One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this
~ Don Quixote

Don Quixote is an elderly sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman, unmarried, well-mannered and cultured, whose real name is Alonso Quixano. He is the title character of Don Quixote de La Mancha, a novel written by the real-life Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616).

Biography

The First Sally

Alonso Quixano's one great passion is books of chivalry, which he reads obsessively. Due to his declining sanity, he believes are all true no matter how ridiculous and fantastical their plots are. He finally goes insane from reading too many of them, and, in an era when there are no knights left, decides to become one, renaming himself Don Quixote de la Mancha. He took his horse, a swords, and an old set of armor and sets off to an adventure with his first adventure being him entering an inn which he thought is a castle in order to be knighted. Due to his demeanor and behavior, the innkeeper became annoyed and knighted Don Quixote to be rid of him, unaware of the horror he just unleashed upon the world

The Second Sally

After accidentally inflicting more suffering onto a beaten man and then being beaten up himself, Don Quixote is brought back home, only to find that his books had been burned. Eventually he recovers and decides that as his "squire", he takes along a clever peasant named Sancho Panza. There they continued with the adventure which began with the knight attacking windmills which he sees as giants. They then passed by friars who were travelling by a road which was being also being used by a woman. Don Quixote somehow sees the friars as enchanters holding the woman captive and proceeded to attack them. An armed basque decided to challenge the knight and was able to survive his attacks before the woman was able to trick Don Quixote by asking the people involved to "surrender"

The knight and his "squire" decided to stop and rest near a number of goat farmers. To pass time, Don Quixote tells them all a story of "The Golden Age of Man" which explains world peace. Unfortunately, his horse was attempting to mate with the horses of some Galicians who proceeded to beat the knight and his "squire" for not trying to send their horse away. Some time later, Don Quixote and Sancho decided to stop by an inn with the former believing it to be a castle. They stay in a room with a muleteer and the knight invites a servant girl to sit next to him, scaring her and provoking the muleteer who smashes the fragile bed Don Quixote was sitting on. He and Sancho got into a fight which they survive before the former uses some "healing balm" which makes them sick. They soon leave but the knight refuses to pay, resulting in his "squire" being flung around while being wrapped in a blanket by various guests.

During one of their journeys, Don Quixote and Sancho wound up in a crossover chapter where he meets a man named Cardenio from the lost play, "The History of Cardenio". While listening to the man's story, Don Quixote makes the mistake of assuming that Cardenio's lover was in an affair. This enraged him and he proceeded to beat up everyone around him. Some time later, the knight decided to write an intricate love letter based on his experience with Cardenio. Sancho however delivers the letter to a priest and a barber. They all agreed to device a scheme to bring Don Quixote home, starting by hiring a woman from Cardenio's story and convincing the knight that the woman is a princess. They all went on a journey where they finally met Cardenio's lover. After some sequences of people being reunited, Don Quixote is arrested for freeing a number of galley slave. Luckily, his friends testified for him and he avoided prison with a plead for insanity. He was brought in a cage and at some point during his escort, he was let out. This proved to be a mistake as he wound up fighting some pilgrims and he was brought home to recover.

The Third Sally

Don Quixote recovers after some time and returns to his adventure with Sancho. They have gained fame and were soon tricked by a Duke and a Duchess. Don Quixote in particular was put through various pranks to prove his honor. Sancho soon grows tired of this and convinces the knight that a peasant girl is a cursed princess. This backfires when the Duke and Duchess convinced Don Quixote that the only way to free the princess' curse is to whip the "squire" 3300 times. Some time later, Sancho is given governorship and was able to be an effective and clever ruler before it was revealed to be a ruse which resulted in him being humiliated.

Near the end of the story, Don Quixote is challenged by an old rival, Samson Carrasco which he had beaten in a previous fight. The rival who was once known as Knight of Wood and Knight of Mirrors challenges the knight with a new alias, Knight of the White Moon. Don Quixote was defeated and as part of a tradition, the rival forced his opponent to cease his chivalric activities for an entire year. During this year, Don Quixote regained his sanity and apologized for the harm he has done. He later writes a will prohibiting his niece from marrying men who read chivalry books. After some time, he dies from illness and old age.

In other media

Man of La Mancha

At least two film versions of "Don Quixote" are scrupulously faithful to the extremely long novel, but most of them change some elements of the story radically, and Aldonza does appear in several of them. In "Man of La Mancha", the famous musical inspired by "Don Quixote", she is not a farm girl, but a prostitute who works in a local inn.

Man of La Mancha uses a mere fraction of Don Quixote's adventures in its plot, as do other dramatizations of the novel. (The ballet version of Don Quixote, by Ludwig Minkus, uses only two.) Depending on which film version of Don Quixote one watches, different adventures are included - the novel is nearly 1,000 pages long - but the one most famous, which turns up in nearly every adaptation, is Quixote's attack on the windmills, which he believes to be ferocious giants. Another of his famous adventures is that involving the barber and his shaving basin, which Don Quixote takes to be the miraculous helmet of Mambrino.

In "Man of La Mancha" , the ending of the novel is changed. Alonso Quijana does not remember his adventures clearly after being shocked back into sanity. When he is visited on his deathbed by Aldonza, who longs to become Dulcinea again, she helps him remember, and he immediately lapses back into his state of "insanity," becoming Don Quixote once more. He is about to go forth on adventures again triumphantly, but he suddenly collapses, dead. After this, Aldonza insists that he still lives if one believes in him, and asks that all call her Dulcinea from now on. Thus, the ending of the musical and the teleplay on which it is based ("I, Don Quixote") are both much more inspirational than the ending of Cervantes's novel

Rock of Ages 2 : Bigger and Boulder

Don Quixote appears in Rock of Ages 2 as an opponent. In the introduction cutscene, he saw Atlas, his boulder, and a peasant and somehow saw them as a horrific beast, leading to the knight charging at them. He wound up hurting himself which is expected since he did charge at a boulder. Defeating him grants Atlas the Armored Boulder which Don Quixote used during the fight.

Trivia

  • In the 2015 film, he is played by the late Carmen Argenziano.
  • In said movie, he is last name is Quijana instead of Quixote
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