The adjective quixotic comes from the character Don Quixote. By definition, quixotic refers to a hero who is a dreamer, idealistic, and one who fights against extraordinary odds or obstacles, regardless what other people think of him, and often to his own detriment. They embark on what appear to be impossible quests and succeed through their ironic failures.
Don Quixote, the origin of this term, is its prime example; however, there are numerous other characters throughout literature who also fit this archetype. Some include: Romeo an Juliet, John the Savage, Doctor Pangloss, Prince Myshkin, Vladimir and Estragon, and Walter Mitty.
A fun activity to do with students to ask them to come up with a character map and depict three characters from literature they have read that fit the description of a quixotic hero!
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