Don Quixote By Miguel de Cervantes Summary and Analysis Part 2: Chapter LIX-LX

Summary

The knight is so melancholy after the rude encounter with the bulls that he refuses to eat, whereas Sancho eagerly stuffs himself with as much food as he can cram. "I was born, Sancho, to live dying," cries Don Quixote, "And thou to die eating." The squire begs his master to take heart, to rather partake of a good meal and a good sleep than to despair, and the knight then accepts some food. At the inn where they find lodging, which Don Quixote calls an inn, not a castle, the knight must face another source of ridicule. Here they meet with some gentlemen who are discussing a book written by Avellenada which purports to be the continuation of The History of the Knight of La Mancha and Sancho Panza. Don Quixote convinces the gentlemen that he and his squire are the true heroes, and that those individuals described in the book are fictional ones. In order to give the lie to Avellenada's statement which says that Don Quixote is on the road to Saragossa, the knight and squire take the direction of Barcelona, after taking kind leave of their new friends.

While they are resting on the road, Don Quixote thinks so much about Dulcinea's disenchantment that he cannot sleep. He decides to whip Sancho himself and begins to undo the sleeping squire's breeches. Waking up in a fright, Sancho wrestles with his master, and sitting on top of him, forces him to forswear all notions of lashing. Without defending himself, Don Quixote agrees. Suddenly Sancho is unnerved by the sight of numerous corpses dangling from the trees; his master is tranquil seeing all these dead bandits, for this means they are near Barcelona. Forty live bandits, however, surround them soon after this, and their leader, Roque Guinart, is a courteous outlaw after the fashion of Robin Hood. Ordering his men to treat Sancho and the knight courteously, Roque discourses with Don Quixote and soon discovers his "blind side." Suddenly a beautiful girl gallops up to the bandit chief, begging his protection, for she has just shot and killed her lover having heard he was to marry someone else. Following the bloody trail, Roque and his men come upon the sad procession which bears the wounded youth, Don Vicente. Breathing his last, the young lover tells the damsel that he has always remained faithful to her. The grief-stricken Claudia wishes to spend the rest of her life in a nunnery. Roque now shows what a chivalrous highwayman he is. Holding up a coach, his men despoil two infantry captains, a gentlewoman, and two pilgrims on foot. Wishing not to pillage women or soldiers, Roque "borrows" enough money from the captives to pay each of his men two crowns, then bestows ten on each pilgrim, with another ten crowns for Sancho. Then, with a letter of safe passage, he allows the coach to continue on its journey. Now Roque writes a letter to a friend of his in Barcelona, recommending to his diversion the unique and pleasant Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. He dispatches the letter with one of his henchmen.

Analysis

After facing the ridicule of a pirate-author, Don Quixote must now face the humiliation of Sancho's revolt. Accepting his fate, however, he agrees to the squire's conditions, and the rebellion finished, Sancho immediately seeks his master's protection when he is scared by the sight of all the bandit corpses. Sancho's fight with his master, however, is a sign that he is maturing under Don Quixote's tutelage and that he shall soon be able to take up a life independent of serving the knight. Don Quixote's gentle acceptance of Sancho's victory, his passivity in the wrestling match, shows his feeling for the imminence of death.

Roque Guinart is a sympathetic character, very similar to Don Quixote in his eagerness to aid the poor and redress the sufferings of damsels. Roque, however, unlike the Don, leads an anxious, insecure life. Though their chivalrous ideals are the same, the bandit does not have the advantage of a distracted mind to help him transform the realities of his life. His unsuccessful quixotism makes him a pitiful character compared to the freedom from reality which the Don enjoys and which Roque has the misunderstanding to ridicule.

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