In Don Quixote, Cervantes captivates the reader with an unattainable Dulcinea, and he also presents to the reader a parade of female characters from a broad range of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds to portray real women, not an imagined lady. He establishes a poetic balance by mixing the imagined lady with a variety of other women: Muslim ladies, a duchess, farm girls, shepherdesses, warriors, ladies and prostitutes, victims and executioners, the submissive and the rebellious, the server and the served, the aristocrat and the plebeian, all of them under the same narrative mantle. In Don Quixote, women play a key position, from an esthetic and artistic point of view, which contributes to the different levels of rhetoric within the discourse. It is precisely the fiction of the text, which makes the reader rediscover the imminent reality. The inverisimilitude (the unlikely) locates the reader in the field of verisimilitude (the likely).
The universe of women in this text provide us with an extensive selection: Aldonza Lorenzo, Marcela, Maritornes, Luscinda, Dorotea, Micomicona, Camila, Zoraida, Clara de Viedma, Leandra, Teresa Panza, Quiteria, Altisidora, Doña Rodríguez, the women of Barataria, Sanchica, Claudia Jerónima, Ana Félix, and many others. I have fashioned four chapters based on the following characters: Marcela, Zoraida, Dorotea, and the duchess. I have analyzed their voices in this text according to their narrative position, the level of fiction and its function within its discursive frame, and the rhetorical direction within the work. Also, the study of the female first names and/or surnames will show that the author took time and effort to select them as a part of his construction of body of the work.