as superior to the first part, because of its greater depth of characterization, its discussions, mostly between Quixote and Sancho, on diverse subjects, and its philosophical insights.

Editions in translation

There are many translations of the book, and it has been adapted many times in shortened versions. Many derivative editions were also being written at the time, as was the custom of envious or unscrupulous writers. Seven years after the Parte Primera appeared, Don Quixote had been translated into French, German, Italian, and English . (first French translation of 'Part II' (1618), first English translation (1620).) One abridged adaptation is authored by Agustín Sánchez, which runs slightly over 150 pages, cutting away about 750 pages.[17]

The elusive Thomas Shelton's English translation of the First Part appeared in 1612. Some claim Shelton was actually a friend of Cervantes, although there is no credible evidence to support this claim. Although Shelton's version has been a cherished translation, according to John Ormsby and Samuel Putnam respectively, it was far from satisfactory as a carrying over of Cervantes's text.[12] Shelton's translation of the novel's Second Part appeared in 1620.

Near the end of the 17th century, John Phillips, a nephew of poet John Milton, published what is considered by Putnam the worst English translated version. The translation, as literary critics claim, was not based on Cervantes' text but mostly upon a French work by Filleau de Saint-Martin and upon notes which Thomas Shelton had written previously. Around 1700, a version by Pierre Antoine Motteux appeared. As stated by translator John Ormsby, this version was "worse than worthless". The prevailing slapstick quality of this work, especially where Sancho Panza is involved, the obtrusion of the obscene where it is found in the original, and the slurring of difficulties through omissions or expanding upon the text all made the Motteux version irresponsible. In 1742, the Charles Jervas translation appeared, posthumously. Through a printer's error, it came to be known, and is still known, as "the Jarvis translation". The most scholarly and accurate English translation of the novel up to that time, it has been criticized by some as being too stiff. Nevertheless, it became the most frequently reprinted translation of the novel until about 1885. Another 18th century translation into English was that of Tobias Smollett, himself a novelist. Like the Jarvis translation, it continues to be reprinted today.

Most modern translators take as their model the 1885 translation by John Ormsby. It is said that his translation was the most honest of all translations, without expansions upon the text or changing of the proverbs. The most widely read English-language translations of the mid-20th century are by Samuel Putnam (1949), J. M. Cohen (1950; Penguin Classics), and Walter Starkie (1957). The last English translation of the novel in the 20th century was by Burton Raffel, published in 1996. The 21st century has already seen two new translations of the novel into English—by John Rutherford, and by Edith Grossman. One New York Times reviewer called Grossman's translation a "major literary achievement"[18] and another called it the "most transparent and least impeded among more than a dozen English translations going back to the 17th century."[19]

In 2005, the year of the novel's 400th anniversary, Tom Lathrop published a new translation of the novel, based on a lifetime of specialized study of the novel and its history. However, it attracted little attention, especially in comparison to Grossman's work. This edition featured comic book-style illustrations and extensive explanatory notes.

The novel was also directly translated from Spanish to Tagalog by Filipino writer Teodoro E. Gener in the early 1930s.[20][21]

Cultural legacy

Spanish commemorative 2€ coin of 2005

Don Quixote is often nominated as one of the world's greatest works of fiction.[1] Don Quixote's importance in literature has produced a large and varied cultural and artistic legacy. Many artists have drawn inspiration either directly or indirectly from Cervantes' work, including the painter Honoré Daumier, the composers Richard Strauss and Gara Garayev, novelists Henry Fielding, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, Milan Kundera, John Kennedy Toole, and Giannina Braschi, and the filmmaker Terry Gilliam.

Sancho Panza bronze statue listening to Don Quixote (right) at the front Cervantes's natal house

The cultural legacy of Don Quixote is one of the richest and most varied of any work of fiction ever produced. It stands in a unique position between medieval chivalric romance and the modern novel. The former consist of disconnected stories with little exploration of the inner life of even the main character. The latter are usually focused on the psychological evolution of their characters. In Part I, Quixote imposes himself on his environment. By Part II, people know about him through "having read his adventures," and so, he needs to do less to maintain his image. By his deathbed, he has regained his sanity, and is once more "Alonso Quixano the Good".

The novel contains many minor literary "firsts" for European literature—a woman complaining of her menopause, someone with an eating disorder, and the psychological revealing of their troubles as something inner to themselves.

Subtle touches regarding perspective are everywhere: characters talk about a woman who is the cause of the death of a suitor, portraying her as evil, but when she comes on stage, she gives a different perspective entirely that makes Quixote (and thus the reader) defend her. When Quixote descends into a cave, Cervantes admits that he does not know what went on there.

Quixote's adventures tend to involve situations in which he attempts to apply a knight's sure, simple morality to situations in which much more complex issues are at hand. For example, upon seeing a band of galley slaves being mistreated by their guards, he believes their cries of innocence and attacks the guards. After they are freed, he demands that they honor his lady Dulcinea, but instead they pelt him with stones and leave.

Different ages have tended to read different things into the novel. When it was first published, it was usually interpreted as a comic novel. After the French Revolution it was popular in part due to its central ethic that individuals can be right while society is quite wrong and seen as disenchanting—not comic at all. In the 19th century it was seen as a social commentary, but no one could easily tell "whose side Cervantes was on." By the 20th century it had come to occupy a canonical space as one of the foundations of modern literature.

The novel was recently voted The Greatest Book of All Time by the Nobel Institute.

The novel is also responsible for the adjective quixotic, which is behavior that is noble in an absurd way, or the desire to perform acts of chivalry in a radically impractical manner.

Influences upon literature and literary theory

Don Quixote by Salvador Dalí

The novel's landmark status in literary history has meant it has had a rich and varied influence over later writers, from Cervantes' own lifetime to the present-day. Some leading examples of Don Quixote's influence include:

  • Cardenio, a lost play attributed to Cervantes's contemporary William Shakespeare. Itself the source of later plays, it is assumed to be based on one of the interpolated novels.
  • Joseph Andrews (1742) by Henry Fielding notes on the title page that it is "written in Imitation of the Manner of Cervantes, Author of Don Quixote".
  • The Female Quixote (1752), a novel by Charlotte Lennox in which a young woman's reading of romances leads her to misinterpret the world around her.
  • The Three Musketeers (1844) by Alexandre Dumas, père, compares its protagonist, D'Artagnan, to Don Quixote on a number of occasions.
  • Tristram Shandy (1759–67) by Laurence Sterne is rife with references, including Slawkenbergius' Tale and Parson Yorick's horse, Rocinante.
  • The Spiritual Quixote (1773) by Richard Graves is a satire on Methodism.
  • Don Chisciotti e Sanciu Panza (1785–1787) by Giovanni Meli (1740–1815) is a Sicilian parody of Don Quixote.
  • The Pickwick Papers (1837), by Charles Dickens. The characters of Samuel Pickwick and Sam Weller, who roam London and get into all sorts of comic predicaments, are often compared to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, although in this case, "Quixote" is the short, plump one, and "Sancho" is the tall, thin one.
  • Madame Bovary (1856) by Flaubert was heavily influenced by Don Quixote. [22]
  • Prince Myshkin, the title character of Dostoyevsky's novel The Idiot (1869) was explicitly modeled on Don Quixote.[23]
  • Tom Sawyer in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain seems to go to ridiculous and redundant lengths for his plans. He doesn't seem to realize that Quixote was delusional.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac shows stereotypically quixotic behaviour in Edmond Rostand's 1897 play. At one point Ragueneau the pastry-cook asks Cyrano if he has read "Don Quixote", to which Cyrano replies, "I've practically lived it".
  • The Return of Don Quixote (1927) by G. K. Chesterton tells the tale of the librarian Michael Herne, who, after performing as the lead actor in a medieval theater play, finds reality unacceptable and decides to roam the country in the fashion of Don Quixote.
  • "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" (1939) by Jorge Luis Borges is an essay about a (fictional) 20th century writer who re-authors Don Quixote. "The text of Cervantes and that of Menard are verbally identical, but the second is almost infinitely richer." Borges' story is also well known as a central metaphor in John Barth's famous essay "The Literature of Exhaustion".
  • Don Quixote appears as a character in Tennessee Williams's Camino Real (1953).
  • The Art of the Novel (1960) by Milan Kundera extensively references and extols Cervantes and Don Quixote as the first, and perhaps best, novel. Kundera writes of himself and, indeed, all other European novelists, being in homage to Cervantes.
  • Rocinante was the name Steinbeck gave his converted truck in his 1960 travelogue Travels with Charley.
  • A Confederacy of Dunces (1980) by John Kennedy Toole. The main character, Ignatius, is considered a modern-day Quixote.[citation needed]
  • Monsignor Quixote (1982) by Graham Greene. Monsignor Quixote is said to be a descendant of Don Quixote.
  • Don Quixote: Which Was a Dream (1986), also known as Don Quixote: a Novel by Kathy Acker, is a work of cyber-punk, post-feminist fiction that revisits the themes of the original text to highlight contemporary issues.
  • The Moor's Last Sigh (1995) by Salman Rushdie, with its central themes of the world being remade and reinterpreted, clearly draws enormous inspiration from Cervantes, with names and characters drawn from the earlier work.
  • The novel plays an important part in Michel Foucault's book, The Order of Things. To Foucault, Quixote's confusion is an illustration of the transition to a new configuration of thought in the late sixteenth century. Quixote, by confusing semiology and hermeneutics, attempts to apply an anachronistic epistemological configuration to a new intellectual world, a new episteme, in which hermeneutics and semiology have been separated.
  • The Spanglish comic novel Yo-Yo Boing! (1998) by Giannina Braschi features conversations between Don Quijote, Sancho Panza, and Dulcinea who are all transported into 20th century New York.
  • Don Quixote is one of the major characters in the novel Shadow Dragons by James A. Owen, the fourth in the series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.

Influences upon the arts

Operatic, music, and ballet renditions of Quixote

The 18th-century French baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier wrote a short ballet titled Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse. The ballet, which includes sung parts, is loosely adapted from the novel's chapters dealing with the frivolous Duke and Duchess, who play insensitive practical jokes on Quixote. However, according to the prevailing view of Cervantes's novel at the time (it was viewed mainly as a farce, not a novel with a melancholy side to it), the listener is invited to laugh at Don Quixote along with the Duke and the Duchess, rather than sympathize against the cruelty of the practical jokes played on him.

A play by Thomas D'Urfey with music and songs by Baroque composer Henry Purcell, entitled The Comical History of Don Quixote (1694), adapts and rearranges some of his adventures. The play, like other eighteenth-century adaptations of the novel, reflects that era's view of Don Quixote as a comic work, with no hint of seriousness.

Georg Philipp Telemann wrote an orchestral suite entitled Don Quichotte and an opera called Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Camacho, based on an episode from the novel.

Die Hochzeit des Camacho, an early opera by Felix Mendelssohn (composed in 1827) is based on the same section of the book on which Telemann based his opera.

A scherzo for orchestra, "Combate de Don Quijote contra las Ovejas", was composed in 1869 by the Spanish composer Ruperto Chapí.

Ludwig Minkus composed the music for Marius Petipa's ballet Don Quixote, which was staged for the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow in 1869, and was revised in more elaborate production for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg in 1871. The libretto was based on the same chapters in the novel which attracted Mendelssohn and Telemann. Petipa's ballet was substantially revised by Alexander Gorsky in 1900 for the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, a version which was staged for the Imperial in 1902. It is Gorsky's 1902 staging which has been revisited by several other choreographers in the course of the twentieth century in Soviet Russia, and has since been staged by ballet companies all over the world. In 1972, Rudolf Nureyev filmed his celebrated version of the ballet with the Australian Ballet. The choreography, credited to Nureyev, was based closely on the Soviet edition.

In 1861, on 23 April (the anniversary of Cervantes's death), Francisco Asenjo Barbieri's zarzuela Don Quijote had its premiere.

A now-forgotten play by Victorien Sardou entitled Don Quichotte, with equally forgotten incidental music by Jacques Offenbach, premiered in 1874.

Jules Massenet's Don Quichotte premiered at Monte Carlo Opera on 24 February 1910. Legendary operatic basso Feodor Chaliapin made this one of his most famous roles, so much so that when director G.W. Pabst made a semi-musical film version of the novel in 1933 with a score by Jacques Ibert, he chose Chaliapin to play Don Quixote.

Master Peter's Puppet Show, a puppet opera by Manuel de Falla, is based on an episode from Book II and was first performed at the Salon of the Princess de Polignac in Paris in 1923.

Maurice Ravel composed a set of three songs for voice and piano, Don Quichotte à Dulcinée ("Don Quixote to Dulcinea"), to poems by Paul Morand in 1932, and orchestrated them in 1934.

Jacques Ibert composed music for the 1933 film Adventures of Don Quixote starring the Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin, directed by G. W. Pabst. Three versions were filmed, in French, English, and German. The French and English versions have been released on home video.

Richard Strauss composed the tone poem Don Quixote, subtitling it "Fantastic Variations for Large Orchestra on a Theme of Knightly Character." The music makes explicit reference to many of the novel's most entertaining sections, including the sheep (famously described by flutter-tongued brass) and windmill episodes.

The Catalan composer Roberto Gerhard, shortly after being exiled to the United Kingdom at the end of the Spanish Civil War, composed in 1940–41 a ballet on Don Quixote as the most important of a number of tributes to Spanish culture. Not staged in this original form, the ballet became the source for a number of orchestral suites and Gerhard also used it in the extensive incidental music he provided for a BBC radio adaptation of Cervantes’s novel by Eric Linklater, The Adventures of Don Quixote (1940). Gerhard re-wrote the ballet in 1947–49 and it was staged by Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden with choreography by Ninette de Valois and décor by Edward Burra.

In 1960 the Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev wrote a symphony entitled Don Quixote.

George Balanchine created another Don Quixote ballet in 1965, to music by Nicolas Nabokov. This was dedicated to the dancer Suzanne Farrell, whom he played opposite in the original production.

Man of La Mancha, with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion and based on Dale Wasserman's non-musical teleplay I, Don Quixote, is a one-act Broadway musical that combines episodes from the novel with a story about its author, Miguel de Cervantes, as a play within a play. It premiered in 1965 and was filmed in 1972. The song "The Impossible Dream" was an instant hit and was recorded by many artists. Both Benigno Aquino Jr. and Evelio Javier, regarded as martyrs of the fight for democracy in the Philippines against the American-supported martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, considered the song as not only their personal favorite but also a seeming expression of the extreme difficulty of their people's struggle.

"Don Quixote" is the name of a song by rap group the Funky Aztecs based on the story.

The British composer Ronald Stevenson composed an extensive work for two guitars, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, subtitled "A Bagatelle Cycle" (1982–3) and consisting of a double theme with seventeen variations based on various events in Cervantes' novel. The work premiered in Glasgow in 1998.

The character has been the subject of or inspiration for various songs by, among others, Israeli singer Dana International, Nik Kershaw, Gordon Lightfoot, Blackmore's Night ("Windmills"), and Cherry Poppin' Daddies.

Dulcinea is the title of a 1994 album by the alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket.

The 1998 concept album La Leyenda de la Mancha by the Spanish group Mägo de Oz ("Wizard of Oz") is a modern retelling of the story of Don Quixote.

"Rocinante" is the name of a spaceship flown into a black hole in the two-part song "Cygnus X-1" by Canadian rock band Rush.

The British band Coldplay premiered a song during their 2010 Latin American tour called "Don Quixote (Spanish Rain)". The lyrics refer to elements from the novel, with Chris Martin singing: "So we left La Mancha / Headed out for higher plains / Me and Sancho Panza / Looking for adventure / Rocinante at the reins / To the windmills answer".

Quixote in the visual arts

Don Quixote goes mad from his reading of books of chivalry. Engraving by Gustave Doré.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by Honoré Daumier

Don Quixote has inspired a large number of illustrators, painters and draughtsmen such as Gustave Doré, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Antonio de la Gandara. The French artist Honoré Daumier produced 29 paintings and 49 drawings based on the book and characters of Don Quixote, starting with an exhibition at the 1850 Paris Salon, which would later inspire Pablo Picasso. In 1863, Gustave Doré produced a large set of drawings based on Don Quixote. These include the famous, if fanciful, engraving of Don Quixote in his library. On 10 August 1955, Pablo Picasso drew an illustration of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza that has become one of the most famous images ever made of these characters, drawn for the journal weekly Les Lettres françaises (week of 18–24 August 1955), and which quotes from the Daumier caricature of a century before, shown left. Widely reproduced, today it is the iconic image used by the Spanish government to promote Cervantes and Don Quixote.


Since 1972, the Cervantino arts festival (Festival Internacional Cervantino, International Cervantes Culture Festival) has been held annually in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, in honour of Cervantes and Quixote. Mounted statues of Quixote and Sancho are found in a city park. The Iconographic Museum of the Quixote (Museo Iconográfico del Quijote) is dedicated to imagery of the character.

Spelling and pronunciation

Quixote is the original spelling in medieval Castilian, and is used in English. However, modern Spanish has since gone through spelling reforms and phonetic changes which have turned the x into j.

The x was pronounced like an English sh sound (voiceless postalveolar fricative) in medieval times—[kiˈʃote]—and this is reflected in the Galician and Leonese name Don Quixote, the Portuguese Dom Quixote [ˈðõ kɨˈʃɔtɨ], in the French name Don Quichotte, the Dutch Don Quichot (or Don Quichote), as well as in the Italian name Don Chisciotte. However, in Spanish such words (now virtually all spelled with a j) are now pronounced with a voiceless velar fricative sound like the Scottish or German ch [kiˈχote]. English speakers generally attempt something close to the modern Spanish pronunciation when saying Quixote/Quijote, as [dɒŋ kiːˈhoʊteɪ], although the traditional English pronunciation /ˈkwɪksət/ or /ˈkwɪksoʊt/ is still frequently used, more in the United Kingdom than in the United States.[24]

In Spanish, the "qu" in "qui" and "que" are pronounced almost identically to the English "k", so when anglophones pronounce it /ˈkwɪksoʊt/, it is ultimately based on a misunderstanding.[citation needed] The e at the end of "Quixote" is pronounced, not silent.

The traditional English rendering is preserved in the pronunciation of the adjectival form quixotic, i.e., /kwɪkˈsoʊtɨk/.

Films based on or inspired by Don Quixote

  • Don Quixote (1906), a French short directed by Lucien Nonquet.
  • Don Chischiotte (1911), an Italian short.
  • Don Quixote (1915), a silent film starring DeWolf Hopper.
  • Don Quixote (1926), a silent Spanish-Danish co-production directed by Lau Lauritzen Sr., starring Danish comedian duo Pat and Patachon (Carl Schenstrøm and Harald Madsen).
  • Adventures of Don Quixote (1933), directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst. This version was actually made three times in the same year, and in three different languages: French, English and German. All three versions used the same script, set designs, and costumes, and all three starred the great Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin.
  • Don Quixote (1934), directed by Ub Iwerks and published as a Comicolor cartoon, is an animated cartoon loosely based on the novel. It takes great liberties with the story (e.g., Don Quixote demolishes the windmill and emits a Tarzan-like yell of triumph). It was made in color.
  • Don Quijote de la Mancha (1947), the first full-length Spanish film version of the novel, directed by Rafael Gil, and allegedly the most faithful film version of the book ever made.
  • Don Quixote (1957), a Soviet film directed by Grigori Kozintsev, music by Gara Garayev and starring Nikolay Cherkasov, the first live-action version in color.
  • Don Quijote (1965), a French/German made-for-television miniseries comprising four feature length parts, directed by Carlo Rim. It stars the noted Austrian actor Josef Meinrad as Don Quijote.
  • Don Quichotte de Cervantes (1965), a short (23 minute) French film by Éric Rohmer.[25]
  • They Might Be Giants (1971), wherein the two lead characters have a relationship similar to Quixote and Panza, with one appearing delusional in following his inscrutable motives, and the other seeing reality clearly but following the "visionary" out of concern and friendship.
  • Man of La Mancha (1972), directed by Arthur Hiller (a film version of the hit stage musical by Dale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh, and Joe Darion. The stage musical was, in turn, based on Wasserman's 1959 live TV drama, I, Don Quixote). It stars Peter O'Toole as both Don Quixote and Miguel de Cervantes, as well as Sophia Loren as Aldonza / Dulcinea and James Coco as Sancho Panza and Cervantes's manservant.
  • Don Quijote cabalga de nuevo (1973), directed by Roberto Gavaldón, a Mexican/Spanish comedy with Cantinflas in the role of Sancho Panza and Fernando Fernán Gómez as Don Quixote.
  • The Adventures of Don Quixote (1973), a British made-for-television version first telecast on the anthology series Play of the Month, but shown as a television special in the U.S, presumably to capitalize on the publicity engendered by the then-recent release of the film version of Man of La Mancha. It stars Rex Harrison and Frank Finlay. Directed by Alvin Rakoff, with a script by Hugh Whitemore.
  • Don Quixote (1973), a film version of the Minkus ballet, starring Rudolf Nureyev, Lucette Aldous, Robert Helpmann (as Don Quixote) and artists of the Australian Ballet. The third of three Don Quixote films shown in the U.S. that year (the others being Man of La Mancha, which, although released in 1972, was still playing in theatres in '73, and the aforementioned Rex Harrison The Adventures of Don Quixote).
  • Don Quixote: Tales of La Mancha (1980), a Japanese anime series produced by Ashi Productions and distributed by Toei Animation.[26]
  • Life of Don Quixote and Sancho (1988), 9 episode series, filmed in Georgia and Spain by Georgian director Rezo Chkheidze.
  • Monsignor Quixote (1991), a television film of Graham Greene's 1982 novel, directed by Rodney Greene and starring Alec Guinness in the title role, Leo McKern (in the "Sancho" role, this time the Marxist mayor of the small Spanish town where Quixote is the Monsignor) and Ian Richardson, as a cardinal. (Perhaps not so coincidentally, Richardson plays the local priest in the film version of Man of La Mancha, and Rosalie Crutchley, who appears in Monsignor Quixote, plays the Housekeeper in that film).
  • El Quijote de Miguel de Cervantes (1991), a television miniseries version of Part I of the novel, directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, scripted by Nobel-prize-winner Camilo José Cela and starring Fernando Rey as Don Quixote and Alfredo Landa as Sancho. Project of a second miniseries including Part II was stopped because of Rey's death.
  • Don Quixote, begun by Orson Welles but never finished; a reshaped version by Jesus Franco was released in 1992.
  • Don Quixote (2000), directed by Peter Yates, a made-for-TV version co-produced by Hallmark and Turner Network Television, starring John Lithgow, Bob Hoskins, Vanessa L. Williams, and Isabella Rossellini. The script was by noted British playwright John Mortimer.
  • Lost in La Mancha (2002) is a documentary film about Terry Gilliam's failed first attempt to make a movie adaptation of Don Quixote. (Gilliam restarted pre-production on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in 2008).
  • El Caballero Don Quijote (2002), Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon's belated filming of Part II of the novel, with an entirely different cast from the one that had appeared in his version of Part I. This was a two-hour theatrical film, not a miniseries. Juan Luis Galiardo starred as Quixote.
  • Donkey Xote (2007), Spanish CG-animated movie re-envisioning of the book, where Sancha's donkey Xote is the lead character.
  • Don Quixote (2009), Korean movie of the book, which had limited release.
  • The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2011), the upcoming Terry Gilliam adaptation.[27]

See also

References and sources

  1. ^ a b For example, in a poll of leading authors around the world conducted by the Norwegian Book Clubs in 2002."The top 100 books of all time".,6109,711520,00.html.  "Don Quixote gets authors' votes". BBC News. 7 May 2002. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  2. ^ ingenio 1. Real Academia Española.
  3. ^ rocinante: deriv. of rocín, work horse; colloq., brusque laborer; rough, unkempt man. Real Academia Española.
  4. ^ quijote1.2: rump or haunch. Real Academia Española.
  5. ^ Crespo[Span.]: stylistically obscure, artificial; ambiguous. RAE; "crespo3
  6. ^ An example is The Portable Cervantes (New York: Viking Penguin, 1949), which contains an abridged version of the Samuel Putnam translation.
  7. ^ Don Quijote de la Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes, Edicíon de Florencio Sevilla Arroyo, Área 2002 p. 161
  8. ^ "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes, translated and annotated by Edith Grossman, p. 272
  9. ^ a b "Cervantes, Miguel de". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2002. 
    * J. Ormsby, About Cervantes and Don Quixote
  10. ^ a b Serge Gruzinski, teacher at the EHESS, "'Don Quichotte', best-seller mondial'" in L'Histoire n°322, July-August 2007, p.30
  11. ^ "Cervantes, Miguel de". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2002. 
  12. ^ a b c J. Ormsby, About Cervantes and Don Quixote
  13. ^ See also the introduction to Cervantes, Miguel de,. Don Quixote, Penguin Books, Ltd., 1984, p. 18, for a discussion of Cervantes's statement in response to Avellaneda's attempt to write a sequel.
  14. ^ Fuentes, Carlos. Myself With Others: Selected Essays Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st ed edition (1 April 1988).
  15. ^ D. Eisenberg, Cervantes, Lope and Avellaneda, 1
  16. ^ "Cervantes, Miguel de". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2002. 
    * D. Eisenberg, Cervantes, Lope and Avellaneda, 1
  17. ^ "Catalogue library of the Cervantes Institute of Belgrade".,%2520Miguel%2520de%2520(1547-1616)_114_58_1.shtml&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=5&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DDon%2BQuijote%2Bby%2BMiguel%2Bde%2BCervantes%2BSaavedra,%2BAgustin%2BSanchez%2BAguilar%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  18. ^ Fuentes, Carlos (2 November 2003), "Tilt", New York Times, 
  19. ^ Eder, Richard (14 November 2003), "Beholding Windmills and Wisdom From a New Vantage", New York Times, 
  20. ^ tl:Teodoro GenerTagalog translation of Don Quixote by Teodoro E. Gener
  21. ^ BulacanFamous writers of Bulacan
  22. ^
  23. ^ Penguin Classics: Features
  24. ^ § 157. quixotic. 7. Pronunciation Challenges. The American Heritage Book of English Usage. 1996
  25. ^ Películas sobre Don Quijote - Quixote Films
  26. ^ "Don Quixote - Tales of La Mancha @ Toonarific Cartoons". 
  27. ^



External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Miguel de Cervantes article)

From Wikiquote

Time ripens all things. No man is born wise.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (29 September 154723 April 1616), was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. He is best known for his novel Don Quixote, or Don Quijote de la Mancha, which is considered by many to be the first modern novel, one of the greatest works in Western literature, and the greatest of the Spanish language.



Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605-1615)

By a small sample we may judge of the whole piece.
This famous work has been translated into English by many authors, and an attempt will be made to source the translations which are used here.
  • A father may have a child who is ugly and lacking in all the graces, and the love he feels for him puts a blindfold over his eyes so that he does not see his defects but considers them signs of charm and intelligence and recounts them to his friends as if they were clever and witty.
    • Prologue
  • You are a king by your own fireside, as much as any monarch in his throne.
    • Prologue
  • I was so free with him as not to mince the matter.
    • Prologue
  • They can expect nothing but their labor for their pains.
    • Prologue
  • En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, no hace mucho tiempo que vivía un hidalgo de los de lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, rocín flaco y galgo corredor.
    • In some village in La Mancha, whose name I do not care to recall, there dwelt not so long ago a gentleman of the type wont to keep an unused lance, an old shield, a skinny old horse, and a greyhound for racing.
      • Part I, Book I, ch. 1
  • Which I have earned with the sweat of my brows.
    • Part I, Book I, ch. 4
Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
  • By a small sample we may judge of the whole piece.
    • Part I, Book I, ch. 4
  • Put you in this pickle.
    • Part I, Book I, ch. 5
  • Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
    • Part I, Book I, ch. 6
  • The charging of his enemy was but the work of a moment.
    • Part I, Book I, ch. 8
  • Those two fatal words, Mine and Thine.
    • Part I, Book II, ch. 3
  • The eyes those silent tongues of Love.
    • Part I, Book II, ch. 3
There's not the least thing can be said or done, but people will talk and find fault.
  • There's not the least thing can be said or done, but people will talk and find fault.
    • Part I, Book II, ch. 4
  • Without a wink of sleep.
    • Part I, Book II, ch. 4
  • No limits but the sky.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 3
Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things underground, and much more in the skies.
  • To give the devil his due.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 3
  • You're leaping over the hedge before you come to the stile.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 4
  • Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things underground, and much more in the skies.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 6
  • That's the nature of women ... not to love when we love them, and to love when we love them not.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 6
  • Ill luck, you know, seldom comes alone.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 6
  • Why do you lead me a wild-goose chase?
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 6
  • Experience, the universal Mother of Sciences.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 7
  • Let every man mind his own business.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 8
  • Those who'll play with cats must expect to be scratched.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 8
  • Raise a hue and cry.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 8
  • To withdraw is not to run away, and to stay is no wise action when there is more reason to fear than to hope. 'Tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket. And though I am but a clown, or a bumpkin, as you may say, yet I would have you to know I know what is what, and have always taken care of the main chance...
  • Within a stone's throw of it.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 9
  • The very remembrance of my former misfortune proves a new one to me.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 10
  • Absence, that common cure of love.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 10
  • From pro's and con's they fell to a warmer way of disputing.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 10
  • Thou hast seen nothing yet.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 11
  • My memory is so bad that many times I forget my own name.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 11
  • 'Twill grieve me so to the heart that I shall cry my eyes out.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 11
  • Ready to split his sides with laughing.
    • Part I, Book III, ch. 13
I must speak the truth, and nothing but the truth.
  • My honor is dearer to me than my life.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 1
  • Think before thou speakest.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 3
  • Let us forget and forgive injuries.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 3
  • I must speak the truth, and nothing but the truth.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 3
  • I begin to smell a rat.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 10
  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 10
  • Let none presume to tell me that the pen is preferable to the sword.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 10
  • It is a common proverb, beauteous princess, that diligence is the mother of good fortune.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 19
  • The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.
    • Part I, Book IV, ch. 21
  • It is not the hand but the understanding of a man that may be said to write.
    • Part II (1615), Book III, Author's Preface
Every man is as Heaven made him, and sometimes a great deal worse.
  • When the head aches, all the members partake of the pains.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 2
  • History is in a manner a sacred thing, so far as it contains truth; for where truth is, the supreme Father of it may also be said to be, at least, inasmuch as concerns truth.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 3
  • Cada uno es como Dios le hizo, y aún peor muchas veces.
    • Every man is as Heaven made him, and sometimes a great deal worse.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 4
The pen is the tongue of the soul; as are the thoughts engendered there, so will be the things written.
  • Journey over all the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 6
  • The fair sex.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 6
  • A little in one's own pocket is better than much in another man's purse. 'Tis good to keep a nest egg. Every little makes a mickle.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 7
  • Remember the old saying, "Faint heart ne'er won fair lady."
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 10
  • Forewarned forearmed.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 10
  • As well look for a needle in a bottle of hay.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 10
  • Are we to mark this day with a white or a black stone?
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 10
  • I'll turn over a new leaf.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 13
  • La pluma es la lengua del alma: cuales fueren los conceptos que en ella se engendraren, tales serán sus escritos.
    • The pen is the tongue of the soul; as are the thoughts engendered there, so will be the things written.
      • Part II, Book III, ch. 16, as translated by Henry Edward Watts (1895)
  • Marriage is a noose.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 19
  • There are only two families in the world, the Haves and the Have-Nots.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 20
  • Love and War are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable in the one as in the other.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 21
  • A private sin is not so prejudicial in this world as a public indecency.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 22
Tomorrow will be a new day.
  • There is no love lost, sir.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 22
  • Tell me thy company, and I'll tell thee what thou art.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 23
  • Tomorrow will be a new day.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 26
Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that.
  • Great persons are able to do great kindnesses.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 32
  • I was ever charitable and good to the poor, and scorn to take the bread out of another man's mouth. On the other side, by our Lady, they shall play me no foul play. I am an old cur at a crust, and can sleep dog-sleep when I list. I can look sharp as well as another, and let me alone to keep the cobwebs out of my eyes. I know where the shoe wrings me. I will know who and who is together. Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that. The good shall have my hand and heart, but the bad neither foot nor fellowship. And in my mind, the main point of governing, is to make a good beginning.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 33, as translated by Pierre Antoine Motteux in The History of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (1701)
    • Variant translations:
    • I'm kind-hearted by nature, and full of compassion for the poor; there's no stealing the loaf from him who kneads and bakes; and by my faith it won't do to throw false dice with me; I am an old dog, and I know all about 'tus, tus;' I can be wide-awake if need be, and I don't let clouds come before my eyes, for I know where the shoe pinches me; I say so, because with me the good will have support and protection, and the bad neither footing nor access. And it seems to me that, in governments, to make a beginning is everything; and maybe, after having been governor a fortnight, I'll take kindly to the work and know more about it than the field labour I have been brought up to.
    • Honesty's the best policy.
  • Time ripens all things. No man is born wise. Bishops are made of men and not of stones.
    • Part II, Book III, ch. 3
  • An honest man's word is as good as his bond.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 34
  • Good wits jump; a word to the wise is enough.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 37
  • Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness — its opposite — never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 38
  • What a man has, so much he's sure of.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 38
  • The pot calls the kettle black.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 38
  • Mum's the word.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 44
  • I shall be as secret as the grave.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 62
  • The ass will carry his load, but not a double load; ride not a free horse to death.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 71
  • He ... got the better of himself, and that's the best kind of victory one can wish for.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 72
  • Every man was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 73
  • There is a strange charm in the thoughts of a good legacy, or the hopes of an estate, which wondrously alleviates the sorrow that men would otherwise feel for the death of friends.
    • Part II, Book IV, ch. 74
  • For if he like a madman lived,
    At least he like a wise one died.
    • Don Quixote's epitaph

unplaced as yet by chapter :

Fortune leaves always some door open to come at a remedy.
Take care, your worship, those things over there are not giants but windmills.
  • I am almost frighted out of my seven senses.
  • Well, now, there's a remedy for everything except death.
  • Didn't I tell you, Don Quixote, sir, to turn back, for they were not armies you were going to attack, but flocks of sheep?
  • The painter Orbaneja of Ubeda, if he chanced to draw a cock, he wrote under it, "This is a cock," lest the people should take it for a fox.
  • Many count their chickens before they are hatched; and where they expect bacon, meet with broken bones.
  • I find my familiarity with thee has bred contempt.
  • Delay always breeds danger.
  • Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!
  • Fortune leaves always some door open to come at a remedy.
  • I never thrust my nose into other men's porridge. It is no bread and butter of mine; every man for himself, and God for us all.
  • Take care, your worship, those things over there are not giants but windmills.
  • A knight errant who turns mad for a reason deserves neither merit nor thanks. The thing is to do it without cause.
  • In me the need to talk is a primary impulse, and I can't help saying right off what comes to my tongue.
  • I can tell where my own shoe pinches me; and you must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff.
  • Let each man say what he chooses; if because of this I am criticized by the ignorant, I shall not be chastised by the learned.
  • "You are a villain and a scoundrel," said Don Quixote, "and you are the one who is vacant and foolish; I have more upstairs than the whore who bore you ever did."

La Gitanilla (The Little Gypsy)

  • Don't put too fine a point to your wit for fear it should get blunted.
  • My heart is wax molded as she pleases, but enduring as marble to retain.

Quotes about Cervantes

  • Cervantes, Don Quixote — I read that every year, as some do the Bible.
  • The biography of Cervantes provides an extremely typical example of what could befall a man living during the transition from romantic chivalry to realism. Without knowing this story it is impossible to appreciate Don Quixote sociologically. ... The parodying of chivalry was no new thing in his lifetime ... In Italy, where knighthood was represented to some extent by middle-class elements, the new chivalry did not take itself quite seriously. It was doubtless here, that Cervantes was prepared for his sceptical attitude, here in the home of liberalism and humanism, and it was to Italian literature that he probably owed the first suggestion for his epoch-making joke. His work was not intended, however, merely to take a rise out of the artificial and mechanical novels of fashion, nor to become merely a criticism of out-of-date chivalry, but also to be an indictment of the world of the disenchanted, matter-of-fact reality, in which there was nothing left for an idealist but to dig himself in behind his idée fixe. The novelty in Cervantes' work was, therefore, not the ironic treatment of the chivalrous attitude to life, but the relativizing of the two worlds of romantic idealism and realistic rationalism. What was new was the indissoluble dualism of his world-view, the idea of the impossibility of realizing the idea in the world of reality and of reducing reality to the idea. ... He wavers between the justification of un-wordly idealism and of worldy-wise common sense. From that arises his own conflicting attitude toward his hero. Before Cervantes there had only been good and bad characters, deliverers and traitors, saints and blasphemers, in literature; here the hero is saint and fool in one and the same person.
    • Arnold Hauser, in The Social History of Art (1951), as translated by Stanley Godman, p. 399

External links

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Don Quixote
by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by John Ormsby
Information about this edition
Don Quixote de la Mancha is a novel by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and is considered one of the best novels in history. The first part was published in 1605 and the second in 1615. It is one of the earliest written novels in a modern European language and is arguably the most influential and emblematic work in the canon of Spanish literature. — Excerpted from Don Quixote on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.



Translator's Preface

Volume 1

Volume 2

Simple English

.]] Don Quixote is a novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The book, published in two parts (1605 and 1615) is considered to be the first modern novel. It was first written in Spanish, and soon afterwards was translated to English by Thomas Shelton.

It is about Alonso Quijana, a rich middle-aged man. Quijana, having read many tales about chivalry and knights, goes crazy and believes that he is a knight named Don Quixote. He rides around the country with his squire, Sancho, having adventures. He believes his adventures are real, but everyone else laughs at him.

One of the most famous stories in the book is Don Quixote's fight with the windmills. He sees some windmills and thinks they are giants. When he rides to fight with them, he is knocked off his horse. Sancho tells him they are only windmills, but Don Quixote does not believe him. He is sure a magician changed the giants into windmills to hurt him.

At the end of the book, Alonso Quijana returns home, hurt badly. He becomes sane again, then dies.[[Category:


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