Skip to content

The Best Cervante’s Don Quixote Quotes About Windmills, Love & Life

Here’s a selection of Don Quixote Quotes, covering topics such as madness, impossibe dreams, hope and inspiration.

We really hope you enjoy these quotes and that they give you something to think about.

It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight’s sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.
Miguel de Cervantes

I agree with pierre bayle and with unamuno that when cold reason contemplates the world it finds not only an absence of god, but good reasons for supposing that there is no god at all. From this perspective, from what unamuno called the ‘tragic sense of life’, from this despair, faith comes to the rescue, not only as something nonrational but in a sense irrational. For unamuno the great symbol of a person of faith was his spanish hero don quixote. Faith is indeed quixotic. It is absurd. Let us admit it. Let us concede to everything! to a rational mind the world looks like a world without god. It looks like a world with no hope for another life. To think otherwise, to believe in spite of appearances, is surely a kind of madness. The atheist sees clearly that windmills are in fact only windmills, that dulcinea is just a poor country bumpkin with a homely face and an unpleasant smell. The atheist is a sarah, justifiably laughing in her old age at abraham’s belief that god will give them a son.

what can be said in reply? how can a fideist admit that faith is a kind of madness, a dream fed by passionate desire, and yet maintain that one is not mad to make the leap?.

Martin Gardner

While we are reading, we are all Don Quixote.
Mason Cooley

The most perceptive character in a play is the fool, because the man who wishes to seem simple cannot possibly be a simpleton.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The wounds received in battle bestow honor, they do not take it away…
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

She left my world spinning
like windmills
on the plains of la mancha.
Stephen Brooke

…if the verses are for a literary competition, your grace should try to win second place; first is always won through favor or because of the high estate of the person, second is won because of pure justice, and by this calculation third becomes second, and the first becomes third…
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The distance between Don Quixote and the petty bourgeois victim of advertising is not so great as romanticism would have us believe.
Rene Girard

Me parece que el traducir de una lengua en otra, como no sea de las reinas de las lenguas, griega y latina, es como quien mira los tapices flamencos por el revés; que aunque se ven las figuras, son llenas de hilos que las escurecen, y no se ven con la lisura y tez de la haz.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Translating from one language to another, unless it is from greek and latin, the queens of all languages, is like looking at flemish tapestries from the wrong side, for although the figures are visible, they are covered by threads that obscure them, and cannot be seen with the smoothness and color of the right side.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I, like Don Quixote, have fought many a windmill.
Dan Pena

Wit and humor do not reside in slow minds.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Inside every Sancho Panza there’s a Don Quixote struggling to get out.
P. J. O’Rourke

Figaro. Such a fantastic chain of events! how did it all happen to me? why those things and not others? who pointed them in my direction? having no choice but to travel a road I was not aware I was following, and which I will get off without wanting to, I have strewn it with as many flowers as my good humour has permitted. But when I say my good humour, how can I know if it is any more mine than all the other bits of me, nor what this ‘me’ is that I keep trying to understand: first, an unformed bundle of indefinable parts, then a puny, weak-brained runt, a dainty frisking animal, a young man with a taste for pleasure and appetites to match, turning his hand to all trades to survive—sometimes master, sometimes servant as chance dictated, ambitious from pride, hard-working from necessity, but always happy to be idle! an orator when it was safe to speak out, a poet in my leisure hours, a musician as the situation required, in love in crazy fits and bursts. I’ve seen it all, done it all, had it all. Then the bubble burst and I was too disillusioned… disillusioned!.
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

A blessing on those happy ages that did not know the dreadful fury of these devilish instruments of artillery, whose inventor is, I feel sure, being rewarded in hell for his diabolical creation, by which he made it possible for an infamous and cowardly hand to take away the life of a brave knight as, in the heat of the courage and resolution that fires and animates the gallant breast, a stray bullet appears, nobody knows how or from where – fired perhaps by some fellow who took fright at the flash of the fiendish contraption, and fled – and in an instant put an end to the life and loves of one who deserved to live for many a long age.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Hunger is the best sauce in the world.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I do not deny that what happened to us is a thing worth laughing at. But it is not worth telling, for not everyone is sufficiently intelligent to be able to see things from the right point of view.

While clearly an impregnable masterpiece, don quixote suffers from one fairly serious flaw—that of outright unreadability.
Martin Amis

As far as I am concerned, Don Quixote is the most metal fictional character that I know. Single handed, he is trying to change the world, regardless of any personal consequences.
Christopher Lee

The best of cervantes is untranslatable, and this undeniable fact is in itself an incentive [for one and all] to learn spanish.
Aubrey F.G. Bell

Don quixote – the famous literary madman – fought windmills. People think he saw giants when he looked at them, but those of us who’ve been there know the truth. He saw windmills, just like everyone else – but he believed they were giants. The scariest thing of all is never knowing what you’re suddenly going to believe.
Neal Shusterman

The french ambassador to spain, meeting cervantes,congratulated him on the great success and reputation gained by his “don quixote”; whereupon the author whispered in his ear: “had it not been for the inquisition, I should have made my book much more entertaining.
Isaac Disraeli

It is one thing to write as poet and another to write as a historian: the poet can recount or sing about things not as they were, but as they should have been, and the historian must write about them not as they should have been, but as they were, without adding or subtracting anything from the truth.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

We’ve been hearing about the death of the novel ever since the day after Don Quixote was published.
Jay McInerney

… He who’s down one day can be up the next, unless he really wants to stay in bed, that is…
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

There is no book so bad…that it does not have something good in it.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Take my advice and live for a long, long time. Because the maddest thing a man can do in this life is to let himself die.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman’s mind?.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

-teresa dice -dijo sancho- que ate bien mi dedo con vuestra merced, y que hablen cartas y callen barbas, porque quien destaja no baraja, pues más vale un toma que dos te daré. Y yo digo que el consejo de la mujer es poco, y el que no lo toma es loco.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I think a fictional invention grows according to its own development, not the author’s. Characters in fiction are not simply as alive as you and me, they are more alive. Becky Sharp, Elizabeth Bennett, and Don Quixote may not outlive the burning out of the sun, but they will certainly outlive the brief candle of our lives.
Cynthia Ozick

Until death it is all life.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

When don quixote went out into the world, that world turned into a mystery before his eyes. That is the legacy of the first european novel to the entire subsequent history of the novel. The novel teaches us to comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude.
Milan Kundera

There is remedy for all things except death – don quixote de la mancha.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.

Bip is the romantic and burlesque hero for our time. Bip is a modern-day Don Quixote.
Marcel Marceau

The first modern novel was already a product, even an expression, of negative criticism: ‘Don Quixote’ contains a quite explicit critique of the chivalric romance and its insufficiency to account for the way real life feels when you get up in the morning in 17th-century Spain.
Elif Batuman

‘Don Quixote’ is a very political book that has been used by diplomats, politicians, guerrilla fighters, to inspire people, to convince them that they themselves can become quixotic. George Washington had a copy of the book on his desk when signing the U.S. Constitution.
Ilan Stavans

All of spain is contained in don quixote—-a decrepit society unaware the world has passed it by.
Adolf Hitler

If you read novels of the 19th century, they’re pretty experimental. They take lots of chances; they seem to break a lot of rules. You’ve got omniscient narrators lecturing at times to the reader in first person. If you go back to the earliest novels, this is happening to a wild extent, like ‘Tristram Shandy’ or ‘Don Quixote’.
Jennifer Egan

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.
George Bernard Shaw

Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, sancho panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to god to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“what giants?” asked sancho panza.
“the ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“now look, your grace,” said sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“obviously,” replied don quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.
Miguel de Cervantes

I’ve always been inspired by Don Quixote as a role model of sorts, of the power of books to sort of make you insane in maybe a beautiful way.
Jonathan Ames

Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Es natural condición de las mujeres desdeñar a quien las quiere y amar a quien las aborrece.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

…for hope is always born at the same time as love…
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I excused myself to the woman I was with and made my way over to these men. I stopped to ask my friend buller to watch my back. The thing is, people like this can’t be talked to, and so I wasn’t going to mess around with this crazed windmill and his sidekick, don quixote.
I hit the mouthy crazed windmill with a thumping right, a left, right, smack on the chin; he fell apart and was out for the count before he hit the deck.
I turned to don quixote and off he shot like the disney cartoon character of speedy gonzales.
Stephen Richards

I’m not interested in being Don Quixote. I’m interested in running the City of New York.
Sal Albanese

El grande homero no escribió en latín, porque era griego, ni virgilio no escribió en griego, porque era latino. En resolución, todos los poetas antiguos escribieron en la lengua que mamaron en la leche, y no fueron a buscar las extranjeras para declarar la alteza de sus conceptos; y siendo esto así, razón sería se extendiese esta costumbre por todas las naciones, y que no se desestimase el poeta alemán porque escribe en su lengua, ni el castellano, ni aun el vizcaíno, que escribe en la suya.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

After the gratifications of brutish appetites are past, the greatest pleasure then is to get rid of that which entertained it.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

A thought expressed is a falsehood.” in poetry what is not said and yet gleams through the beauty of the symbol, works more powerfully on the heart than that which is expressed in words. Symbolism makes the very style, the very artistic substance of poetry inspired, transparent, illuminated throughout like the delicate walls of an alabaster amphora in which a flame is ignited.

characters can also serve as symbols. Sancho panza and faust, don quixote and hamlet, don juan and falstaff, according to the words of goethe, are “schwankende gestalten.”

apparitions which haunt mankind, sometimes repeatedly from age to age, accompany mankind from generation to generation. It is impossible to communicate in any words whatsoever the idea of such symbolic characters, for words only define and restrict thought, but symbols express the unrestricted aspect of truth.

moreover we cannot be satisfied with a vulgar, photographic exactness of experimental photoqraphv. We demand and have premonition of, according to the allusions of flaubert, maupassant, turgenev, ibsen, new and as yet undisclosed worlds of impressionability. This thirst for the unexperienced, in pursuit of elusive nuances, of the dark and unconscious in our sensibility, is the characteristic feature of the coming ideal poetry. Earlier baudelaire and edgar allan poe said that the beautiful must somewhat amaze, must seem unexpected and extraordinary. French critics more or less successfully named this feature – impressionism.

such are the three major elements of the new art: a mystical content, symbols, and the expansion of artistic impressionability.

no positivistic conclusions, no utilitarian computation, but only a creative faith in something infinite and immortal can ignite the soul of man, create heroes, martyrs and prophets… People have need of faith, they need inspiration, they crave a holy madness in their heroes and martyrs.

(“on the reasons for the decline and on the new tendencies in contemporary literature”).

Dmitry Merezhkovsky

[he] looked exactly like michael’s idea of don quixote, ‘the luminary and mirror of all knight-errantry’, and for that gentle and melancholy knight michael had always had the greatest affection. Indeed, he was almost his favourite character in literature . . . And he had been created by a man in prison . . . The thought of the great cervantes, ‘the maimed perfection’, and of his sufferings so triumphantly endured, was one of the things that had helped to keep him sane many times, he imagined. He was young enough to believe that men go mad, that men die, more easily than in fact they do. He put the point where endurance is no longer possible at a reasonable distance along the way, not at that distant point where john could have told him that it does in fact exist.
Elizabeth Goudge

Don Quixote is one that comes to mind in comparison to mine, in that they both involve journeys undertaken by older men. That is unusual, because generally the hero of a journey story is very young.
David Guterson

There were no embraces, because where there is great love there is often little display of it.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The great thing about rock n’ roll is, if you want to fight – like, fight the system, fight the man, fight the government, fight the people in front of you – it’s Don Quixote all over again. You’re really chasing windmills.
Billy Corgan

I know that many writers have had to write under censorship and yet produced good novels; for instance, Cervantes wrote Don Quixote under Catholic censorship.
Guillermo Cabrera Infante

When I put on my consumer hat, and I’m buying tickets to be entertained, I’m not interested in seeing, like, ‘Don Quixote.’ Unless someone really spectacular is dancing.
Justin Peck

Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.
W. H. Auden

Read Don Quixote; it is a very good book; I still read it frequently.
Thomas Sydenham

Rocinante was of more value for a true traveller than a jet plane. Jet planes were for business men.
Graham Greene

How many different works of art have been inspired by ‘Don Quixote?’ Thousands. Most people enter the novel, for better or worse, through the musical the ‘Man Of La Mancha.’
Ilan Stavans

Little did they suspect that the years would end by wearing away the disharmony.
little did they suspect that la mancha and montiel and the knight’s frail figure would be, for the future, no less poetic than sinbad’s haunts or ariosto’s vast geographies.
for myth is at the beginning of literature, and also at its end.
Jorge Luis Borges

The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I don’t despise ‘Don Quixote,’ but it is a book I don’t… get. I’ll have to come back it. Maybe there’ll be a gateway story that opens it up for me; that happened for me with ‘Paradise Lost’ and the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy.
Helen Oyeyemi

I want you to see me naked and performing one or two dozen mad acts, which will take me less than half an hour, because if you have seen them with your own eyes, you can safely swear to any others you might wish to add.

The first time I got paid as an actor was for ‘Man of La Mancha.’ So ‘Don Quixote’ has always been a thing for me.
Jason Winston George

Fantasy Man’s my favourite, I think, because he’s sort of like Don Quixote. He lives in a fantasy world, but he gets jolted back into reality, and I guess that’s me, really!
Noel Fielding

I don’t see what my arse has to do with enchantings!.
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel

O ye sweet treasures, to my sorrow found!
once sweet and welcome when ’twas heaven’s good-will. O ye tobosan jars, how ye bring back to my memory the sweet object of my bitter regrets!.
Miguel De Servantes

One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this. -don quixote.
Joe Darion

Bear in mind, sancho, that one man is no more than another, unless he does more than another.
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel

Do you see over yonder, friend sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

As long as he fought imaginary giants, don quixote was just play-acting. However once he actually kills someone, he will cling to his fantasies for all he is worth, because only they give meaning to his tragic misdeed. Paradoxically, the more sacrifices we make for an imaginary story, the more tenaciously we hold on to it, because we desperately want to give meaning to those sacrifices and to the suffering we have caused.
Yuval Noah Harari

There are so many great characters because one of the things that makes Batman fantastic is that Batman is tragic. I’ve said this elsewhere; I’ve said it over and over again, but the beauty of the character is that he’s a Don Quixote.
Greg Rucka

It is better to have red a great work of another culture in translation than never to have read it at all.
Henry Gratton Doyle

Thou hast seen nothing yet.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

A bad year and a bad month to all the backbiting bitches in the world!…
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

It’s up to brave hearts, sir, to be patient when things are going badly, as well as being happy when they’re going well … For i’ve heard that what they call fortune is a flighty woman who drinks too much, and, what’s more, she’s blind, so she can’t see what she’s doing, and she doesn’t know who she’s knocking over or who she’s raising up.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

If you think of all the enduring stories in the world, they’re of journeys. Whether it’s ‘Don Quixote’ or ‘Ulysses,’ there’s always this sense of a quest – of a person going away to be tested, and coming back.
Robyn Davidson

A tooth is much more to be prized than a diamond.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I come in a world of iron…to make a world of gold.
Dale Wasserman

If you can see something, and it is wrong, you can fight it with a reasonable chance of success. Fighting the nonexistent is worse than pointless: don quixote tilted at windmills, but at least windmills are real.
Mike Klepper

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *