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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.