Book Notes

Notes on Don Quixote Themes

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Don Quixote Topic Tracking: Idealized Women

Volume 1, Chapter 1

Idealized Women 1: Don Quijote chooses Aldonza Lorenzo, a peasant girl from Toboso (to whom he has never spoken) to be his lady love. He renames her Dulcinea del Toboso and gives her the title "Mistress of His Thoughts."

Volume 1, Chapter 2

Idealized Women 2: Don Quijote talks to himself and complains about Dulcinea's rejection of him.

Idealized Women 3: Don Quijote refers to two prostitutes as "noble virgins."

Volume 1, Chapter 3

Idealized Women 4: Don Quijote prays to Dulcinea before hitting the muledriver over the head with his spear.

Volume 1, Chapter 4

Idealized Women 5: Astride Rocinante, Don Quijote stands in the middle of the road and demands that a group of travelers agree that Dulcinea is the most beautiful woman in the world.

Volume 1, Chapter 9

Idealized Women 6: Dulcinea is known as the best pork salter in all of La Mancha.

Volume 1, Chapter 12

Idealized Women 7: Marcela, a beautiful heiress turned shepherdess, has no interest in love or marriage and politely tells this to her aspiring lovers. They consider her cruel and ungrateful for not being what they would have her be.

Volume 1, Chapter 13

Idealized Women 8: Don Quijote speaks of Dulcinea (whom he has never spoken to) as his "sweet enemy" (pg. 70) and describes her great beauty and character.

Idealized Women 9: Ambrosio sees Marcela as the bane of all men's existence.

Volume 1, Chapter 14

Idealized Women 10: Marcela points out the unfairness of demanding she love someone who loves her just for her beauty. She doesn't flirt and has declared her desire to remain unmarried; if anyone doesn't believe her, it is their own fault.

Volume 1, Chapter 16

Idealized Women 11: Don Quijote, who has been fantasizing about the innkeeper's daughter coming to his bed that night, believes the ugly Maritornes to be her when she enters the room for her tryst with the muledriver.

Volume 1, Chapter 20

Idealized Women 12: Sancho regales Don Quijote with a tale about a stocky, mannish woman who carries pimple medicine in her knapsack.

Volume 1, Chapter 22

Idealized Women 13: Don Quijote sees prostitution as a necessary public service that should be legalized and managed by the government.

Volume 1, Chapter 25

Idealized Women 14: Sancho learns that Dulcinea's real name is Aldonza Lorenzo. He knows her and describes her as strong, well built, funny and down-to-earth; but he doesn't know what she would want with the presents Don Quijote has been sending her. Don Quijote says that for what he wants of her she is equal to the best princess. He also admits that Dulcinea is part invention.

Volume 1, Chapter 28

Idealized Women 15: Dorotea, who does not serve as anyone's idealized woman, marries one man in a secret ceremony to avoid being raped (she knew he was not going to take no as an answer); throws another man off a cliff to avoid being raped; runs away from a third who looked likely to attempt rape in her unprotected state.

Volume 1, Chapter 33

Idealized Women 16: Anselmo doubts his wife, Camila's character and virtue since she has never been tempted. He cannot value her completely unless he sees her pass such a test.

Volume 1, Chapter 36

Idealized Women 17: Dorotea, through her goodness and wisdom, makes a bad man (Don Fernando) good.

Volume 1, Chapter 41

Idealized Women 18: Another female character appears. Zoraida is the epitome of idealized beauty and one smart cookie too.

Volume 1, Chapter 46

Idealized Women 19: Sancho tells Don Quijote that he does not believe Dorotea to be a real princess but a whore since he saw her kissing Don Fernando behind the outhouse.

Volume 1, Chapter 50

Idealized Women 20: The shepherd and cathedral priest excuse a she-goats behavior on the basis of her sex; that all females are fickle and cannot control their natural instinct.s

Volume 1, Chapter 51

Idealized Women 21: Eugenio, (the shepherd), tells of another gorgeous beautiful maiden named Leandra who spurned him for a returning soldier, who leaves her in her underwear in a cave. She claims to still be a virgin but enters a convent temporarily while many men wail for her about the countryside.

Volume 1, Chapter 52

Idealized Women 22: A parade of penitents carry a statue of the Virgin Mary -- possibly the ultimate idealized woman of all time.

Volume 2, Chapter 8

Idealized Women 23: Don Quijote says that the sight of Dulcinea will give him wisdom and courage.

Volume 2, Chapter 9

Idealized Women 24: Don Quijote admits that he has never seen Dulcinea.

Volume 2, Chapter 10

Idealized Women 25: Don Quijote complains that the evil magicians have even stolen Dulcinea's lovely scent and replaced it with garlic.

Volume 2, Chapter 13

Idealized Women 26: After Sancho describes his daughter as comely, tall and strong, the Knight of the Wood's squire says that she sounds like a wood nymph and refers to her as a slut and female dog.

Volume 2, Chapter 22

Idealized Women 27: Don Quijote comments on how it is easier to keep a good woman good than make a bad woman good. Sancho bitterly complains that Teresa (his wife) is not nearly as good as he wishes her to be.

Volume 2, Chapter 32

Idealized Women 28: The Duke, Duchess and Don Quijote discuss the lovely, ugly, enchanted, real, imagined, noble, common -- take your pick! -- person or persona of Dulcinea del Toboso.

Volume 2, Chapter 44

Idealized Women 29: Don Quijote feels that Emerencia and Altisidora are persecuting Dulcinea by threatening her hold on the prize she has won -- Don Quijote!

Volume 2, Chapter 59

Idealized Women 30: Two gentlemen at an Inn ask Don Quijote if Dulcinea is still a virgin or has she had a child. Don Quijote informs them that she is still a virgin.

Volume 2, Chapter 64

Idealized Women 31: Don Quijote would rather die than say some other woman is more beautiful than Dulcinea.

Volume 2, Chapter 70

Idealized Women 32: Don Quijote hides under his bed covers from the very real, very angry Altisidora.

Idealized Women 33: Don Quijote advises the Duke and Duchess to keep Altisidora busy so that she will not have time for "conjuring up images of anyone she thinks she loves..." (pg. 729).

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