Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes
Contributed by Jerrold Mcmenamin

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2-Chapter LXI–LXVI
Summary

Chapter LXI

Don Quixote and Sancho arrive in Barcelona with a great following. They are the guests of Roque Guinart’s friends. A boy in the town puts burrs in Dapple and Rocinante’s tails. This leads the two animals to throw their masters off their backs. This amuses everyone except Don Quixote and Sancho.

Chapter LXII

Don Antonio Moreno, who is Don Quixote and Sancho’s host, tells Don Quixote that he owns an enchanted brass head that can answer any question you pose to it. The following day, Don Quixote and Sancho walk around Barcelona. They are followed by thousands of people. Don Antonio’s men put a sign on Don Quixote’s back saying his name. The people of the town call out to him. Don Quixote believes these calls are confirmation of his fame. At a ball that night, Don Quixote dances until he falls down. Sancho feels embarrassed for him. The following day, the guests hear the brass head speaks. It communicates with them through a hidden tube that lets a servant in the room next door hear their questions and answer them. Don Quixote asks the head to tell him whether the events in Montesinos’s Cave were real. The head claims that the incident was partly true and partly false. Don Quixote then requests to know whether Sancho will be whipped in order for Dulcinea to be freed of her enchantment. The head says that while the whipping will go slowly, Dulcinea’s disenchantment will ultimately be accomplished. Don Quixote heads to a publishing house, where he talks about the art of translation with a translator. He mentions his preference for histories that can be shown to be authentic.

Chapter LXIII

Don Antonio, Don Quixote, and Sancho visit the galleries. Pulling a prank, the men lift Sancho onto their shoulders. They pass the man around the ship. The ship impresses Sancho, who thinks that he could be either in hell or purgatory. The galley captain sees a pirate ship at a distance, which they go to and stop. A skirmish begins, and two of the galley soldiers lose their lies. When questioned, the captain of the Moorish pirate ship ends up being a Christian woman. Her name is Anna Felix. She is an exiled Moor going back to Spain to find the treasure her father once buried. Ricote, Sancho’s friend and a tourist on the ship, sees his daughter, Anna. He embraces her. They come up with a plan together to rescue Don Gregorio, Anna’s lover, who is stranded in Moorish lands.

Chapter LXIV

As Don Quixote rides around one morning, he comes across the Knight of the White Moon. The Knight of the White Moon challenges Don Quixote and forces him to swear he will go home and remain there for one year if he is defeated. Don Quixote assents to this, and the two men fight. The Knight of the White Moon is able to conquer Don Quixote but declares that he will refrain from defaming Dulcinea’s beauty. Don Quixote agrees to accept this arrangement and to go home for one year.

Chapter LXV

Don Antonio and the others are desperate to find out the Knight of the White Moon’s true identity. They follow him to an inn and bother him until he admits his identity is that of Sampson Carrasco. Don Antonio chastises Sampson for attempting to bring Don Quixote back to his senses when people are finding so much pleasure in his insanity. In the meantime, Don Gregorio, who has been rescued from Algiers, comes back to Barcelona. He is joyfully reunited with Anna Felix.

Chapter LXVI

Great hearts, my dear master, should be patient in misfortune as well as joyful in prosperity.

Don Quixote is forlorn. He leaves Barcelona with Sancho, who encourages his master to be cheerful. He says that good men must be patient in all things. Sancho makes the suggestion that they put Don Quixote’s armor in a tree. Don Quixote refuses. Sancho puts the armor on Dapple’s back and walks beside the animal. While on the road, they come across a group engaged in an argument. The group asks for Don Quixote’s advice on a problem. However, Sancho solves the problem by offering what the group thinks is a wise decision.

Sancho and his master then encounter Tosilos. Tosilos explains that immediately after leaving the Duke’s castle, he was flogged as a result of not fighting Don Quixote. Additionally, the Duke dispatched Dona Rodriguez back to Castile, and Dona Rodriguez’s daughter joined a convent. The news shocks Don Quixote, who still thinks that Tosilos is truly the farmer’s son and is under the power of an enchantment.

Analysis

The fall of Don Quixote from grace is complete when he is defeated by the Knight of the White Moon. His loss of glory is physically represented by his physical decline. Later, at his death, he is sane again and has lost most of his chivalric strength, as though his vanishing at the hands of the Knight of the White Moon took away his will to live. The gentleman’s psychological decline, however, gains in intensity at the ball on the evening before his defeat. Sancho’s embarrassment about his master’s collapse after too much dancing is evidence of their role reversal. The ball is the final occasion on which Don Quixote has the upper hand over the man who has acted as his squire. It is also the first time that Sancho behaves in a paternal way towards Don Quixote. In fact, Don Quixote can be interpreted to follow Sancho’s lead for the remainder of the story. We see this when Sancho offers to settle the group’s argument on the road home. While it’s true that the novel concludes before we can witness how Sancho moves on with his life and how he uses his new identity, Cervantes demonstrates that Sancho goes back to his own home well-respected in defiance of his social position.

Anna Felix and Don Gregorio’s story tempers the racism we generally see from Cervantes in this novel. From the beginning of Don Quixote, we see Cervantes mocking the Moors, painting them as useless thieves and liars who deserved to be expelled from Spain because of the threat they posed to the king’s rule. Even the supposed author of the tale, Cide Hamete Benengeli, is targeted by Cervantes’s racism. We see this when Cervantes puts all the blame for textual inconsistencies on Benengeli’s deceitfulness. Similar to Zoraida in the First Place, Anna Felix challenges this stereotype of Moors, but this challenge is only limited in nature. Anna Felix is less scrutinized by Cervantes than her Spanish counterparts, but this is probably because his racism leads him to believe that she isn’t a true woman. While Spanish society generally chided women who dressed like men, Anna Felix dresses like a young man but does not receive criticism from Cervantes. In spite of Anna Felix not fitting the image of what Cervantes’s audience would consider ideal, she does give the impression of being rather sympathetic and respectable. This creates a mellowing of Cervantes’s generally scathing prejudice against members of her race.

In general, though, it can be said that determining whether the book shows prejudice against the Moors is quite difficult. It is probable that Cervantes represents Spanish culture as it was, with the accurate amount of antagonism that existed towards the Moors. While Cervantes makes the explicit claim that he is translating a Moorish manuscript. When we see the story being racist towards the Moor, we find ourselves wondering why a Moor would be unfair to his own race. The different levels of narration and authorship shown in the novel render it difficult to find out the author’s intent.

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