Don Quixote Book I Summary and Analysis of Book I, Chapters 1-6

Book I: Preface-Chapter 6 Summaries


Don Quixote starts with a preface by Cervantes. The author claims to be the “stepfather of Don Quixote” (as opposed to the daddy) because he is sharing an old story that was informed to him long earlier. At first, Cervantes decided that his book would have few allusions to classical or middle ages stories as was the customized of the day. In the end, nevertheless, his pal persuaded him that these allusions will make the book larger and will persuade the readers that Cervantes is a well-read male.

Chapter 1

There is an older gentleman (called Quixana or possibly Quesada) and he lives in a Spanish town called La Mancha. As the story starts, this guy has lost his wits. “His creativity was full of all that he checked out in his books” stories of middle ages knights, chivalry, and bloody fights. As a result, he changes his name to Don Quixote and decides to end up being a knight-errant. Neither his niece nor his housemaid can persuade him from dressing his old horse and setting off to battle giants.

Chapter 2

On the road, Don Quixote comes across a very normal peasant woman. Quixote sees her as a stunning honorable lady and so he calls her Dulcinea and pledges to fight for her honor and splendor.

Chapter 3

Upon reaching an inn, Quixote visualizes that the inn is a castle, that two remaining prostitutes are beautiful damsels, and that a dwarf opens the drawbridge to the castle. Quixote is crudely impersonated a warrior (with a helmet made of pasteboard). The innkeeper and visitors are terrified by Quixote, but they soon end up being entertained. The innkeeper plays in addition to Quixote’s imaginations and consents to knight Don Quixote in the morning. However when Quixote violently attacks one of the guests, the innkeeper fast knights Don Quixote and sends him off.

The innkeeper recommends Don Quixote that knights need to take a trip with a couple of sets of clothes along with a good amount of money.

Chapter 4

Don Quixote returns to La Mancha to get the necessary supplies, and on the way, he hears sobbing noises from a bush. Don Quixote discovers a young laborer (Andres) being ruthlessly whipped by his master, John Haldudo the Rich. The young boy claims that the master owes him unsettled incomes, however the master claims that the boy is unethical. Quixote sides with the kid versus his master, however then believes the master when he guarantees Quixote that the kid will be immediately reimbursed. Don Quixote views that justice has actually been done, therefore he advances his path. Once Don Quixote is safely gone, the master continues to whip his servant.

Chapter 5

Don Quixote likewise suffers a beating right after, when he forces an altercation with a group of thirteen men. His body is bruised though his life is not endangered. A peasant from La Mancha finds Don Quixote and leads the gentleman back to his house, where his anxious niece and housemaid are waiting.

Chapter 6

While Don Quixote sleeps, the niece and housekeeper conspire with two of Don Quixote’s pals (the priest and the barber). In the end, they decide to burn practically all of the gentleman’s sin-provoking books those books that aren’t burned in the hellish fire are removed from the house entirely.


Authorship is one of the central styles of this book. In the Beginning, Cervantes claims that the story was originally taped by a Moor. As “author,” Cervantes has merely translated and decorated the work. Naturally, this is not true. Ironically, authorship does end up being a major concern in terms of the publication of the follow up to Schedule I. Cervantes planned to release a follow up to Book I; it arrived on the scene ten years later, in 1615. In the intervening years, an “imposter” released a sequel to Schedule I. The book was knocked as a scams, disclaimed by Cervantes, but however read and enjoyed by a large audience.

In Book II, Cervantes responds to the “imposter sequel” and he noticeably takes authorship more seriously. These information certainly make Cervantes’ Beginning rather paradoxical, even if in retrospection. At any rate, the reader ought to not take the Beginning seriously particularly Cervantes’ claim that he is publishing Don Quixote in order to “ruin the authority and approval” delighted in by “books of chivalry.” Within the larger story of Book I, a number of smaller sized stories will be informed and concerns of authorship will become one of Cervantes’ favorite video games.

As heroes go, Don Quixote leaves to a rather inauspicious start. In his attempts to end up being a knight-errant, Don Quixote is really a parody: His suit of armor is composed of rubbish and garbage. His horse, Rocinante, is an old steed. Hardly a figure of renown, Don Quixote stays so undistinguished that even those acquainted with him are unsure exactly what is name is (possibly Quixana, Quesada or Quixana). Don Quixote’s aspirations are as great and various as his inabilities and he invests a lot of time thinking about how the story of his “popular exploits” will be taped.

Delusion is another major thematic issue of the novel. The books of chivalry have actually left Don Quixote incapable of seeing “truth.” A lot of Quixote’s deluded interpretations are rather ironic. Perhaps Quixote is merely innocent and naïve when he mistakes the two prostitutes for damsels. Later in Book I, Quixote will argue that the idealization of an individual makes this person ideal. True to the chivalric standard, Quixote idealizes ladies with little validation or provocation. When Don Quixote thinks that the inn is a “castle” and the swineherd is a “dwarf,” he is not simply idealizing. These deceptions are self-serving; the castle and the dwarf fit into the story that Don Quixote dreams were true. To this day, the word “quixotic” is used to describe a person who is “foolishly not practical, especially in the pursuit of suitables.” Certainly, this is true of Quixote when he discusses that he did not bring any cash or modifications of clothes with him due to the fact that he had “never read in the histories of knights-errant, that they carried any.”

Don Quixote is certainly “in the pursuit of ideals,” old chivalric ideals that were no longer the mode in his society. At the exact same time, the characterization of Quixote is rather complicated. For an innocent, Quixote certainly causes a good amount of damage if Quixote is a hero, he is not a normal hero. Andres suffers much more than he would have, had Don Quixote never ever ‘pertain to the rescue.’ Throughout Book I, Don Quixote reveals himself to be both restless and violent.

When Quixote causes a row at the inn, the innkeeper cautions the other visitors about confronting the knight: “The host cried out to them to let him [Don Quixote] alone, for he had already informed them he [Don Quixote] was mad, which he would be acquitted as a madman though he should kill them all.” If nothing else, this passage provides us social context. This is the age of the Inquisition with its Index of forbidden books; these are years of order. As foreshadowed here, it will not be long before Quixote seriously trespasses the law. Quixote commits criminal offenses due to the fact that he pursues his perfects without giving any believed to the law; he does not take objective at the law.

In Don Quixote, deceptiveness functions as a parallel to misconception. Don Quixote suffers delusions of being a knight-errant. His family, pals, and acquaintances regularly trick Quixote throughout Book I. Often as we will see later these deceptiveness are intended to mock and ridicule Quixote. In these early chapters, Quixote’s niece, and Quixote’s 2 good friends the priest and the barber look for to secure the potential knight-errant from the books that have actually damaged his sensibilities. Quixote’s sane compatriots will regularly trick him in order to secure him.

Finally, the reader needs to also know Cervantes’ self-reference in Chapter 6. Cervantes’ work, Galatea, (published in 1585) is a minimum of temporarily amongst the books that the priest and barber extra from the fire. The priest argues that the book can not be sufficiently judged until “the 2nd part” is published and critiqued. Only then, can Cervantes “obtain that whole pardon which is now rejected him.” This is rather the parallel to Michelangelo’s self-depiction in the Sistine Chapel: a hollowed-out skin, dangling in the awkward area between paradise and hell. Today, literary critics usually look at Don Quixote as the developmental step, the germ of the contemporary book. Cervantes may not have used this language, but he understood that he was writing a different kind of work. Therefore, we might anticipate this exorcism of The Author’s irritating fears the devils of insecurity and censorship; and we might have expected it to come early on in the story.

This is, nevertheless, only the beginning of a very long discourse on literature in general, focusing mostly on looks, poetics and criticism. Don Quixote is quite a book about reading and its consequences. However Don Quixote is also a book about the experiences of authors and writers.

You Might Also Like