In The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes satirizes chivalric romances. Compare and contrast Don Quixote with the stereotypical knight.
Don Quixote is an excellent satirical example of a chivalric knight because of the way that in so many ways he tries to be a knight but is shown to fail so dismally. Perhaps what is most apparent about him is the way that he relies on the power of his imagination to transform the rather humdrum scenes and characters around him into epic battles and beautiful princesses. A perfect example of this is when he explains about the woman he has chosen to be his princess, Aldonza Lorenzo, a farmer's daughter, who in Don Quixote's imagination becomes the princess Dulcinea del Toboso:
...for what I want of Dulcinea del Toboso she is as good as the greatest princess in the land. For not all those poets who praise ladies under names which they choose so freely, really have such mistresses... I am quite satisfied... to imagine and believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is so lovely and virtuous...
The reality of who Aldonza Lorenzo is, according to Don Quixote, is meaningless so long as he can imagine her to be Dulcinea del Toboso. This is a particularly strong motif in the novel, as Aldonza Lorenzo is never actually introduced, and, it can be assumed, knows nothing of how Don Quixote thinks of her. However, what this quote does introduce is the power of Don Quixote's imagination and how he uses it to create dramatic adventures through his own creative faculties. A perfect example comes when he battles the windmills, thinking they are a giant. Don Quixote therefore is contrasted with the stereotypical knight because of the way he has all the essential ingredients of being a knight but actually they are only based on the power of his imagination.
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