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Cervantes, Miguel De () - Spanish novelist, dramatist and poet, to Don Quixote de la Mancha and to go forth to right the world's wrongs. This novel . Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes. Translated by John Ormsby. With illustrations by Gustave Doré. This web edition published by [email protected] to Don Quixote de la Mancha and to go forth to right the world's wrongs. one to ask, who and what manner of man was this Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes Pdf

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Introduction: Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. BY HAROLD BLOOM. 1. What is the true object of Don Quixote's quest?. Jul 27, Project Gutenberg · 59, free ebooks · 64 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. No cover. FOUR generations had laughed over “Don. Quixote” before it occurred to anyone to ask, who and what manner of man was this. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

Quixote and Sancho Panza have several adventures: they stay with a gentleman, attend a lavish wedding, and investigate the Cave of Montesinos, where Quixote claims to have seen magical, implausible sights. They become friends with a Duke and Duchess, who are fans of the first part of the history.

The Duke and Duchess give them an extravagant welcome, but they play many cruel tricks on them. In one elaborate scenario, an "enchanter" tells the friends that Sancho must lash himself thousands of times if Dulcinea is to be disenchanted. When the Duke finds out that Quixote has promised Sancho an island as a reward for his service, he makes Sancho the governor of a small town.

He expects to humiliate the illiterate, ignorant peasant, but Sancho turns out to be a wise and gifted ruler. He resigns, and he and Quixote resume their adventures. The two friends continue to meet many interesting strangers. They become friends with a gallant captain of thieves and a wealthy gentleman in Barcelona. Quixote battles with a mysterious Knight of the White Moon. It is Carrasco; this time he wins the battle, and as his prize demands that Quixote and Sancho return to the village.

When they return to the village, Quixote becomes very sick. After a long sleep one day, he announces that he has regained his sanity.

White Fang Jack London. Scott Fitzgerald. In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income.

The rest of it went in a doublet of fine cloth and velvet breeches and shoes to match for holidays, while on week-days he made a brave figure in his best homespun. He had in his house a housekeeper past forty, a niece under twenty, and a lad for the field and market-place, who used to saddle the hack as well as handle the bill-hook.

The age of this gentleman of ours was bordering on fifty; he was of a hardy habit, spare, gaunt-featured, a very early riser and a great sportsman. They will have it his surname was Quixada or Quesada for here there is some difference of opinion among the authors who write on the subject , although from reasonable conjectures it seems plain that he was called Quexana. This, however, is of but little importance to our tale; it will be enough not to stray a hair's breadth from the truth in the telling of it.

You must know, then, that the above-named gentleman whenever he was at leisure which was mostly all the year round gave himself up to reading books of chivalry with such ardour and avidity that he almost entirely neglected the pursuit of his field-sports, and even the management of his property; and to such a pitch did his eagerness and infatuation go that he sold many an acre of tillageland to download books of chivalry to read, and brought home as many of them as he could get.

But of all there were none he liked so well as those of the famous Feliciano de Silva's composition, for their lucidity of style and complicated conceits were as pearls in his sight, particularly when in his reading he came upon courtships and cartels, where he often found passages like "the reason of the unreason with which my reason is afflicted so weakens my reason that with reason I murmur at your beauty;" or again, "the high heavens, that of your divinity divinely fortify you with the stars, render you deserving of the desert your greatness deserves.

As a result he was excommunicatedejected from the church. Throughout all these difficulties, Cervantes had been writing poetry. As it turned out, however, his poems were never quite first rate. He also tried writing plays, but these suffered by comparison to the work of the great Lope de Vega, who was just then introducing a more modern and popular style of dramatic writing. Cervantes did not make his reputation as a writer of the first rank until he turned to prose fiction- a form of literature still not considered entirely respectable by many well-educated people of the time.

More importantly, the first part of Don Quixote, which appeared in early , was an instant success. He made no royalties from Don Quixote, having sold the book outright to the printer for a rather small fee. He also continued to attract trouble through no fault of his own. Once again, Cervantes was arrested and thrown in jail, where he stayed for some days until the matter was straightened out. Cervantes was now in his late fifties and suffering from an illness that was probably diabetes.

However, the project of writing a sequel to Don Quixote- what we now know as Part II of the novel- was taking longer than expected. Cervantes delayed so long that an anonymous writer beat him to the punch by publishing, in , a bogus version of Part II. The author of this sequel, however, compounded the insult by including belittling comments about Cervantes and about the literary qualities of Part I!

Scholars have speculated a good deal about the identity of the author of this bogus sequel.

There is no genuine evidence to support this idea, intriguing as it may be. Whoever he was, perhaps the anonymous author did the world a favor after all.

The appearance of the bogus sequel made Cervantes so angry that he was inspired to finish his own version of Part II. Cervantes had little opportunity to enjoy the acclaim that greeted the appearance of the authentic Don Quixote, Part II. Already in bad health, he completed just one more work and died a year later in April in the same month as his great contemporary, William Shakespeare. He knew how to act, and I knew how to write. However, they were soon to take on a deeper significance. The character of the Don is known all over the world, and millions who have never read the novel have a vivid mental picture of the would-be knight who sets out to do great deeds and ends up tilting at windmills.

The story of Don Quixote has been the subject of at least sixteen operas, including works by the nineteenthcentury Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti and the French composer Jules Mas- senet.

It begins with the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English writers Daniel Defoe, Laurence Sterne, and Henry Fielding and continues on through the nineteenthcentury Russian novelists Turgenev and Gogol.

Among the noted present-day writers said to have been influenced by Cervantes are the American authors Saul Bellow and Walker Percy; the English author Graham Greene, popularly known for his spy thrillers, has even written his own version of the Quixote story.

He was one of the first novelists to succeed in creating fully developed characters, in writing lively dialogue that sounded convincingly like the speech of real people, and in mixing characters from all classes of society and many ways of life in a single work.

Cervantes was one of the first to treat in depth the theme of a hero who sets out to reinvent his own identity by sheer force of will. And the theme of the search for identity, in one form or another, has continued to fascinate novelists and their readers ever since.

On the contrary, for all its serious overtones, Don Quixote is also a funny book. A certain middle-aged gentleman named Alonso Quixano has read so many romantic stories about the knights of the Middle Ages that he goes out of his mind and imagines that he really is a knight. He also imagines that he is in love with a princess named Dulcinea- in reality a local girl who has never paid any attention to him. Changing his name to Don Quixote de la Mancha, he puts on a rusty old suit of armor and sets forth in search of adventure.

At a certain inn, which he mistakes for a castle, Don Quixote asks the innkeeper to officially dub him a knight. The innkeeper agrees- just to humor his crazy guest. Later, after mistaking a group of merchants for knights, the Don challenges them to fight and ends up much the worse for wear. A passing neighbor takes him home, where his niece, his housekeeper, and two friends- the local priest and a barber named Nicholas- burn his books in an attempt to shock him back into sanity.

Don Quixote is still determined to seek adventure. He mistakes a group of windmills for giants. He takes a funeral procession for ghosts. Finally, he meets a young man, Car- denio, who has been driven out of his wits by an unhappy love affair. The Don decides that he will become a hermit, like his new friend. They get a girl named Dorothea to pretend to be the Princess Micomicona.

The priest now decides that the only way to get Don Quixote back home is to take him there in a cage. He even manages to convince Don Quixote that the cage is a test of his courage, and that once he passes the test he will be able to marry his imaginary love, the divine Dulcinea. But when Sancho lets Don Quixote out of the cage at a rest stop, the Don gets into more trouble. Finally, he attacks a religious procession because he believes the marchers are kidnappers.

After this, the Don at last allows himself to be taken back to his native village. He and Sancho Panza take to the road again.

First, Don Quixote wants to visit his true love, the lady Dulcinea. Sancho knows that Dulcinea is not a lady at all, just a rough farm girl. So Sancho points out a farm girl who just happens to be riding by and convinces Don Quixote that this is his Dulcinea.

Sancho tells his master that a wicked enchanter has cast a magic spell that makes Dulcinea look like a mere peasant girl. The Don believes this.

By now, the adventures that Quixote and Sancho had in Part I have been published. A university student named Sampson Carrasco who has read this book has decided to follow Quixote and Sancho.

Sampson supposedly wants only to cure the poor madman, Quixote, of his delusions. Disguising himself as the Knight of the Mirrors, he challenges Don Quixote to single combat. If the Don loses, he will have to give up acting like a knight errant and go home. Through sheer luck, Don Quixote wins the fight. After several more adventures, the Don and Sancho meet a Duke and Duchess who invite the travelers to be guests at their castle. They think up some elaborate practical jokes to play on this make-believe knight.

In one of their jokes, the Duke and Duchess manage to convince Sancho that Dulcinea really is enchanted after all.

To release Dulcinea from her spell, Sancho will have to whip himself times on his bare buttocks! Sancho does his best to postpone this punishment.

Meanwhile, the Don and Sancho travel on to Barcelona. Here Sampson Carrasco catches up with them once again. The Don has to keep his promise and give up knight errantry for an entire year. During the journey home, Sancho pretends that he has given himself the blows. The Don cannot understand why Dulcinea does not appear in her true form!

Finally, he becomes thoroughly disillusioned and is convinced that he will never see Dulcinea this side of the grave. Arriving home, he announces that he is cured of his madness. He is plain old Alonso Quixano once again.

Follow the Author

Soon after this, he dies. First of all, he is Alonso Quixano, a middle-aged gentleman who is foolish but basically kind-hearted. Although you meet Alonso Quixano only briefly, he is very vividly portrayed. When Alonso Quixano goes crazy, he is deluded into thinking that he is really Don Quixote de La Mancha, a brave and noble knight errant who will set right all the wrongs of the world.

For the most part, however, the Don Quixote of Part I is a ridiculous character, constantly mistaking windmills for giants and blundering into fights that leave him bruised and battered, but no wiser. The Knight of the Sad Countenance. However it is translated, this name tends to sound more serious in English than it does in Spanish. Like the Little Tramp character of Charles Chaplin, Don Quixote has some qualities that inspire pathos, but his actions are basically funny.

In Part II of the story, other characters, for reasons of their own, play tricks on Don Quixote that blur the distinctions between illusion and reality. The nickname comes from the scene where the Don meets a lion, which is being brought as a gift to the King, and decides to fight it. This time the Don is not having another delusion. The lion is real, but it refuses to fight. Don Quixote still comes out of the episode looking ridiculous, but the source of his humiliation is not his own confusion.

He is the victim of fickle reality. In the beginning of the story, Sancho is the typical country bumpkin. He has some good qualities. For example, he loves animals, especially his dear jackass, Dapple.

Perhaps no other character in literature gives you a better example of the triumph of greediness over common sense. You may know people who have let wishful thinking lead them into wild escapades in the hope of getting something for nothing. This is Sancho Panza in a nutshell. Sancho pays dearly for his foolishness. He is frequently beaten up for things Don Quixote has led him into doing.

One critic has commented that the bickering between Quixote and Sancho reminded him of the quarrels between a husband and wife. He becomes quixotized. Some readers take it quite seriously, indeed.

Perhaps you know some people who, like Don Quixote, have fallen in love with an imaginary ideal. No real boyfriend or girlfriend could possibly live up to their expectations. We find it easy to recognize this fault in others.

Considering what Altisidora is really like, Don Quixote is probably better off remaining true to his nonexistent Dulcinea. Some readers find them basically kind, harmless types, who play jokes on the Don and Sancho but mean them no real harm. Some readers feel that Sampson personifies the emptiness of intellectual pursuits in the absence of faith.

Sampson knows how to imitate a knight, but unlike Don Quixote he will never be more than a poor copy of one. Others are impressed by the fact that the author does not seem to condemn the servant girl for sleeping with so many of the male guests at the inn. Maritornes may be physically ugly, but as you see during the discussion of chivalry that she has with Dorothea, the innkeeper, and others, her head is full of beautiful romantic fantasies.

Whether Cervantes sees this as pathetic, or as a triumph of imagination over physical limitations, is something you will have to decide for yourself.

Both follow professions considered respectable for men of the hidalgo class. Nicholas is primarily a humorous character. However, the character of the priest is open to more than one interpretation. First, he is the meanest and cleverest of the galley slaves freed by the Don. Far from being ashamed of his crimes, Gines brags that he will write a book about his adventures and sell it for a high price.

The condemned slave has been transformed into a successful entertainer! Cervantes, however, uses Gines in a more interesting role- to point out that both thieves and artists practice forms of deception. Although she has been betrayed and deserted by her lover, Dorothea shows courage and determination to seek justice and restore her ruined reputation. She also enjoys playing the role of the Princess Micomicona. Don Diego introduces himself to Quixote and Sancho by giving them a lengthy list of his many virtues- he says he is sober, sensible, and pious.

One thing he cannot claim to be is modest. Or maybe Don Diego is meant to satirize the ideal of the humanist philosophers who upheld the importance of rationality and moderation.

Don Diego is so moderate, in fact, that he cannot even decide whether Don Quixote is mad or sane. Although the son of Charles I, Philip II, who ascended the Spanish throne in and reigned until , was in some ways a strong ruler, he was not the inspiring figure his father had been.

Cervantes himself was part of this army, and his experiences as a tax collector and commissary officer gave him little reason to view the bureaucracy with admiration. The so-called Invincible Armada, a large naval fleet assembled in for an invasion of England a project for which Cervantes requisitioned food supplies was defeated by the English before it even reached an English shore.

The national treasury was bankrupt. Inflation was out of control. Culturally, too, Spain was beginning to withdraw from its position as a leader in Europe.

After , Spanish students were forbidden to study at foreign universities, and the office of the Spanish Inquisition- church officials appointed by the pope- had the power to censor books and search through the general population for heretics.

At least one quarter of all Spaniards considered themselves part of this class. Unlike the high aristoc- racy, however, hidalgos were not necessarily independently wealthy.

Most were poor but proud. Some hidalgo youths, like their fathers before them, sought fame and fortune in military careers. Miguel de Cervantes, an hidalgo, realized all too well that the social class he belonged to was becoming obsolete. Its values were those of a bygone age. Economically, it had no place in the modern world. In the meantime, the richest nobles were becoming richer, and the poor farmers of Spain were staggering under the twin burdens of heavy taxes and high inflation. Spain had become a modern nation with a global empire.

The country was run by bureaucrats, not by a heroic band of warrior knights. Modern nations could not afford to treat war as basically a sport for gentlemen. They could not afford to support a large percentage of the population who lived in idleness, playing at being lords and ladies.

Even the high ideals of chivalry had become obsolete. Unquestioning religious faith, a rarefied vision of romantic love, and a code of behavior based on knightly honor still had nostalgic appeal for many Spaniards.

He merely issued a belated death notice. Normally, we say an individual is being quixotic when he is in the grip of misguided idealism. Sometimes they do more harm than good. For example, his inept attempt to save the shepherd boy Andrew from a beating Part I, Chapter Four only gets the boy into worse trouble. Yet in many scenes in the story Don Quixote is a sympathetic, even tragic, figure.

Does his consistent fidelity to his ideals, however unrealistic, inspire your admiration?

Don Quixote

Although everyone agrees that quixotism is the principal theme of Don Quixote, there are almost as many different interpretations of this concept as there are readers of the novel. Some readers today agree with this point of view. They maintain that the novel was written to be amusing, and that anyone who tries to find tragic overtones in the story is missing the point. These readers noted that in popular belief and in literature, mad persons are often thought to be especially close to God.

Insanity can be an expression of divine inspiration. Some readers even wondered whether Don Quixote was not merely pretending to be mad. Such questions have given rise to many different theories about the character of Don Quixote. One theory is that Don Quixote is a Christian hero, a man who holds fast to his faith in a world that can neither share nor live up to his high standards. Readers who take this view usually emphasize the conservative values of the novel. Although Cervantes may make jokes at the expense of the church hierarchy or the upper classes, these readers say, he never ridicules such basic values as courage, fidelity, and chastity.

Another group of readers has pointed out that the character of Don Quixote is a very accurate psychological portrayal of a revolutionary. Don Quixote, they say, is an example of a man who sets out to transform the world in accordance with his vision. Like the fanaticism of real-life crusaders, religious and political, his can be laughable, even dangerous. Yet his persistence does succeed- for example, in its influence on Sancho Panza. Readers who take this viewpoint are likely to emphasize the elements of the novel which show that the author had been exposed to the thinking of humanist philosophers.

They feel that many of his criticisms of the established order, while humorous, have a hidden sting. Cervantes could hardly have been more direct in his satire, they point out, since he was writing under the restraints of censorship. Time has passed him by. Our noble intentions can come to a disastrous end if we do not pay attention to the practical consequences of our actions.

Curiously, there have even been a few readers who accuse Cervantes of writing a dangerous, hateful book. Admirers of chivalry and the society of the Middle Ages sometimes take this point of view. Chesterton , the British journalist and author of the Father Brown mystery stories, even wrote that by ridiculing the values of chivalry, Cervantes had made it impossible for modern men and women to take them seriously. Although this is certainly an extreme point of view, it illustrates how a book which many see as pure comedy can rouse other well-educated readers to fury.

Later, his friends begin to play tricks on him and disguise themselves in order to get him to give up his quest and return home. In the beginning of the novel, you always know exactly what is real and what is fantasy.


By the middle of Part II, however, the distinctions sometimes are blurred. For example, when Don Quixote has a bad dream in the cave of Montesinos, you are no longer certain whether the dream is just another delusion- or whether it is a product of the mind of his sane alter ego, Alonso Quixano. And in Part II, even the Don and Sancho are aware that they are only characters in a book- in fact, in two books: Part I of Don Quixote and the bogus sequel produced by an anonymous contemporary of Cervantes.

During the course of the story, the Don and Sanchowho on some levels seem real, despite their many improbable adventures- constantly interact with characters who have obviously just stepped out of the pages of other genres of literature.

Although some literal-minded readers consider the appearance of these rather shallow characters to be a flaw in the novel, you should keep in mind that Cervantes introduces them purposely, as just another playful twist on the theme of reality vs. You have to read the novel for yourself to see just how much fun the author has with language. For the most part, the prose style of the novel is earthy and direct.

At times, however, it rises to heights of eloquence. At other times, the author uses high-flown language to parody other types of literature. There are also a great many puns and other types of word play in the story.

Some of the puns will be lost on readers who do not know Spanish. Fortunately, much of the humor survives the translation of the novel into English.

Sometimes the proverbs are appropriate to the occasion. As in the plays of William Shakespeare, there are episodes in Don Quixote where the humor descends to what we would consider a dirty joke. One example of this occurs in Part I, when the barber Nicholas borrows an oxtail that the innkeeper uses to hang his comb in to use as a false beard.

Of course, you should keep in mind that in reading Don Quixote in an English translation you are not reading the actual language Cervantes wrote. However, the translations most commonly used today- especially those by J. Many readers complain that the story is too repetitive and filled with unnecessary, and sometimes confusing, digressions.

Others find it jarring that the two halves of the novel are so different in tone. These complaints are not new. There is a simple explanation for the unusual structure of the novel.

When he decided to expand his story, he created the series of seemingly endless, and sometimes repetitive, adventures that make up what we know as Part I of the novel.

Lack of structure and repetition were among the characteristics of the chivalric romances that Cervantes had set out to lampoon. When he began to write Part II of the novel, Cervantes had developed a more subtle conception of his characters, and he changed his approach to structure as well. Most modern readers find Part II more satisfying because the episodes seem less randomly strung together.

But it is possible to disagree with this judgment. If you enjoy tightly plotted suspense novels- or the kind of economical writing that makes every word count toward a single resolution or a unified themethen you may find yourself growing impatient with Don Quixote. To put it another way, this is not a novel for people who care a great deal about neatness. Don Quixote was written in a spirit of experimentation- in the attempt to break out of established literary molds and to put more of life between the covers of a book than anyone had done before.

The readers who enjoy this novel most are usually those who relax and get into the free-wheeling spirit of the individual episodes. The story is told by an author, presumably Cervantes himself, who sometimes interrupts his tale to speak directly to you. In the Prologue to Part I, for example, this author even complains about how much trouble he has had finishing his work. The author claims that he is only retelling a true story related by an Arab historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli.

Of course, there is no such person as Benengeli. The author made him up. The plots typically concerned a pair of star-crossed lovers, a knight and his fair lady. Often, but not always, such loves were platonic. When the lovers did actually make love, however, they had to suffer a great deal for their sin.

Chivalric romances also included elements of magic, myths, and fairy tales, and were written in stilted, absurdly flowery prose. In the story that follows, Cervantes makes fun of all of these characteristics. You may be more familiar with the story of Tristan and Iseult, or of the various tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

However, modern versions of these stories may not give you an accurate conception of the florid, overwrought prose which was enjoyed by readers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Similar Books

Like many of his social class, this gentleman has to stretch his pennies. He eats beef stew and beans and an occasional meal of bacon and eggs. His diet may be plain, but his head is stuffed with rich fantasies. In fact, the gentleman has read so many romances about knights and their adventures that he finally goes completely mad. Imagining that he is living in the bygone days of chivalry, he decides that he himself will become a knight-errant! The gentleman begins by polishing an old, rickety suit of armor that once belonged to his great-grandfather.

Unfortunately, the helmet is broken, but he fixes it with a makeshift visor made of pasteboard. Next, he decides to give his brokendown old horse a high-class name- Rozinante.

In all the stories Don Quixote has read, the knight-errant is always in love with a fair and noble lady. It is love, however hopeless, that inspires the knight to do so many brave deeds.

Don Quixote has no sweetheart of his own, but a certain farm girl in the nearby town of Toboso is reputed to be very good-looking. She, however, has no idea that he even exists. The Don decides to dedicate his adventures to this girl. And since she, too, will need a more romantic name than her real one, he will call her Dulcinea of El Toboso. His head is full of day-dreams. He is going to have such great adventures!

He is going to set right the wrongs of the world! Don Quixote has read so many romantic stories that he is already mentally composing a book that will be based on his own magnificent saga. The first order of business, however, is to find someone who can perform the ceremony that will make Don Quixote a true knight.

Just before nightfall Don Quixote reaches a roadside inn. His feverish brain imagines that the inn is a magnificent castle.

He mistakes two prostitutes he meets there for beautiful maidens and the innkeeper for the lord of the castle. When Don Quixote asks to be knighted, the innkeeper decides to humor him.

Don Quixote prepares for the all night vigil which the future knight must keep before the ceremony. Unfortunately, the altar is really a water trough and when two mule drivers move his things so their mules can have some water, Don Quixote attacks them both. In a hurry to get rid of his crazy guest, the innkeeper stages a mock ceremony and declares Don Quixote a true knight. It does not take the new knight long to find adventure. He comes upon a rich farmer who is whipping a poor shepherd boy, Andrew, for losing some sheep.

Don Quixote makes the farmer promise to stop beating the boy and to pay him the back wages he owes. Then he rides away, very satisfied with his good deed.

But the farmer has no intention of keeping his word. As soon as Don Quixote is out of sight he starts beating the boy again, twice as hard as before.

Next Don Quixote meets six merchants from Toledo. Planting his horse in the middle of the road, he challenges the merchants to agree with him that his Dulcinea is the most beautiful woman in the world.

Angered by this lack of respect, Don Quixote spurs his horse to a charge, but Rozinante stumbles and Don Quixote falls to the ground.

One of the merchants gives the Don a good drubbing with his broken lance. Much of the action in Don Quixote is pure slapstick. The Don is always getting involved in pointless, silly battles. If you think that some of these fights would not be out of place in a Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy comedy, you are absolutely right. This is exactly the spirit in which generations of readers have enjoyed them. Notice, however, that even when Don Quixote is making a fool of himself, there is something strangely moving about his character.

He always means to do good. Often, when he tries hardest, he fails completely. But he can also succeed by accident. When Don Quixote mistakes the prostitutes for ladies, they treat him with kindness, almost as if they really were ladies.

The innkeeper even behaves like a lord, letting Don Quixote leave the inn without paying for his food and lodging, as if he were an invited guest and not a paying customer.

The Don has been missing for three days, and his niece, Antonia, and his housekeeper are frantic. After putting him to bed, the women consult his best friends, the local priest and Nicholas the barber. The solution, therefore, is to burn his library. Before throwing the books into the fire, the priest and the barber go through them, making comments on individual titles.

Many of their remarks will mean nothing to you because the books are no longer read today. The barber and the priest agree that this particular book is worth saving. But after the two men leave, the housekeeper burns even the few books they have decided to save. Who is the crazier in this scene? Don Quixote? Or his friends, who think that books have evil powers and that by burning them, they can destroy the ideas the books contain?

When Don Quixote recovers from his wounds he finds his books gone and the door to his study walled up. His niece is afraid to tell him what really happened. Instead, she claims that an evil enchanter came riding out of the clouds on a dragon and destroyed his library.

During the next fifteen days, Don Quixote manages to talk a poor workingman, Sancho Panza, into leaving home to become his squire. Late one night, the two men sneak out of town- Don Quixote on Rozinante and Sancho on his jackass, Dapple. He attacks at full speed. Suddenly, the mechanical arm of the windmill he is charging shifts position, dragging the Don and his horse along the ground. Sancho tries to reason with his master. But Don Quixote refuses to concede that he was wrong.

He claims that the evil enchanter Freston changed the giants into windmills just to embarrass him. Remember, however, that this idea did not originate with him. It was his niece Antonia who came up with the idea because she did not want to tell her uncle the truth about the destruction of his library. It never occurs to the poor man that his beloved niece would deliberately lie to him.

Or is it always best to be strictly truthful? What significance do you see in the fact that the Don, the most consistently honest person in the novel, is also completely out of his mind?

Do you believe this? You may be surprised to find that this very well-known episode takes up only a few pages in the novel. Why, then, do you think it is well remembered?

One reason is that the image of the skinny, poorly dressed knight attacking a group of enormous windmills has been a favorite subject of painters and illustrators. Perhaps you have seen the well-known print by the nineteenth-century French artist Honore Daumier that captures this moment of the story. Another reason this episode is remembered so fondly may be that, for once, Quixote is attacking inanimate objects, not human beings.

Therefore, you can picture the scene without being tempted to sympathize with his victims. Don Quixote thinks that the two monks escorting the lady are kidnappers. He attacks one and knocks him to the ground. The chapter ends in mid-fight. For a while, he feared that he would never be able to tell his readers how the fight came out. But you are in luck! The author tells us that this second manuscript was written by an Arab historian named Cide Hamete Benengeli. He tells us one reason: If his readers doubt the truth of the rest of the story, he says, they should remember that the Arabs and the Spanish are enemies.

Besides, he adds, everyone knows that all Arabs are liars. Most readers, however, feel sure that the author is actually making fun of bigoted attitudes. But at the same time, Cervantes had no use for hypocrisy in any form. Again and again, he portrays prejudice as shallow and self-serving. Don Quixote is wounded: His ear is nearly cut off. He wins the fight, however. In the flush of victory, he gives Sancho a long lecture on the glories of knight-errantry. Sancho, meanwhile, is wondering how all this foolishness will lead to his becoming ruler of an island.

But his master tells him that he has something better than an island, a magic balm medicine that will cure all ills. This hospitality sets the Don off into another speech. Long ago, he says, mankind lived in innocence. There was no private property and no crime. The goatherds are skeptical. They doubt that such a Golden Age ever existed. The goatherds that you meet in this scene are obviously meant as a contrast with these fictitious creatures.

Of course, the Golden Age that Cervantes is describing existed only in the Garden of Eden or in the realm of the idealized pastoral novel. It has nothing to do with the so-called Golden Age of Spain, an era that was at its height as Cervantes wrote. Since Cervantes lived during a time when Spanish power was beginning to decline, he no doubt heard many such conversations. A young boy enters with news that a local student turned shepherd named Chrysostom has just died.

The cause- unrequited love! Its subject is the pain and suffering of loving a woman who does not return that love. Men say they like women who are modest and chaste.

Yet they are always trying to get the women they desire to make an exception for their sakes and give up their modesty. And when a woman turns them down, they resent her. All the men reluctantly agree that Marcela is right. These tales usually involved the soulful love affair of a shepherd and a shepherdess.

But the characters in pastorals bore no resemblance to the simple country folk they were supposed to be. They talked and acted more like the bored sophisticates who enjoyed such stories.

Many young men still see seducing a beautiful young woman as a challenge, a way to demonstrate their machismo. A young woman can not afford to say yes too often if she wants to keep a good reputation. However, he had a sharp eye for all sorts of social hypocrisy.Cardenio is overjoyed to hear that Lucinda is not married. Instead, one of the penitents knocks the Don senseless.

After Anselmo returns home, Camilla and Lothario resort to all kinds of ruses to keep Anselmo from finding out what is going on. The student of the work in English translation has even greater problems: the use of multiple translations should be just as routine. When they get back on the road, Quixote battles with the Knight of the Forest; this stranger is actually Carrasco in disguise, trying to trick Quixote into returning to the village.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Sancho does his best to postpone this punishment. Perhaps no other character in literature gives you a better example of the triumph of greediness over common sense. Soon after this, he dies.