Mambrino's Helmet

Mambrino’s Helmet

golden helmet makes wearer invisible. [Span. Lit.: Don Quixote]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
He told us at random of the attack on the windmills and the flocks of sheep, of the night in the valley of the fulling-mills with their trip-hammers, of the inn and the muleteers, of the tossing of Sancho in the blanket, of the island that was given him to govern, and of all the merry pranks at the duke's and duchess's, of the liberation of the galley-slaves, of the capture of Mambrino's helmet, and of Sancho's invention of the enchanted Dulcinea, and whatever else there was wonderful and delightful in the most wonderful and delightful book in the world.
Cervantes scholar Anthony George Lo Re characterizes these figures as "almost laconic and deformed." He elaborates: "The knight's head, capped by what would be Mambrino's helmet, is connected to his shoulders by a neck made with a single, thin line, and it sports a pointed nose and a long, equally thin goatee.
In the twenty-first chapter of Volume I, it starts raining, a meteorological phenomenon which provides Don Quixote with the opportunity of believing that he had mananged to acquire Mambrino's helmet. On the road, the master and the squire run into a barber, who is wearing a shaving basin on his head, typical for his profession, wishing to protect his hat from the rain.
All the defenders of Charles the Great were looking for Mambrino's helmet, as it was golden and protected his possessor; that is why many wanted to have it.
Significantly, as Edward Dudley has observed, the most complex series of intercalated tales in the Quixote (which become concentrated in the inn) takes place between the two "yelmo de Mambrino" episodes, Mambrino's helmet being a coveted object in the Furioso as well and therefore a textual marker of Ariostan influence.
His main publications include:The Indian Supreme Court and Politics (1979); The Crisis of the Indian Legal System (1982); Courage, Craft and Contention: The Indian Supreme Court in Mid-Eighties (1985); Towards a Sociology of Indian Law (1986); Liberty and Corruption: The Antualy Case and Beyond (1990); Marx, Law, and Justice: Indian Perspectives (1993); Inhuman Wrongs and Human Rights (1994); Mambrino's Helmet? Human Rights for a Changing World (1994.) He has edited a number of volumes, including the Bhopal Case trilogy, published by the Indian Law Institute and Law and Poverty: Critical Essays (1989.)
As much as we need to think that the windmills are warriors and that the barber's bowl is Mambrino's helmet, "utopia on its own is pitiful and dangerous" (12) unless it is balanced by down-to-earth factuality.
Further evidence of Don Quixote's erudition is his ready knowledge of the rules of knight-errantry and his recalling the legend of Mambrino's helmet in connection with his oath of knighthood as well as elsewhere in the novel.
Regarding Mambrino's helmet, on a perfectly sunny day, the barber travels with the basin on his head, as if it was a normal thing to do.