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Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

It is one of the most important literary works of all time, recognized by all generations. It is a masterpiece written by Miguel de Cervantes. Here you can download a copy of Don Quixote de la Mancha in PDF.

Published between 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote was a success in its time, leaving Miguel de Cervantes immortalized in the history of literature.

Alonso Quijano was a 50-year-old man obsessed with chivalry novels. His favorite character was Amadís de Gaula, who lived the most exciting and honorable adventures in his knight’s armor and galloping his horse.

This is what Alonso wanted to do, so he decided to leave home to embark on a journey that would change his life forever.

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Summary of Don Quixote

Alonso Quijano needed a name that sounded respectable, so he decided to call himself Don Quixote de la Mancha after one of the characters of “Amadís de Gaula”.

He also needed his weaponry, it occurred to him that his great-grandfather’s guns would be fine and he stole them.

He christened his old horse Rocinante and invented a beloved young woman for whom he would have to fight from now on: Dulcinea del Toboso, a peasant girl he had once seen around, but who in his imagination was an important lady of society.

He runs away from home and arrives at an inn, an establishment of ancient tradition, which he mistook for a castle. There he asks the innkeeper to swear him in as a knight.

The good man humored him. He advised him to watch his weapons for the night.

However, Quixote soon got into trouble, since some people in the inn made fun of him and wanted to fight. In order not to complicate things, the innkeeper swore him out and let him go. 

Now he was ready to go on his adventures as a knight. He first encounters a farmer who was reprimanding his groom.

Don Quixote came to the boy’s defense to no avail, for when he retreated, the farmer hit the boy even harder.

Later, he meets some merchants and demands that they confess that Dulcinea del Toboso was the fairest maiden in the world, otherwise they would not be able to continue on their way.

The merchants soon reacted with fury and Quixote received an enormous beating. 

Badly wounded on the ground, he was found by a neighbor, who immediately took him home. His niece, the housekeeper, the priest, and the barber were there.

Everyone was very worried about his delusions and they had no better idea than to blame the books of chivalry for making Alonso lose his mind, so they decided to burn them all and wall up the library.

Evidently, this did not solve the problem, and the delirious Don Quixote escapes again, taking a few coins with him.

Since he had been so viciously beaten in his previous wanderings, this time he thinks it best to hire a squire.

He meets a humble farmer named Sancho Panza and asks him to be his squire. Sancho accepts in exchange for ruling an island. From now on it would be the two of them against the world.

FAQ about Don Quixote

Why is it called Don Quixote de la Mancha?

Alonso Quijano was obsessed with novels of chivalry. His favorite was Amdís de Gaula, a hero who lives adventures among princesses and enchanted castles.

One of the characters in this novel is named Don Quixote. Alonso considers it the perfect name for an honorable gentleman, so he calls himself that.

What is Don Quixote about?

It is a novel that narrates the adventures of a man, Alonso Quijano, who has lost his sanity by reading too many novels of chivalry.

In his imagination, he is now a knight-errant, has a perfect woman as his beloved, and needs to go out to defend the weak and princesses in distress. In his adventures, Don Quixote has a myriad of crazy experiences, but they allow him to be free.

What happens to Don Quixote before he dies?

Before dying, Don Quixote promised his friend the bachelor not to return to his knightly adventures.

From that moment on, he stayed at home and his family finally achieved their goal of keeping him safe from his delusional acts.

Why did Don Quixote get ill?

After promising not to return to his adventures as a knight, Don Quixote began to get ill, it is believed that this was due to the melancholy that caused him to no longer be free to live according to his principles as an honorable knight.

This kind of depression finally leads him to death.