Theme of Imagination in Cervantes’ Don Quixote

Don Quixote was so enthralled in his imagination that it was the only thing defining him. His actions mirrored what he believed were the true aspects of knighthood and signified his loyalty. The imagination highlighted in the excerpt clearly explains how much Don was invested in standing up for what he believed in. It brings out what was going through his mind in contrast to what was going on. This paper highlights how Don Quixote’s belief about becoming a knight enhances his imagination and affects him and those around him.

Don and Sancho believed the patrolman was a Moor that was out to get them. They addressed him rudely and were beaten for that. Don believed that making a balm, as the knights do, would heal them but it ended up making them sicker. Believing that he was a knight led him to be very rude to the people he interacted with such as the patrolman and the inn’s landlord. He says to the landlord, “…seeing it is not a castle but an inn, the only thing for you to do is overlook the payment…” (Putnam, 1948). By saying this, he showed how much disrespect he had for things or people that did not align with his belief. They both refused to pay for the services they had received at the inn and Sancho was punished.

Accepting a battle with the Knight of the White Moon represents Don’s need to imitate the heroic side of the knights. Losing brought shame to him and his people since he had to admit that Dulcinea del Toboso was the most beautiful woman and not their very own Ana Felix. This is seen when he says, “Dulcinea del Toboso is the most beautiful woman in the world and I the most unhappy knight upon the face of the earth. It is not right that my weakness should serve to defraud the truth…” (Putnam, 1948). His imagination led him to believe that he could win this battle although he knew that he could not. Don’s actions were selfish as they only represent what he believed in even if it meant someone got hurt. However, he demonstrated how committed he was to his beliefs through them. The imagination in the book made it livelier and enabled the reader to have a more graphical vision of the hero’s adventures while reading.


De Cervantes, M., Putnam, S., & Putnam, S. (1949). Don Quixote de la Mancha (p. 17). Random House.

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