Tilting at Windmills

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Tilting at Windmills : Phrases


To combat imaginary foes or ward off nonexistent dangers; to be full of fanciful notions or visionary schemes.



Advising his squire Sancho Panza that 30 or 40 windmills were
monstrous giants, Don Quixote spurred his steed Rosinante forward, his lance extended to do good service and sweep so evil a breed off the face of the earth. Attacking a windmill, his lance got caught in one of its sails, which lifted the valiant knight into the air and smashed him to the ground, leaving him with nothing but injuries for his effort. This was arguably the most absurd of the Quixotic adventure of Don Quixote, hero of Cervante's great satirical novel Don Quixote (1605-15). The book was meant to satirize the age's romantic tales of chivalry that filled its hero's mind.

Similar phrases: tilt at windmills, to have windmills in your head, battling windmills

Thanks to Anna Plat.

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