Who is the narrator of Don Quixote?

The narrator of Don Quixote is the author himself, Miguel de Cervantes. However, in instances where a fictional novel’s author narrates the book, the narrator should be considered another fictional character, not a real reflection of the actual author. The narrator may be named Miguel de Cervantes, and he may identify himself as the author of the book, but he is ultimately a work of fiction. Cervantes narrates much of the novel in the third person, focusing on telling the story of Don Quixote, but he occasionally makes an appearance in the first person by jumping in to give little facts or anecdotes about the book, or to claim that he’s simply transcribing the story from an original text written by Cide Hamete Benengeli. Cervantes explores the complex nature of narration not only by making himself a character in his own novel, but also by cementing himself as an unreliable narrator while simultaneously entreating the reader to trust him. He’s aware that a reader would have no reason to question the narration of the man who wrote the novel, and he uses this understanding not only for comedic effect but also to challenge the ways in which we trust the myths and stories that shape our societies and realities, as well as those who create, share, and manipulate those myths and stories. The fact that Cervantes was experimenting with metanarrative and unreliable narration in 1605, well before “the novel” became standard practice in literature and entertainment, is one of the many reasons that Don Quixote is considered a massive literary influence as well as one of the first, if not the first, modern novels.

How does Don Quixote die?

Don Quixote is challenged to a duel with the Knight of the White Moon, secretly a former acquaintance of Don Quixote’s who hopes to convince him to give up his knight-errantry. The Knight wins the duel, and Don Quixote must abide by its terms and return home, withholding from any knightly quests for an entire year. Don Quixote is depressed by his loss. His defeat seems to strip him of all his strength and purpose, and he begins to return to sanity, rejecting his previous chivalric pursuits for a simple shepherd’s life. However, before Don Quixote can make good on his new interest in shepherding, he falls seriously ill, suffering from a fever for a week. Sancho even attempts to revive him by asking him to take up his knight-errantry again, but Don Quixote is no longer interested. He soon dies from his illness. It is not only Don Quixote’s personal defeat at the hands of the Knight but also the general defeat or death of the chivalric way of life that ultimately ends his life. While Don Quixote’s knightly pursuits are often comedic, his persevering belief in the valor, beauty, and morality of knighthood – and, in a greater sense, his belief in the possibility of valor, beauty, and morality existing in human society at large – is sympathetic. Don Quixote’s loss of purpose, as well as his physical death, insinuates that romance and chivalry may have no place in the modern world, or perhaps never had a place in the world at all, and there is something tragic in that realization.

What happens to Sancho?

After Don Quixote is defeated by the Knight of the White Moon, he and Sancho return home. Don Quixote is dejected by his loss and begins to show signs that he is emerging from the fog of his chivalrous delusions. He intends to retire and become a shepherd, an idea that the exhausted Sancho fully supports. With Don Quixote heading into a quieter life, no longer in need of Sancho’s service, Sancho leaves him and reunites with his family. However, he quickly returns when Don Quixote falls ill and stays by his master’s side throughout Don Quixote’s sickness until his death. Don Quixote previously left a will that made his niece, housekeeper, and Sancho the sole recipients of his wealth. While the reader is never told what Sancho does following his adventures with Don Quixote (he does not become a governor as initially promised), he does receive a considerable monetary reward for his loyalty, and he isn’t necessarily beholden to peasant life anymore.

Why doesn’t Dulcinea ever appear?

Dulcinea is a peasant woman whom Don Quixote has made the object of his affections, as well as the inspiration behind his knightly quest. According to Don Quixote, Dulcinea is beautiful and wholesome, although, considering that he has a habit of perceiving things through a delusional lens of chivalry, it seems unlikely that Dulcinea actually embodies feminine perfection. To Don Quixote, Dulcinea represents the idealistic beautiful, virginal woman that a noble knight would protect and live in service to. However, the fact that Dulcinea never actually appears throughout the entirety of Don Quixote is yet another statement on how Don Quixote’s romantic notions of knighthood, chivalry, and virginal maids are only fantasy. The lovely damsel-in-distress is simply a part of this fantasy – in reality, she doesn’t truly exist. Don Quixote has dedicated his life to an illusion. His image of Dulcinea may be based on a real person, but that person is not only unaware that she is the object of Don Quixote’s fixations, but she is also utterly unaffected by them. Cervantes uses Dulcinea – or the absence of her – to exhibit the emptiness and meaninglessness behind Don Quixote’s aesthetic quest for valor and virtue.

Who is the Knight of the White Moon?

The Knight of the White Moon is a mysterious adversary who challenges Don Quixote to a duel, telling him that, should Don Quixote lose, he must return home and give up knight-errantry for a year. After the Knight defeats Don Quixote in the duel, their acquaintance Don Antonio wishes to discover the Knight’s true identity. After following him to an inn, Don Antonio succeeds in getting the Knight to admit who he really is: Samson Carrasco, a scholarly bachelor who lives in the same town as Don Quixote. At the beginning of the novel, Samson finds Don Quixote a laughingstock and sets out to mock him by pretending to be an adversarial knight – initially, he calls himself the Knight of Mirrors, and goes by several names throughout the book besides the Knight of the White Moon. Samson is upset when he loses his first duel with Don Quixote in the first half of Don Quixote and swears to get his revenge. However, Samson’s motives aren’t simply to ridicule Don Quixote or to get revenge for being beaten. He becomes increasingly respectful toward and concerned for his persevering adversary. After he defeats Don Quixote at the end of the novel, he shares that he simply wants Don Quixote to return to reality, and that he thinks Don Quixote is a good man.