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Quote 5

For me alone Don Quixote was born and I for him. His was the power of action, mine of writing.

These parting words of Cide Hamete Benengeli, in Chapter LXXIV of the Second Part, reflect Cervantes’s words at the novel’s beginning. At the start, Cervantes declares that Don Quixote is only his stepson—in other words, that he is not fully responsible for creating the character of Don Quixote. Don Quixote’s real father, according to Cervantes’s account, is Benengeli, the Moor from whose manuscript Cervantes claims to translate Don Quixote. Such remarks give the text a mythical, unreal tone that leaves us unsure whom to trust or to whom to attribute the story of Don Quixote. Additionally, the powerful sentiment that Benengeli expresses here contributes to the novel’s claim that Don Quixote was a real person. Benengeli de-emphasizes his role in bringing Don Quixote’s story to light by casting himself as a mere recorder of a great man’s life and deeds.