Neither wholly tragedy nor wholly comedy Don Quixote gives a panoramic view of the 17th-century Spanish society. Central characters are the elderly, idealistic knight, who sets out on his old horse Rosinante to seek adventure, and the materialistic squire Sancho Panza, who accompanies his master from failure to another.
During his travels, Don Quixote’s overexcited imagination blinds him to reality: he thinks windmills to be giants, flocks of sheep to be armies, and galley-slaves to be oppressed gentlemen. Don Quixote is passionately devoted to his own imaginative creation, the beautiful Dulcinea. At the end, the hero returns to La Mancha, and only at his deathbed Don Quixote confesses the folly of his past adventures.