Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

My love, Sam, tells me that his favorite literary partner is the simple farmer, Sancho Panza, who Don Quixote recruits as his squire. Panza’s role in the novel works as a counter to Quixote’s passe ideas. Panza uses down-to-earth wisdom, his unique take on reality, and witty retorts to Quixote’s ideas about knighthood (a “public service” long passed, but which Quixote is trying to revive after reading to many chivalrous novels.) Despite not always understanding Quixote’s actions, he is obedient to the man who chose him as a companion and adds a practical voice to the tale.

Sancho’s commentary of humor, irony, and cleverness can be noted as ‘sanchismo’, which isn’t able to translate except perhaps as a combination of the above traits or something similar to proverbs.  (Sanchismo/Sancho, what a clever de Cervantes!) Through these sanchismos, Panza’s realist words are the ‘everyman’ of Don Quixote’s tale which indeed many men (sorry, had to!) find appealing in Sancho as a great literary sidekick.

-Kyla Lucas

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