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July 5, 2023

Don Quixote: 30 Must-Read Quotes from the Classic Novel

The article highlights the quotes discovered in Don Quixote, which provide valuable understanding regarding human nature, ethics, and the pursuit of aspirations. It introduces Don Quixote and explores the reasons behind his popularity. The top 30 quotes from the book are showcased, along with explanations of their significance. Additionally, the article offers suggestions for other literary works that fans of Don Quixote might appreciate.


Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes in the early 17th century, is hailed as one of the most influential works of literature in the Western canon. This timeless novel follows the adventures of a chivalrous knight, Don Quixote, who sets out to revive the age of chivalry in a world that has long forgotten its ideals.


Beyond its captivating narrative and profound character development, Don Quixote is brimming with thought-provoking quotes that continue to inspire and resonate with readers today. These quotes encapsulate the themes of idealism, madness, love, and the power of imagination. They delve into the depths of human nature, providing unique insights into the complexities of the mind.


In this article, we have carefully curated a collection of the best quotes from Don Quixote, highlighting their wisdom and relevance in our modern world. Join us on a journey through the mesmerizing words of Cervantes, as we uncover the profound truths hidden within the pages of this literary masterpiece. Prepare to be captivated by the ingenious quotes that continue to shape our understanding of life, love, and the pursuit of dreams.


Who is Don Quixote?

Don Quixote, also known as Alonso Quijano or simply "the Knight of the Sad Countenance," is a middle-aged nobleman from the region of La Mancha in Spain. He leads a modest and uneventful life, spending most of his time reading books about chivalry and knights-errant that have driven him to madness and delusion.


Driven by an unwavering desire to revive the age of chivalry and right all wrongs, Don Quixote sets out on a self-proclaimed quest to become a knight-errant himself. Wearing outdated armor and wielding an old lance, he renames himself Don Quixote and embarks on various adventures, accompanied by his loyal squire, Sancho Panza.


Despite his valiant intentions, Don Quixote's idealistic worldview often clashes with reality, leading to comical and absurd situations. He perceives ordinary objects as enchanted beings and believes that windmills are ferocious giants, and inns are magnificent castles. His vivid imagination and romantic notions drive him to confront various challenges, whether they are real threats or mere illusions.


Throughout the novel, Don Quixote displays a complex personality. He is both courageous and foolish, noble and naive, displaying qualities of kindness, determination, and honor. Despite his numerous setbacks and failures, he never loses faith in his mission as a knight-errant and remains steadfast in his pursuit of justice and glory.


Why We Love Don Quixote?

Complex and relatable nature: Don Quixote is a multi-dimensional character with a complex personality. He embodies the human tendency to chase dreams and ideals, even when they seem unattainable or unrealistic. His struggles and aspirations resonate with readers, reminding them of their own desires and yearnings.


Unyielding determination: Don Quixote's unwavering determination to pursue his chivalrous adventures is both admirable and endearing. Despite facing ridicule and defeat, he remains committed to his cause, showcasing the power of resilience and perseverance. This determination can inspire readers to pursue their own passions and never give up on their dreams, no matter how impractical they may seem.


Comedic elements: The comical situations and humorous interactions involving Don Quixote make him an entertaining and lovable character. His delusions of grandeur, mixed-up perception of reality, and the resulting chaos create numerous comedic moments throughout the story. These light-hearted episodes provide readers with laughter and joy, making them appreciate and enjoy the character even more.


Symbol of imagination and escapism: Don Quixote symbolizes the power of imagination and escapism. By immersing himself in the world of knights and chivalry, he seeks to transcend the limitations of his mundane existence. Readers often find solace in his ability to create his own reality, seeing him as a reminder that one can find meaning and fulfillment by embracing their imaginations and exploring alternative perspectives.


30 Must-Read Quotes from Don Quixote

  1. "Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind."  

This quote highlights the transformative power of literature and the dangers of excessive escapism.


  1. "When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams - this may be madness."

Don Quixote's character embodies the idea that pursuing one's dreams, even in the face of societal ridicule, is a form of sanity.


  1. "Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!"

This quote reflects Don Quixote's perception that idealism and imagination are more valuable than conforming to societal norms.


  1. "For neither good nor evil can last forever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand."

Don Quixote's optimism shines through in this quote, demonstrating his unwavering belief in the eventual triumph of good over evil.


  1. "The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water."

Through this quote, Cervantes emphasizes the inherent resilience of truth, suggesting that it will eventually prevail despite attempts to obscure it.


  1. "Liberty, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven has bestowed upon mankind."

Don Quixote values personal freedom and holds it in high regard, recognizing it as an essential aspect of human existence.


  1. "I know who I am, and who I may be, if I choose."

This quote encapsulates Don Quixote's belief in self-determination and the ability to shape his own identity and destiny.


  1. "Take my advice, friend, and live for a thousand years; for between bad and good there is little difference, as between white and gray."

Don Quixote's wisdom shines through in this quote, suggesting that the world is not simply black and white but rather a nuanced blend of shades.


  1. "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

This quote reminds us of the importance of authenticity, urging us to be mindful of the roles we assume and the impact they have on our true selves.


  1. "Sleep, those little slices of death - how I loathe them."

Reflecting Don Quixote's disdain for idle rest, this quote underscores his relentless pursuit of adventure and purpose.


  1. "No, thou art not worthy of the sweetness of my revenge. I will let thee live, so that thou mayest suffer more."

This quote unveils the flawed nature of Don Quixote's chivalrous ideals, revealing a darker side to his character.


  1. "For hunger is the best sauce in the world."

Don Quixote's experiences emphasize the value of simplicity, asserting that even the most basic pleasures can bring profound satisfaction.


  1. "It is one thing to praise discipline, but another to submit to it."

This quote reflects the conflict between Don Quixote's idealistic aspirations and the practical realities of life, highlighting the challenges he faces in bridging the gap.


  1. "The heart wants what it wants."

This quote captures the essence of Don Quixote's unwavering passion and desire, emphasizing the power of emotions in shaping one's actions.


  1. "Patience, and shuffle the cards."

Don Quixote's enduring patience in the face of adversity echoes throughout the novel, underscoring his resilience and determination.


  1. "Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected."

This quote reflects the idea that fate plays a significant role in shaping our lives, often leading us to unexpected but fortunate outcomes.


  1. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Actions speak louder than words, and this quote reminds us that the true value or quality of something can only be judged through firsthand experience.


  1. "Love is the most delightful madness."

Love has the ability to inspire intense emotions and irrational behavior, often transcending reason and logic.


  1. "Every man is the son of his own works."

Our actions define us. This quote underscores the importance of taking responsibility for one's choices and their consequences.


  1. "A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience."

Proverbs distill wisdom gained over time, offering concise and insightful lessons passed down through generations.

  1. "The honest man may be bold, but the brave man is always honest."

Bravery and integrity go hand in hand, suggesting that true courage arises from a foundation of honesty.


  1. "Forgiveness is the mightiest sword."

This quote reflects the idea that forgiveness is a powerful tool, capable of healing wounds and resolving conflicts.


  1. "Thou hast seen nothing yet."

Don Quixote encourages embracing new experiences and challenges, indicating that there is much more to discover in life.


  1. "Envy is the greatest pain of all."

Envy can consume individuals, causing immense suffering and robbing them of contentment.


  1. "Wit and humor do not reside in slow minds."

Quick thinking and a good sense of humor often go hand in hand, suggesting that intelligence can be linked to wit and comedic abilities.


  1. "To be prepared is half the victory."

This quote underscores the significance of planning and readiness, recognizing that proper preparation significantly increases the chances of success.


  1. "The worst thing a man can do is not to fight for justice."

Injustice should never be tolerated, and this quote advocates for actively standing up against it.


  1. "Love and war are all one."

Love and conflict share a passionate intensity, often blurring the boundaries between them.


  1. "Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world."

Self-reflection and self-awareness require considerable effort but yield profound insights into one's character and purpose.


  1. "One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world will be better for this."

This quote celebrates resilience and determination, suggesting that even in the face of adversity, striving for greatness has a positive impact on the world.


Beyond Don Quixote: Explore These Books for More Quotes

  1. "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen: This classic novel is filled with memorable quotes, witty observations, and insightful commentary on love, society, and human nature.
  2. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee: This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel explores themes of racial injustice and moral courage through the eyes of Scout Finch, offering profound insights into empathy, prejudice, and the complexities of human behavior.
  3. "1984" by George Orwell: A dystopian masterpiece, this book paints a chilling picture of a totalitarian society, where surveillance, censorship, and manipulation dominate. It contains thought-provoking quotes about power, truth, and the importance of individual freedom.