Identify differences and the similarities between Don Quixote and The Odyssey. 

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although The Odyssey by Homer and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra are both important literary works, and share in common a narrative of the travels and adventures of a single protagonist, they differ in many salient features.

Homer's Odyssey derives from an extended oral tradition, and achieved the form in which it was now transcribed several hundred years after bards started to recite stories about Odysseus and the other participants in the Trojan wars. It dates to approximately 800 B.C. Don Quixote is a written literary work composed by a single author in Spain, dating to 1605-1615. 

The Odyssey is a Greek epic poem written in dactylic hexameter and Don Quixote is a Spanish novel written in prose. Homer's work is a heroic epic. The protagonist is a king who is portrayed as brave, intelligent, and generally a model for emulation. Don Quixote is a satirical work, making fun of the chivalric tradition. The protagonist has lost touch with reality and is a comic figure.

Finally, although love is part of both plots, in the case of Odysseus it is real love for his wife that motivates his struggles to return home. The character of Dulcinea del Toboso is based on Don Quixote's fantasies about a peasant girl he has never even spoken to.