Literature Study GuidesDon QuixotePart 1 Chapters 42 43 Summary

Don Quixote | Study Guide

Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote | Part 1, Chapters 42–43 | Summary

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Summary

Part 1, Chapter 42

A judge and his daughter arrive at the inn. It turns out that the judge is Ruy Pérez de Viedma's brother, Juan Pérez de Viedma. The brothers are reunited and everyone is happy. Don Quixote attributes the reunion to "the fantastic paths followed by knight-errantry."

Everyone in the inn goes to bed except the Don who stands guard outside, but they are soon awakened by the beautiful singing voice of a man.

Part 1, Chapter 43

The judge's daughter, Doña Clara, is distressed when she realizes the person singing is none other than Don Luis, the boy of noble blood with whom she is desperately in love. They have never spoken in person, but he has followed her and her father to the inn, where they are staying before they sail to Mexico. Doña Clara wants to marry the boy but has no one to confide in because she no longer has a mother. Dorotea promises to take care of everything in the morning.

The innkeeper's daughter and Maritornes play a prank on Don Quixote while he's outside on patrol, and Don Quixote ends up tethered to the hayloft by one arm while still sitting on Rocinante. The arrival of four men stirs Rocinante, who moves to sniff one of their steeds. Don Quixote falls off Rocinante, dangling in the air by his arm.

Analysis

Fate plays an important role in Don Quixote, particularly when it comes to reunions. Cardenio and Dorotea are both reunited with their lovers, and Ruy Pérez is reunited with his long-lost brother. These moments are always filled with doubt: will the missing person be welcomed back, or will they be rejected—but the moments end happily. This mirrors the style of chivalric stories, which always have a happy ending for the beleaguered hero.

It is not fate but youth that plays the latest nasty trick on Don Quixote. Juan Palomeque's daughter and Maritornes are two of the very few people who don't have much, if any, sympathy for Don Quixote. They string him up like a puppet without a second thought, then they leave him to be humiliated when he calls for help. The lunatic knight's insanity prompts two types of reactions from bystanders. There are those, such as Pero Perez and Dorotea, who pity him and want to help him, while others view him as a sideshow act. This small act of cruelty brings out the true colors of Don Quixote's companions, while also foreshadowing the events of Don Quixote's and Sancho Panza's third adventure, in Part 2.

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