|Don Quixote character|
Alonso Quijano (seated) beside his squire Sancho. Illustration by Wilhelm Marstrand (1810-1873).
|Created by||Miguel de Cervantes|
Alonso Quijano (spelled Quixano in English and Early Modern Spanish) is the personal name of the famous fictional hidalgo or knight better known as Don Quijote, the leading character of the novel Don Quijote de la Mancha, written by Miguel de Cervantes. At the start of the work Cervantes explains that Alonso Quijano "wanted to link his name to some great thing, and in this thought persisted for eight days, until finally he settled on the title of Don Quixote. [...] He wanted to known as a noble and honorable knight, worthy of being added to the roll of honor of his homeland, which is why he is known as Don Quixote de la Mancha."
Other names or nicknames of Alonso Quijano that go appearing in the story are: the Knight of the Sad Face, that puts him alongside his own squire Sancho Panza, or the Knight of the Lions, adopted by Don Quijote after an encounter with lions (in the second part, at chapter 17).
Lineage and physical description
In chapter 39 of the First Part of the novel written in 1605, Don Quixote himself claims to be a descendant of the family of "Gutierre Quijada", by direct lineage —in which case his correct name would be Alonso Quijada, gentleman of Villagarcía de Campo (an imaginary rural settlement), part of a long and noble tradition of knights whose great-grandfather was Luis Quijada, majordomo of the emperor Carlos V, formerly a butler in the residence of ‘Jeromín', a nickname of Don Juan of Austria, until the emperor recognized him officially after which he served in the court of Felipe II together with his brother
As to his phisique, Cervantes describes Alonso Quijano: "a brave and noble soul, about the fifty years of age. He was of lean build, wiry with a wrinkled, suntanned face." (first part, chapter I).
In chapter XIV of Part II (1615), a knight errant, Batchelor Sansón Carrasco, describes him as "a tall man, dry of face, pulled and wrinkled limbs, ageing, with the nose something between the beak of an eagle and a hamstring, underlined by a large, black, droopy mustache."
- Cervantes, Miguel de (2016-04-20). "Don Quijote" (in Spanish). Centro Virtual Cervantes. Retrieved 2016-04-20.