A report on Don Quixote and Chivalric romance

Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, first edition)
Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion
Illustration by Gustave Doré depicting the famous windmill scene
Holger Danske, or Ogier the Dane, from the Matter of France
First editions of the first and second parts
A knight rescues a lady from a dragon.
Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863, by Gustave Doré.
Illustration to The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Volume II.
Don Quixote on a 1951 1 Peseta banknote.
Don Quixote by Honoré Daumier (1868)
Don Quixote, his horse Rocinante and his squire Sancho Panza after an unsuccessful attack on a windmill. By Gustave Doré.
Illustration to Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes (the edition translated by Charles Jarvis)
Don Quixote. Close up of Illustration.
Bronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, at the Plaza de España in Madrid.
Collage of the engravings of The Adventures of Don Quixote by Gustave Doré
Don Quixote goes mad from his reading of books of chivalry. Engraving by Gustave Doré.
Don Quichote And Sancho Panza by Louis Anquetin

The plot revolves around the adventures of a member of the lowest nobility, an hidalgo from La Mancha named Alonso Quijano, who reads so many chivalric romances that he either loses or pretends to have lost his mind in order to become a knight-errant (caballero errante) to revive chivalry and serve his nation, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha (in modern-day Spanish, spelled Quijote).

- Don Quixote

Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion, and Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in his novel Don Quixote.

- Chivalric romance
Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, first edition)

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Madame de Pompadour spending her afternoon with a book (François Boucher, 1756)

Novel

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Relatively long work of narrative fiction, typically written in prose and published as a book.

Relatively long work of narrative fiction, typically written in prose and published as a book.

Madame de Pompadour spending her afternoon with a book (François Boucher, 1756)
Paper as the essential carrier: Murasaki Shikibu writing her The Tale of Genji in the early 11th century, 17th-century depiction
Chaucer reciting Troilus and Criseyde: early-15th-century manuscript of the work at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
1474: The customer in the copyist's shop with a book he wants to have copied. This illustration of the first printed German Melusine looked back to the market of manuscripts.
Richard Head, The English Rogue (1665)
1719 newspaper reprint of Robinson Crusoe
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, vol.6, pp. 70–71 (1769)
Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1741)
Intimate short stories: The Court and City Vagaries (1711).
Image from a Victorian edition of Walter Scott's Waverley (1814)
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Vladivostok, 1995
Chinua Achebe, Buffalo, 2008
Dan Brown
J. K. Rowling, 2010

According to Margaret Doody, the novel has "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in the Ancient Greek and Roman novel, in Chivalric romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella.

Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote (the first part of which was published in 1605), is frequently cited as the first significant European novelist of the modern era.

Konrad von Limpurg as a knight being armed by his lady in the Codex Manesse (early 14th century)

Chivalry

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Informal and varying code of conduct developed between 1170 and 1220.

Informal and varying code of conduct developed between 1170 and 1220.

Konrad von Limpurg as a knight being armed by his lady in the Codex Manesse (early 14th century)
God Speed by English artist Edmund Leighton, 1900: depicting an armoured knight departing for war and leaving his beloved
Reconstruction of a Roman cavalryman (eques)
Knights of Christ by Jan van Eyck
Depiction of chivalric ideals in Romanticism (Stitching the Standard by Edmund Blair Leighton: the lady prepares for a knight to go to war)

The meaning of the term evolved over time into a broader sense, because in the Middle Ages the meaning of chevalier changed from the original concrete military meaning "status or fee associated with a military follower owning a war horse" or "a group of mounted knights" to the ideal of the Christian warrior ethos propagated in the romance genre, which was becoming popular during the 12th century, and the ideal of courtly love propagated in the contemporary Minnesang and related genres.

Don Quixote, published in 1605–15, burlesqued the medieval chivalric novel or romance by ridiculing the stubborn adherence to the chivalric code in the face of the then-modern world as anachronistic, giving rise to the term Quixotism.

This portrait attributed to Juan de Jáuregui, 
who did paint Cervantes, is unauthenticated. No authenticated image of Cervantes exists.

Miguel de Cervantes

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Early Modern Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists.

Early Modern Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists.

This portrait attributed to Juan de Jáuregui, 
who did paint Cervantes, is unauthenticated. No authenticated image of Cervantes exists.
An incident in the story of Don Quixote (1870), by Robert Hillingford.
Santa María la Mayor, in Alcalá de Henares, where Cervantes was reputedly baptised; the square in front is named Plaza Cervantes
Monument of Cervantes erected in 1929, Madrid.
Statue of Miguel de Cervantes at the harbour of Naupactus (Lepanto)
Cervantes at the battle of Lepanto, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.
Statue of Cervantes outside the National Library of Spain.
Cervantes was buried at the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid.
The windmill scene from Don Quijote, by Gustave Doré
An illustration from Don Quijote, by Doré
Cervantes's La Galatea (1585), original title page.
Frontispiece of the Viaje (1614)

He is best known for his novel Don Quixote, a work often cited as both the first modern novel and one of the pinnacles of world literature.

In Don Quixote, he challenged a form of literature that had been a favourite for more than a century, explicitly stating his purpose was to undermine 'vain and empty' chivalric romances.

A 14th century depiction of the 13th century German knight Hartmann von Aue, from the Codex Manesse.

Knight

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Person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state or representative for service to the monarch, the church or the country, especially in a military capacity.

Person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state or representative for service to the monarch, the church or the country, especially in a military capacity.

A 14th century depiction of the 13th century German knight Hartmann von Aue, from the Codex Manesse.
A Norman knight slaying Harold Godwinson (Bayeux tapestry, c. 1070). The rank of knight developed in the 12th century from the mounted warriors of the 10th and 11th centuries.
The battle between the Turks and Christian knights during the Ottoman wars in Europe
David I of Scotland knighting a squire
The miles Christianus allegory (mid-13th century), showing a knight armed with virtues and facing the vices in mortal combat. The parts of his armour are identified with Christian virtues, thus correlating essential military equipment with the religious values of chivalry: 
The helmet is spes futuri gaudii (hope of future bliss), the shield (here the shield of the Trinity) is fides (faith), the armour is caritas (charity), the lance is perseverantia (perseverance), the sword is verbum Dei (the word of God), the banner is regni celestis desiderium (desire for the kingdom of heaven), the horse is bona voluntas (good will), the saddle is Christiana religio (Christian religion), the saddlecloth is humilitas (humility), the reins are discretio (discretion), the spurs are disciplina (discipline), the stirrups are propositum boni operis (proposition of good work), and the horse's four hooves are delectatio, consensus, bonum opus, consuetudo (delight, consent, good work, and exercise).
Tournament from the Codex Manesse, depicting the mêlée
Elements of a harness of the late style of Gothic plate armour that was a popular style in the mid 15th to early 16th century (depiction made in the 18th century)
Page from King René's Tournament Book (BnF Ms Fr 2695)
The Battle of Pavia in 1525. Landsknecht mercenaries with arquebus.
Fortified house – a family seat of a knight (Schloss Hart by the Harter Graben near Kindberg, Austria)
The Battle of Grunwald between Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights in 1410
Pippo Spano, the member of the Order of the Dragon
The English fighting the French knights at the Battle of Crécy in 1346
Miniature from Jean Froissart Chronicles depicting the Battle of Montiel (Castilian Civil War, in the Hundred Years' War)
A modern artistic rendition of a chevalière of the Late Middle Ages.
A battle of the Reconquista from the Cantigas de Santa Maria
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The Battle of Pavia in 1525. Landsknecht mercenaries with arquebus.

Knights and the ideals of knighthood featured largely in medieval and Renaissance literature, and have secured a permanent place in literary romance.

While chivalric romances abound, particularly notable literary portrayals of knighthood include The Song of Roland, Cantar de Mio Cid, The Twelve of England, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Knight's Tale, Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, and Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, as well as Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and other Arthurian tales (Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, the Pearl Poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, etc.).

Title page of an Amadís de Gaula romance of 1533

Knight-errant

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Title page of an Amadís de Gaula romance of 1533
"Yvain rescues the lion", from Garrett MS 125, an illustrated manuscript of Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion, dated to ca. 1295.

A knight-errant (or knight errant ) is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature.

In Don Quixote (1605), Miguel de Cervantes burlesqued the romances and their popularity.

Spanish edition of Amadis of Gaula (1533)

Amadís de Gaula

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Spanish edition of Amadis of Gaula (1533)
First surviving edition, 1508; University of California, Berkeley
Los cuatro libros de Amadís de Gaula, Zaragoza: Jorge Coci, 1508

Amadís de Gaula (in English Amadis of Gaul) (Amadís de Gaula, ); Amadis de Gaula, ) is a landmark work among the chivalric romances which were in vogue in sixteenth-century Iberian Peninsula, although its first version, much revised before printing, was written at the onset of the 14th century.

Amadís de Gaula was the fictional character Don Quixote's favorite book in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes.

Orlando Furioso title page, Valgrisi Edition, 1558

Orlando Furioso

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Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture.

Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture.

Orlando Furioso title page, Valgrisi Edition, 1558
Ruggiero Rescuing Angelica by Gustave Doré
Title page of the third edition of John Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso, 1634. The first edition was 1591
Page from 1565 edition of Orlando Furioso by Francesco Franceschi.
Norandino and Lucina Discovered by the Ogre, from Canto XVII, by Giovanni Lanfranco, 1624
Marphise by Eugène Delacroix, 1852 (Walters Art Museum)
Orlando Furioso, 1551

The story is also a chivalric romance which stemmed from a tradition beginning in the late Middle Ages and continuing in popularity in the 16th century and well into the 17th.

Orlando Furioso is mentioned among the romances in Don Quixote.

Title page of the first Castilian-language translation of Tirant lo Blanch, printed in Valladolid by Diego de Gumiel

Tirant lo Blanch

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Title page of the first Castilian-language translation of Tirant lo Blanch, printed in Valladolid by Diego de Gumiel
Title page of the first Castilian-language translation of Tirant lo Blanch, printed in Valladolid by Diego de Gumiel

Tirant lo Blanch (modern spelling: Tirant lo Blanc ) is a chivalric romance written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell, finished posthumously by his friend Martí Joan de Galba and published in the city of Valencia in 1490 as an incunabulum edition.

The Spanish text of Don Quixote states, in Chapter 6 of Part I, that because of certain characteristics of Tirant – characters with unlikely or funny names such as Kirieleison de Montalbán, the presence of a merry widow, the fact that in the book knights eat, sleep, and die in their beds having made a will, and the title can be understood as "Tirant the Blank", lacking a major victory to put on his shield – the book is quite different from the typical chivalric romance.