Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes is a lengthy two-part story that’s filled with endless adventures. It tells us about an older man who, after reading many books, lost his wits and began playing the chivalrous knight who finds his lady, Dulcinea. And so the narrator takes us along the peculiar journey of Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza. Amidst the crazy adventures, the self-proclaimed knight comes across lots of interestingly bizarre circumstances.
Over in a nameless village in La Mancha, Spain, lived a man who abandoned his estate and read so many books that he lost his sanity. All of which resulted in him taking on the role of a Knight-errant along with a new name: Don Quixote. With a whole new world created in his head, Don Quixote goes on the many adventures that his madness leads him to. He starts off by visiting an Inn which he believes is a castle, and that the two prostitutes that he encounters are princesses who are there to entertain him during dinner. During his stay at the Inn, Don Quixote gets knighted by the Innkeeper, who noticed his lack of sanity and went along with the bizarre knighting ceremony in order to get him to leave. After finally being properly knighted, Don Quixote leaves the Inn and journeys back home to get clean clothes and money. With help of a laborer, Don Quixote reaches his home where he is fed and put to rest by the family. During his time spent resting, his friends, a barber and a priest, make it a mission to go through Don Quixote’s library and burn all the books that caused his madness, as well as wall up the library entrance. So when Don Quixote awoke, the priest, the barber, and Don Quixote’s niece all told him that an enchanter who came with a dragon took his library along with all the books of chivalry, all because of a grudge against him.
Don Quixote believes the lies of niece and friends, and soon after set out on a quest to defeat this enchanter, whom he deemed as the enemy. Ignoring his nieces wishes to neglect the quest, Don Quixote continues on with this adventure of his. Soon after, Don Quixote finds a peasant, Sancho Panza, and persuades him to leave everything behind and become his squire, all with the promise of making him governor of isle. Sancho finds a donkey and rides out of the village with Don Quixote, and during their travels, Don Quixote tells Sancho all about the services of a knight-errant. The duo continued to encounter many engaging circumstances in which they took part in, like Grisostomo’s funeral and the freeing of chained gallery slaves. Once at Sierra Morena, Don Quixote stopped to do penance there to win himself honor, meanwhile Sancho set off to deliver Dulcinea a letter in El Toboso. On the way there, Sancho comes across the priest and the barber, and after agreeing to give them a hand with getting Don Quixote home, the squire decides to go back to Don Quixote, with the priest and barber instead of continuing to El Toboso. At Sierra Morena, the trio came to meet a young woman, Dorothea, who was out in the wilderness because of the shame she felt from falling for a man’s tricks. After the men explain their plans to her, Dorothea offers to participate in getting Don Quixote to come back home by playing a damsel in distress who is in need of Don Quixote’s help in defeating a giant that warred against her kingdom. Not being able to refuse the sense of knightly duty, Don Quixote travels with Dorothea alongside with the other three men toward Dorothea’s fictional castle.
Deciding to take rest in midst of their travels, Don Quixote, Dorothea, Sancho, the priest, and the barber, come to an Inn which Don Quixote imagined as a castle to rest. There were very few guests at the Inn, but one of them just happened to be Dorothea’s fiance, Fernando, the man who had tricked her. After declaring that he was still in love with Dorothea, the couple reunited. Everyone at the Inn wept with joy over the lovers’ reunion, and so the priest, the barber, and Sancho figured they needed to devise a new plan on how to get Don Quixote home without the help of Dorothea and Fernando.
During Don Quixote’s slumber, the priest, the barber, and a few others bound Don Quixote and locked him in a cage in the back of a cart, in which they headed back to Don Quixote’s village. Believing in the roles that the barber and priest claimed to be, Don Quixote didn’t fight them in the traveling he was in, convincing himself that it was all the enchantment that was upon him. After many luckless circumstances that occurred during their travel, Don Quixote agreed to go back home and wait until a change in his luck will happen. The second part of the book starts off when both Sancho and Don Quixote are back in their village. Sancho went home to his wife and Don Quixote also got home and was taken good care of by his niece and the housekeeper ?” who were still very cautious about his madness. And just as they thought, after Don Quixote got enough rest, his desire to continue on his journey as a knight hadn’t fizzled out. Sancho comes to visit Don Quixote and tells him that a book was written about his adventures as a knight, and went to fetch Sampson, the man who told him of the book. With Sampson’s great encouragement, Don Quixote was even more spurred to continue on with his duties as a knight-errant. Therefore, he made a decision to travel to Zaragoza with his squire, but make a stop at El Toboso before that, to visit Dulcinea.
It was nighttime when the duo reached their destination, so while Don Quixote rested, Sancho offered to look for Dulcinea. But, fearing that he’d get attacked for looking for seeking out a lady at that time of the night, Sancho uses Don Quixote’s madness against him; spinning him a story about the evil enchanter that transformed Dulcinea into a peasant girl. Fooled by his squire, Don Quixote believes that a peasant girl is Dulcinea and cursed the evil enchanter. Soon after, they set off to Zaragoza, and on their way, they stop under a tree to rest, and there they come to meet the Knight of the Wood and his squire and they discuss many things amongst each other. Don Quixote ends up battling the Knight of the Wood and wins, discovering that Sampson is that very knight. Once again Don Quixote waves it off as the enchanters doing, not realizing that it really was Sampson and that it was all a part of a plan that he, the priest and the barber had devised. Leading Don Quixote to go on another journey as a knight, challenge him to battle in which he wins, then reward his victory by asking Don Quixote to return home for two years, was their plan ?” in hopes that they would find a way to get back Don Quixote’s sanity during that time. However, their plan didn’t go as they wanted, and Don Quixote continued his travels to Zaragoza.
On the way there, Don Quixote and Sancho came across many interesting people, like Don Diego who was a fan of poetry, and even more interesting events, like Camacho and Quitera’s wedding where the couple didn’t end up marrying. Then Don Quixote and Sancho find an Inn to rest at Inn, where even more interesting circumstances come to rise, then proceed their travels to Zaragoza. On the way to Zaragoza, Don Quixote and Sancho take a different route; through the woods. After nearly perishing in a river that they crossed, Don Quixote and his squire come across a Duke and Duchess hunting in the forest. Because they read the book about him, The Duke and Duchess recognized Don Quixote they treated him like a knight and went along with his madness, all for the sake of humor. And so Don Quixote and Sancho happily accepted the invitation to stay in the castle that the Duke and Duchess invited them in. In their home, Don Quixote was treated with a chivalry that a knight deserved. Yet, during their stay, the Duke, Duchess and their servants played many pranks on Don Quixote and Sancho out of sheer amusement; they tricked the two men into indulging their own fantasies. Like, convincing Don Quixote that the enchanter was coming for him, and making Sancho believe that from being a good squire, he became a governor ?” all to which Sancho ended up realizing that being a governor wasn’t for him. After the lengthy and confusing stay at the home of the Duke and Duchess, Don Quixote and Sancho got back to traveling to Zaragoza.
After being on the road for a while, the duo stopped to rest at an Inn, where they met two men who were reading the second book of the chivalrous tales about Don Quixote. Seeing this, Don Quixote strongly announced the books as fake, and since it was written about where Don Quixote was traveling to, he decided to change that and make Barcelona his final destination instead. And so the next morning, Don Quixote and his Sancho head off to Barcelona, where they come across many interesting circumstances, and peculiar events as well as people. However, when Don Quixote loses a battle to the Knight of the White Moon ?” who turned out to be Sampson, his adventures as a knight-errant came to a stop. As a reward for his victory, The Knight of the White Moon wanted Don Quixote to return home and, for a year, cease all his adventures. Don Quixote complied to those terms and came back to his village with Sancho. During the time he rested at home, Don Quixote fell ill and when the doctor came to examine him, the result of it wasn’t a good one. Taking the news with calmness, Don Quixote fell into a deep sleep for six days. Alas, on the seventh day, when he woke up, his sanity had come back to him. Cursing all his books of chivalry, the man came to realize that his identity and name was Alonso Quixano, not Don Quixote. After repenting for all his actions in the past, Don Quixote completely leaves his life of adventure and writes a will; leaving all his possessions for his niece, the housekeeper, and Sancho. Then he dies and the story ends.
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes was a long yet pleasant read. It’s an adventurous story which pulls you in, makes you engrossed with the plot, and leaves you thinking about it even after it has come to an end. So overall, it’s a great and entertaining story with a touch of comedy that carries a meaning that we all learn from in our own ways. I recommend this book to all who love a good tale, a good laugh and enjoy an ending that takes an unexpected turn.
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