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Don Quixote | Study Guide

Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote | Quotes


What harm is there in books that exercise the mind?

Pero Perez, Part 1, Chapter 6

Pero Perez dislikes stories that fall within the realm of fantasy, particularly because they don't teach any lessons or provide factual information. He has no problem, however, with informational texts, poetry, or fables, all of which he believes enrich one's intelligence. His viewpoint is one of a realist.


Every time this happened to him he thought himself more and more conclusively a true knight.

Narrator, Part 1, Chapter 10

This quotation relates to Don Quixote's idealism. When he and Sancho Panza are forced to sleep out of doors, Don Quixote is not inconvenienced. He can make himself comfortable anywhere as long as he has his imagination. He simply feels that "roughing it" proves he has the stamina of a true knight.


"Your grace would make a better preacher," said Sancho, "than a knight-errant."

Sancho Panza, Part 1, Chapter 18

After squire and master throw up on one another, Sancho Panza realizes that his master is actually a terrible knight, suffering misfortune after misfortune. Don Quixote speaks so highly of God and has so much faith in his Creator that Sancho Panza thinks it would be much safer for him to be employed by the Church.


For him, it was the easiest thing in the world to make anything and everything fit into his wild chivalric ideas.

Narrator, Part 1, Chapter 21

Don Quixote sees a barber wearing a brass basin, used for shaving and bloodletting, on his head and decides it is the famed golden helmet of Mambrino. He has an uncanny ability to reframe normal life to fulfill his delusions.


The wise man ... takes care of himself today so he is able to fight tomorrow.

Sancho Panza, Part 1, Chapter 24

Sancho Panza sees no need to put himself at risk by sticking around after a fight. His natural instincts tell him to run for safety, while Don Quixote's instincts are ready to take on any and all who wish to brawl.


My idea is to become a lunatic for no reason at all.

Don Quixote, Part 1, Chapter 25

Don Quixote is speaking about his plan to go crazy in order to impress Dulcinea, but this quotation also aptly describes his knighthood as a whole. He loses his mind for no good reason other than boredom.


I'm not going to be so crazy that I'll turn myself into a knight-errant.

Juan Palomeque, Part 1, Chapter 32

Juan Palomeque, the second innkeeper, loves chivalric romances almost as much as Don Quixote, and he too believes that their stories are real. He has no aspirations to become a knight-errant, though, because the world has changed since the (fictional) times when knights roamed the countryside.


They didn't have to pay any attention to him, because he was out of his head.

Narrator, Part 1, Chapter 44

Many of the characters in Don Quixote ignore the lunatic knight simply because he imagines himself to be something different than what's traditionally accepted in society. He has proven himself time and again to be a logical thinker of extreme intelligence, but that doesn't matter once he places a brass basin on his head.


[In] that happiest of times ... the order of knight-errantry roamed valiantly up and down [the world's] roads.

Don Quixote, Part 2, Chapter 1

Don Quixote is a throwback to an earlier era when morality was valued and heroes ruled the day. Unfortunately, those heroic knight-errants of yore lived only in literature, not the real world. He spends his life wishing for a fantasy to come true.


The master's madness without the squire's stupidity wouldn't be worth a cent.

Pero Perez, Part 2, Chapter 2

Sancho Panza and Don Quixote are a complementary team. Sancho has crossed the line from stupidity to insanity, and his complicity in his master's schemes is what causes so much turmoil. Had Don Quixote been insane on his own, none of these adventures would have happened.


I'm pretty clever, ... but ... that's well hidden under this always easy and natural disguise of behaving like a fool.

Sancho Panza, Part 2, Chapter 8

Sancho Panza is much smarter than anyone gives him credit for, which isn't appreciated until he becomes a governor.


One rarely saw Sancho without seeing the donkey, or saw the donkey without seeing Sancho, so close and warm was their friendship.

Narrator, Part 2, Chapter 34

Sancho Panza and his donkey are kindred spirits. Like Don Quixote and Rocinante, Sancho's animal is symbolic of himself.


Anyone ... [wouldn't] bother deceiving us ... for the ... petty glory of tricking people who trust his word.

Don Quixote, Part 2, Chapter 41

Don Quixote's observation about the Duke and Duchess is an example of dramatic irony. He can't believe that anyone would ever bother trying to fool him and Sancho Panza, yet the Duke and Duchess don't do anything but that.


Jokes turn into truths, and jokers find that they're the ones being fooled.

The steward, Part 2, Chapter 49

The steward and the rest of Sancho Panza's staff on Barataria Island are awed by his ability to rule wisely and justly. What started out as a prank has turned into a blessing.


My lady, whoever she may be, is incomparably more beautiful than your Dulcinea del Toboso.

The Knight of the White Moon, Part 2, Chapter 64

The Knight of the White Moon's reference to his lady, "whoever she may be," is a joke about how women are represented in traditional chivalric romances as two-dimensional characters created solely for the hero to worship.

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