Don Quixote

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Don Quixote

 

(also Don Quijote), the hero of M. Cervantes’ novel El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha (2 vols., 1605-15).

While wandering about the ruined and oppressed Spain of the late 16th century, Don Quixote is always prepared to undertake knightly deeds in the name of love for humanity, even though life roughly crushes his illusions. The incongruity of the latter with historical reality leads to innumerable ironical and grotesque situations. Don Quixote embodies the tragedy of a humanist who becomes convinced that the ideals of justice and harmony in human relations cannot be realized. His tragicomic and humanistic meaning has universal human significance. Don Quixote, the “knight of the doleful countenance,” has been variously interpreted in works of world literature and art, and his name has come to be used to designate a man who is noble, bold, and magnanimous but remote from reality. Don Quixote has often been mentioned in the critical and journalistic essays of many Russian writers, including V. G. Belinskii, N. A. Dobroliubov, D. I. Pisarev, I. S. Turgenev, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, F. M. Dostoevsky, and A. V. Lunacharskii.

REFERENCES

Turgenev, I. S. “Gamlet i Don-Kikhot.” In Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem v 28 tomakh. Soch., vol. 8. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Pages 169-92.
Derzhavin, K. N. Servantes: Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo. Moscow, 1958. Snetkova, N. Don Kikhot Servantesa. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965. Servantes i vsemirnaia literatura: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1969. Predmore, R. L. The World of Don Quixote. Cambridge (Mass.), 1967.

M. A. GOL’DMAN

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Quixote, Don

knight-errant ready to rescue distressed damsels. [Span. Lit.: Don Quixote]

Quixote, Don

spends his life redressing the wrongs of the whole world. [Sp. Lit.: Cervantes Don Quixote]

Quixote, Don

falls into a trance and has visions of Montesinos and other heroes. [Sp. Lit.: Cervantes Don Quixote]

Quixote, Don

ascribes all his misfortunes to the machinations of enchanters. [Span. Lit.: Cervantes Don Quixote]

Quixote, Don

completely taken in by all the tales and plans of his squire and others who humor his delusions. [Span. Lit.: Cervantes Don Quixote]

Quixote, Don

attacks windmills thinking them giants. [Span. Lit.: Don Quixote]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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