Don Quixote is a satire. Even though the chivalric ideals have driven Don Quixote mad, the world he moves through, the reality outside the delusion, is seeped in romantic love. Most everyone he meets and knows is living a chivalric reality where love rules and drives their lives – love at first sight, star crossed lovers, or true love stolen away.
Whether the target of Cervantes’s satire was romantic love itself or the pious anti-love efforts of the church, I still have not determined.
Perhaps the novel’s greatness is in this ambiguity.