Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


Deborah A. Robinson,Ph. D.


First published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615, amidst The Spanish Golden Age, Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote follows the rambunctious journey of a hopeful knight and his lowly squire. The protagonist Don Quixote, in attempts to follow the book of chivalry, fabricates false adventurous realities in which he and the squire Sancho Panza must react. Although Quixote exists as the protagonist, he displays an utter lack of connection with the realities of classical Spain. This thesis examines Cervantes' use of an out-of-touch protagonist and the void Don Quixote's ideals create. With this lack ofrealistic understanding coupled with Sancho Panza's consistent hesitations, Sancho's voice emerges. As an illiterate farmer Cervantes ironically positions Sancho Panza as the lone voice of reason in the text assuming power over his more educated master, shifting the balance of power and completely transforming the illiterate squire.