Don Quixote (kee-HOH-teh), possibly a gentle but impoverished man named Alonso Quijano (or perhaps Quixana) of Argamasilla, in the Spanish province of La Mancha. Driven mad by reading many romances of chivalry, he determines to deck himself out in rusty armor and a cardboard helmet and to become a knight-errant. Under the name of “Don Quixote” he will roam the world, righting wrongs. His squire calls him “The Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance.” He has moments of lucidity, especially at the end of the novel when a victorious enemy forces him to give up his questing. He returns home, repents of his folly, and dies.
Sancho Panza (SAHN-choh PAHN-sah), a paunchy rustic at first described as “long-legged.” He is persuaded by promises of governorship of an island to become squire and attendant of the knight. He is the best drawn of the 669 characters in this 461,000-word novel. He does get his island, but he abdicates upon news of the approach of a hostile army.
Rocinante (rroh-see-NAHN-teh), the nag that carries Don Quixote on his journeying. His companion is Dapple, the donkey of Sancho Panza.
Aldonza Lorenzo (ahl-DOHN-sah loh-REHN-zoh), a sweaty peasant girl of Toboso, whom Don Quixote idealizes under the name of Dulcinea del Toboso; he chooses her to be his queen of love and beauty, the inspiration of his knightly questing.
Antonia Quixana (kee-
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