"Quixote"

Bronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, part of the Monument to Miguel de Cervantes at the Plaza de España in Madrid, Spain
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, part of the Monument to Miguel de Cervantes at the Plaza de España in Madrid, Spain - Credit: Luis García
  Don Quixote is a novel by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616). Protagonist Alonso Quixano is obsessed with the chivalrous ideals that he has read about in books, and decides to reinvent himself as Don Quixote, a knight-errant, and set out for adventure on his mangy horse, Rocinante. He engages a neighbour, Sancho Panza, to be his squire, and designates a farm girl, Aldonza Lorenzo, as his lady love Dulcinea del Toboso. Quixote sees the world as his imagination portrays it, leading him to believe that ordinary things are magical or chivalric. From here we get the famous expression 'tilting at windmills', as Quixote attacks a windmill, believing it to be an aggressive giant. It is also from this novel that we get the word 'quixotic'.

The full title of the novel is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (or in Spanish, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha). It is considered to be one of the greatest ever works of Spanish literature.