Man of La Mancha

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I come in a world of iron to make a world of gold.

Man of La Mancha is a 1965 Broadway musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh. It tells the story of the classic novel Don Quixote as a play within a play, performed by Miguel de Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. A film version of it was made in 1972, starring Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren.


And I know that the world will be better for this — that one man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage — to reach the unreachable star.
  • I shall impersonate a man. His name is Alonso Quijana, a country squire no longer young. Being retired, he has much time for books. He studies them from morn till night and often through the night and morn again, and all he reads oppresses him; fills him with indignation at man's murderous ways toward man. He ponders the problem of how to make better a world where evil brings profit and virtue none at all; where fraud and deceit are mingled with truth and sincerity. He broods and broods and broods and broods and finally his brains dry up. He lays down the melancholy burden of sanity and conceives the strangest project ever imagined.... to become a knight-errant, and sally forth into the world in search of adventures; to mount a crusade; to raise up the weak and those in need. No longer will he be plain Alonso Quijana, but a dauntless knight known as Don Quixote de La Mancha.
  • I am Don Quixote! The Man of La Mancha!
  • I come in a world of iron to make a world of gold.
  • The mission of each true knight, his duty — nay — his privilege…

    To dream the impossible dream
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To bear with unbearable sorrow
    To run where the brave dare not go.

    To right the unrightable wrong
    To love pure and chaste from afar
    To try when your arms are too weary
    To reach the unreachable star.

  • This is my quest —
    To follow that star
    No matter how hopeless
    no matter how far.

    To fight for the right
    Without question or pause
    To be willing to march into Hell
    For a heavenly cause.

  • "And I know if I'll only be true
    To this glorious quest
    That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
    When I'm laid to my rest."
  • I have lived nearly fifty years, and I have seen life as it is. Pain, misery, hunger ... cruelty beyond belief. I have heard the singing from taverns and the moans from bundles of filth on the streets. I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle ... or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I have held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no gallant last words ... only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question, "Why?"
    I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived. When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!


  • The world's a dungheap and we are maggots that crawl on it!
  • You spoke to me and everything was different … and you looked at me, and you called me by another name … Dulcinea.
  • You spoke of a dream, and about the quest … how you must fight — and it doesn't matter if you win or lose — if only you follow the quest.
  • "To bear with unbearable sorrow." You must remember! — "To run where the brave dare not go!"
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