Dulcinea del Toboso
Don Quixote character
Monumento a Cervantes (Madrid) 09.jpg
Dulcinea (1957), sculpture by F. Coullaut-Valera, in Madrid (Spain).
Created by Miguel de Cervantes
Gender Female
Religion Roman Catholic
Nationality Spanish

"Dulcinea del Toboso" (real name Aldonza Lorenzo) is a fictional character who is referred to (but does not appear) in Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote. Seeking the traditions of the knights-errant of old, Don Quixote finds a true love whom he calls Dulcinea. She is a simple peasant in his home town, but Quixote imagines her to be the most beautiful of all women. At times, Quixote goes into detail about her appearance, though he freely admits that he has seen her only fleetingly and has never spoken with her.

Don Quixote describes her appearance in the following terms: "... her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare." [Volume 1/Chapter XIII]

Monument to Don Quixote and Dulcinea, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

In the Spanish of the time, Dulcinea means something akin to an overly elegant "sweetness". In this way, Dulcinea is an entirely fictional person for whom Quixote relentlessly fights. To this day, a reference to someone as one's "Dulcinea" implies hopeless devotion and love for her, and particularly unrequited love.

She does appear in many stage and film adaptations of the book. In cinema and on stage, she has been played by (among others) Sophia Loren, Joan Diener, Rosemary Leach, Hollis Resnik, and Vanessa Williams. In the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, she is a self-described whore. Her given name is Aldonza, and a prominent arc of the musical follows her distrust and then fervent belief in Don Quixote's quest. She begins as someone who has no self-worth, Aldonza, and through Quixote's belief in her, she begins to believe in herself as someone of great worth and takes on the name Dulcinea.[1] In the stage version (but not in the 1972 film), the local priest sings a song called "To Each His Dulcinea", in which he reflects that although Dulcinea does not exist, the idea of her is what keeps Don Quixote alive and on his quest.

The Jules Massenet opera Don Quichotte depicts Dulcinée as a major character, the local queen who sends the knight on a quest to retrieve her jewels.

In popular culture

  • A Scottish Terrier named Dulcinea is a scene-stealer in the Spanglish book Yo-Yo Boing! by Puerto Rican novelist Giannina Braschi; early in her career, decades prior to creating this canine heroine, the author wrote a critical essay on the novel Don Quixote entitled "Cinco personajes fugaces en el camino de Don Quijote". (ISBN 0935480978)
  • "Dulcinea" is the title of the third song from the post-metal band Isis's album In the Absence of Truth.
  • "Dulcinea" is a song on the 2008 album Zerre by Turkish rock band Replikas.
  • "La Dulcinea" is a song on the 1993 album Pain Makes You Beautiful by alternative rock band The Judybats.
  • Dulcinea is the 1994 album of alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket.
  • "Dulcinea" is the second track in the EP The Penance and the Patience by Australian band Closure In Moscow.
  • Dulcinea appears in the Japanese series Zukkoke Knight - Don De La Mancha. Her real name is Fedora (in the English dub). She is daughter of the bandit king, Poormouth. Her role is to help her bankrupt father by stealing, but she fails almost every time. She fools Don Quixote into helping her. She is voiced by Mami Koyama.
  • In Episode 13 of Season 4 of the TV show Heroes, Hiro Nakamura, who has had his memory erased and can only remember science fiction and popular culture references, defends a woman from a mugger and then calls her his Dulcinea.
  • Dulcinea is referenced frequently in the TV series Ally McBeal.
  • Dulcinea is referenced in the science fiction TV series Quantum Leap when Sam Beckett leaps into the understudy of an actor that plays Don Quixote.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dulcinea — (1957), Skulptur von Federico Coullaut Valera, in Madrid Dulcinea del Toboso ist eine fiktive literarische Figur, die im Roman Don Quijote von Miguel de Cervantes zur imaginären Geliebten Don Quijotes wird. Der Vorname Dulcinea ist vom spanischen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dulcinea — Dul*cin e*a, n. [Sp., from Dulcinea del Toboso the mistress of the affections of Don {Quixote}.] A mistress; a sweetheart. [1913 Webster] I must ever have some Dulcinea in my head. Sterne. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dulcinea — (izg. dulčinèja) ž DEFINICIJA 1. knjiž. priprosta seoska djevojka koju Don Quijote, v. u istoimenom romanu M. Cervantesa zamišlja kao svoju »ljubljenu damu« kojoj posvećuje sva svoja viteška djela 2. pren. općenito djevojka za kojom netko čezne… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • dulcinea — (De Dulcinea, personaje del Quijote, de M. de Cervantes, 1547 1616). 1. f. coloq. Mujer querida. 2. p. us. Aspiración ideal, fantástica comúnmente …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Dulcinēa — (span.), 1) die Geliebte des Don Quixote, s.d.; daher 2) scherzhafter Weise so v.w. Geliebte …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dulcinēa — Dulcinēa, Don Quixotes Geliebte; s. Don Quixote …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dulcinea — Dulcinea, des Don Quixote Geliebte; daher überhaupt spottweise Geliebte …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Dulcinea —   [ θi ], Dulzinea von Toboso, Figur der eingebildeten Geliebten Don Quijotes in M. de Cervantes Saavedras Roman »El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha« (2 Teile, 1605 15); heute scherzhaft für »Angebetete« …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dulcinea — sweetheart, 1748, from the name of Don Quixote s mistress in Cervantes romance, the name a Spanish fem. derivative of L. dulce sweet …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dulcinea — [dul΄sə nē′ə, dul΄sənā′ə] n. [Sp < dulce, sweet < L dulcis: see DULCET] the name given by Don Quixote to a coarse peasant girl whom he imagines to be a beautiful lady and falls in love with …   English World dictionary

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