The central issue in the self-reflexive development of Don Quijote is an episode in Part I, 19, in which Sancho Panza names his master “Caballero de la Triste Figura.” The early German Quijote-translators Joachim Caesar, Friedrich Justin Bertuch, and Ludwig Tieck rendered the phrase as “Ritter (von) der traurigen Gestalt,” which has been repeatedly criticized. But we may ask whether the alleged mistranslation Gestalt does not have an impact on Cervantes's phrase and not, perhaps, disclose something in it. It may be argued that Figura anticipates the status of the knight as a literary figure. The premise of the second part of the novel is the popularity of the protagonist. The sobriquet that Sacho Panza gives to Don Quijote actually serves as a promise that is fulfilled in the second part of the novel.
Für Siegfried Jüttner zum 66. Geburtstag