Literature Study GuidesDon QuixotePart 1 Chapters 26 27 Summary

Don Quixote | Study Guide

Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote | Part 1, Chapters 26–27 | Summary

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Summary

Part 1, Chapter 26

Don Quixote tromps around the woods writing sad poetry and commending himself to God. Meanwhile, Sancho Panza stops at the inn they left just days before. Pero Perez and Master Nicolas are there and ask him about the whereabouts of Don Quixote. He gives up his master's location rather quickly and tells them all about their adventures thus far. They ask to see the letter meant for Dulcinea del Toboso, and Sancho Panza realizes Don Quixote still has the journal. He recites the letter for the men so they can transcribe it.

Pero Perez and Master Nicolas realize "Don Quixote's madness was so passionate that it had ... swept away this poor man's sanity," which is even further evidenced when Sancho Panza begins fretting that Don Quixote will be named an archbishop, not an emperor. They console him by saying Don Quixote is "braver than he is learned," so there's really no fear of him joining the Church. When Sancho Panza steps out of the room, the men concoct a plan to lure Don Quixote home, which involves Pero Perez dressing like a damsel in distress.

Part 1, Chapter 27

Pero Perez and Master Nicolas borrow disguises from the innkeeper's wife before heading back into the mountains with Sancho Panza. When Sancho Panza goes off to find Don Quixote, Pero Perez and Master Nicolas meet Cardenio. Sancho Panza has already apprised them of Cardenio's story, but they want to hear the rest of it.

Cardenio is tricked into going away for a few days to secure money for the horses Don Fernando wants to buy. He receives a letter from Luscinda, which says she is marrying Fernando in two days. After a brief meeting with Luscinda, in which she promises "before they see me married they will see me dead," Cardenio sneaks into the church. The vows are exchanged, and Luscinda faints in Don Fernando's arms. Don Fernando reads a letter found in Luscinda's bodice and looks troubled. Cardenio is so angry that Luscinda actually married Don Fernando, he doesn't wait around to see what happens next.

Analysis

Sancho Panza instinctively knows that Pero Perez and Master Nicolas will do anything they can to stand in the way of Don Quixote's plans, which would affect Sancho Panza's plans of a governorship and an increase in wealth. Though he doesn't want anything bad to happen to his master, he also doesn't want to go home from this journey even poorer than before. He isn't book smart, but he reads people well. He doesn't trust the priest and the barber-surgeon, who plan to use Don Quixote's vivid imagination against him in an effort to bring him home.

Cardenio's love triangle with Luscinda and Don Fernando brings up the notion of star-crossed lovers forced apart by circumstance and deception, a staple of popular literature for thousands of years. Cardenio and Luscinda's situation somewhat mirrors that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, written about a decade before Don Quixote was published. Both stories are about lovers who would rather kill themselves than be forced apart. Unlike Shakespeare's story, however, this one doesn't end in tragedy.

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