"Don Quixote is practically unthinkable as a living being. And yet, in our memory, what character is more alive?", said novelist Milan Kundera.
Cervante's most important work, widely regarded as the world's first modern novel. This is the adventures of an idealistic Spanish nobleman who, as a result of reading many tales of chivalry, comes to believe that he is a knight who must combat the world's injustices. He travels with his squire, Sancho Panza, an uneducated but practical peasant. Don Quixote's mount is an old, bedraggled horse named Rocinante. Don Quixote travels in search of adventure, dedicating his actions of valor to a simple country girl whom he calls Dulcinea, seeing her as his lady. He sets himself the task of defending orphans, protecting maidens and widows, befriending the helpless, and serving the causes of truth and beauty. His imagination often runs away with him, so that he sees windmills as giants, flocks of sheep as enemy armies, and country inns as castles. Don Quixote's romantic view of the world, however, is often balanced by Sancho Panza's more realistic outlook.
The completed work, however, presents a rich picture of Spanish life and contains many philosophical insights.