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Don Quixote (Character Description)

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Appearance– Don Quixote is a tall man with a wrinkled face, long skinny arms, an eagle like nose that is somewhat hooked and graying.  He has a big black droopy mustache to disguise his bony underbite.  Typically, he has a dried-up face, a knotted and grizzled beard, and a brown, stretched neck. 

Age– Don Quixote is 49 years old, which, in the seventeneth century, is old, since the typical life-span back then was 40 years of age. 

Occupation– Since Don Quixote is a nobleman of the lowest rank he derives a small income from his acres of arable land.  Besides having a bit of ready money passed down from his forebears Don Quixote makes a small profit on his vineyards.  When he is not managing his property, which is most of the year, either he hunts boar, to while away the time, or reads chivalry books, as a leisure activity.

Sanity/Insanity– When Don Quixote is in his right mind he talks with good sense and a clear and balanced judgment, which makes people think he is clever, studious, and to the point.  But when he focuses his mind on chivalry he interlards sense and nonsense, reason and unreason, because what he says is coherent, elegant, and well-expressed, yet what he does is absurd, foolhardy, and stupid.  Since he performs mad actions in the worldbut speaks words that dissipate the effects of his deedsmost people think that he is mad, in streaks, complete with lucid intervals.  Unable to decide whether he is more sane than mad or more mad than sane, his examiners conclude that he is a sane man with madness in him, and a mad man with sane tendencies. 

Injuries– Don Quixote’s first injury comes when his ribs are bruised and battered by a muleteer who pounds him with a piece of his broken lance pummeling him until he is well-threshed like the finest chaff.  Then his shoulder is half-dislocated when a windmill’s sails yank him off his horse with enough force to send him rolling over the Montiel plain in a very sore predicament indeed.  Later, half his ear is lopped off by a Basque who sends a large part of his helmet, along with a bloody chunk of his ear, to the ground in hideous ruin. Next, a group of Yanguasian mule carriers pound him with their walking-staffs until he is knocked senseless.  Then a muleteer at a tavern delivers such a terrible punch to Don Quixote’s lantern jaws that his mouth is bathed in blood.  Not content with his opening blow, the muleteer climbs on top of Don Quixote’s ribs and trots up and down from one end to the other until he lays unconscious atop a ruined bed.  To top off his loss of blood, a peace-officer smashes an oil lantern on Don Quixote’s head leaving a good size dent there and raising two sizable lumps as well.  Later, a group of goatherds break two of Don Quixote’s ribs, smash three or four of his teeth, and crush two of his fingers in retaliation for their dead sheep.  Next, a group of convicts fire a hailstorm of rocks at Don Quixote hitting him with enough force to knock him to the ground. Once Don Quixote is down, a student outlaw snatches a barber’s basin from off his head and smashes it three or four times on Don Quixote’s back leaving him in a sorry state indeed. Afterwards, when Don Quixote hurls a loaf of bread at a goatherd’s face, the goatherd climbs on top of Don Quixote and flails away at his face until blood pours from our poor knight’s face. Later, a penitent delivers such a blow to Don Quixote’s sword arm that he smashes his shoulder to smithereens. Next, a snarling cat latches onto Don Quixote’s nose leaving his face riddled with holes.  Then Don Quixote is scorched and singed and hurled to the ground by an exploding wooden horse.  Finally, Don Quixote is stampeded into the mud by a herd of pigs.  Though Don Quixote’s injuries heal over a number of yearssometimes in his own bed and sometimes in the battle fieldit is a wonder that he musters the strength to continue after such numerous and extensive beatings.

Chivalric DelusionsDon Quixote mistakes: inns for castles; windmills for giants; sheeps for armies; wine-filled pigskins for headless giants; black-clad mourners for shadowy enchanters; copper basins for golden helmets; country barbers for warrior knights; simple farm girls for noble damsels; sweat smelling peasants for perfume smelling princesses; wooden horses for flying steeds; air pumping bellows for the earth’s natural wind; water mills for castle fortresses; dinghies for ships; and blanket tossers for enchanted ghosts, to name just a few of his chivalric delusions. 

Family Besides having a twenty two year old niece, Don Quixote has no blood relations to speak of.