Like any other day, Don Quixote reads chivalric romance
from dawn to dusk. Then he drifts away to the realm of dreams. In his dreams,
he encounters a beauteous lady named Dulcinea, but she is kidnapped by
monstrous creatures. Upon awakening from his slumber, Don Quixote finally
withdraws from his library and dons himself as a knight errant. With Sancho
Panza as his squire, Don Quixote sets out in search of Dulcinea and chivalrous
All of Barcelona is
burning with an expectation of seeing bullfights and famed toreadors. While
many are peacocking in the square, none can match the innkeeper’s daughter
Kitri’s beauty, perhaps except for a barber named Basilio. Like a cat-and-mouse
game, they seduce and tease each other. It’s evident to anybody with eyes that
they are meant to be together. However, Kitri’s father, Lorenzo, vehemently
disapproves of their relationship. He wants Kitri to marry Gamache, a foppish
nobleman with a deep pocket. Meanwhile, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza reach
Barcelona. Spellbound by Kitri’s beauty, Don Quixote confuses her for Dulcinea.
But soon, he sees a vision of Dulcinea and realizes that Kitri is not her.
Nevertheless, Don Quixote believes that Kitri, who looks like she leaped out of
the pages of chivalric romance, deserves a happy ending. Therefore, Don Quixote
decides to shield Kitri from any adversity. Taking advantage of the merrymaking
in the square, Kitri and Basilio elope.
Kitri and Basilio
find themselves in a forest. Don Quixote follows the lovers and makes a vow
that he will protect their love. A traveling troupe of players reaches the
forest and is delighted to discover a potential audience. Don Quixote, Sancho
Panza, and the lovers end up seeing their play. It’s a story after Don
Quixote’s heart—a tale of a beautiful damsel in distress, a brave prince, and a
frightening monster. But this fiend looks precisely like the creature that
kidnapped Dulcinea. In a fury, Don Quixote charges with his spear. But alas, it
was just a windmill. Having smashed into a windmill, Don Quixote faints.
In Don Quixote’s dreams, the
forest is terrorized by flames and vicious creatures. Once Don Quixote defeats
the creatures, the firestorm vanishes, and Cupid appears. Cupid shoots an arrow
at Don Quixote’s heart, transforming him from an old hidalgo to a dashing
knight. Finally, Don Quixote reunites with Dulcinea in the enchanted forest,
and they rejoice. For Don Quixote, this is paradise, and Dulcinea is the
eternal sovereign of his heart. But Dulcinea instructs that time has come for
Don Quixote to return to his chivalric quests. Then everything fades away.
Don Quixote opens his eyes to see that Sancho Panza, Kitri, and Basilio are by his side. While Don Quixote wallows in sorrow from being parted from Dulcinea yet again, Gamache and Lorenzo come to abduct Kitri. Seeing Basilio in the anguish of losing his lover, Don Quixote instructs him on a scheme to persevere in this plight.
Wedding preparation is in full swing for Kitri
and Gamache. But never has the city seen such an unwilling bride. Basilio
barges in and shares his plan with Kitri in a whisper. With a dagger in his
hand, Basilio declares that he would choose death over unrequited love. Basilio
then pretends to stab himself. Rushing to her dying lover, Kitri implores her
father to fulfill Basilio’s last wish. Don Quixote silences Gamache and
Lorenzo’s objection and blesses the lovers. With the benediction complete,
Basilio makes a miraculous recovery. Lorenzo concedes that Kitri’s future is in
her own hands and that her happiness lies in staying with Basilio. The entire
town celebrates the lovers’ wedding.