Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 03, 2005
In Reply to: There are dragons to be slain posted by russ on April 03, 2005
: A writer in today's newspaper wrote: "Why tilt at windmills when there are dragons to be slain."
: Phrases lists the origins of windmills, but doesn't include the dragons portion.
: Is there a separate origin for this portion or are they normally connected as one phrase.
: The writers perceived meaning was; "Why bother with imaginary problems, when there are great real problems for us to attend to."
: This confuses me as the windmills were imagined to be giants, yet dragons are only creatures of folk lore and fairy tales. Aren't both portions of this quote dealing with imaginary problems.
The original quote, from Cervantes'"Don Quixote", does not mention dragons at all.
The writer in your newspaper article added the dragon part.
Below is the text from that chapter.