Don Quixote By Miguel de Cervantes Summary and Analysis Part 1: Chapter XXX

Summary

Now Dorothea, calling herself the Princess Micomicona, tells of the fictional misfortunes that have driven her to seek aid. A cruel invader, a giant named Pandafilando, has usurped her father's crown after his death, forcing her to flee the country to save herself. Only with the help of Don Quixote does she have any chance of regaining her country. She also mentions that her father, before he died, counseled her to marry the hero after he killed the giant. Don Quixote says that he cannot consider marriage since his affections belong only to Dulcinea, but he will certainly slay the giant. Drawing his squire aside, Don Quixote begs Sancho to give him the full details of his interview with Dulcinea. Sancho makes up an amusing narrative, plausible to his master, but then stops short when he sights a gypsy, still far off, riding on what appears to be his stolen ass. Hearing Sancho's voice, the gypsy who is Gines de Passamonte in disguise jumps down and dashes away as fast as he can. The squire weeps with joy to have Dapple back again.

Analysis

With Dorothea's fictional story, Cervantes again indicates that the world of truth is the province of a knight-errant; illusion belongs to those unenlightened by the spirit of chivalry. Especially unenlightened are the curate and barber, as well as Cardenio, who is as chivalric and noble as Don Quixote himself. They are delighted by the convincing manner in which the clever Dorothea plays her role of distressed princess Micomicona. What they do not recognize, and what Don Quixote believes immediately, is that the beautiful farmer's daughter is really a dispossessed aristocrat, victim of a usurper. Dorothea is a princess by virtue of her beauty and personality; she is dispossessed, not of her lands, but of her virtue, with Don Ferdinand, a giant in rank if not in character, as the faithless usurper. And the fictionalized Micomicona, who has traveled across half the world to seek redress from a knight, is truly the ravished Dorothea, who, after much journeying, discovers Cardenio, a knight who swears to aid her in relieving her distress.

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