Literature Study GuidesDon QuixotePart 2 Chapters 19 21 Summary

Don Quixote | Study Guide

Miguel de Cervantes

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Don Quixote Study Guide." Course Hero. 15 Sep. 2016. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, September 15). Don Quixote Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Don Quixote Study Guide." September 15, 2016. Accessed September 24, 2023.


Course Hero, "Don Quixote Study Guide," September 15, 2016, accessed September 24, 2023,

Part 2, Chapters 19–21

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Part 2, Chapters 19–21 from Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote.

Don Quixote | Part 2, Chapters 19–21 | Summary



Part 2, Chapter 19

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza meet two university students who tell of the upcoming wedding of Quiteria the Beautiful and Camacho the Rich. It promises to be an interesting affair due to the presence of the angry and jealous Basilio. The men discuss the necessity of good matrimonial pairings.

One of the students, Corchuelo, challenges the other student to a fencing match. The other student is a skilled fencer who has studied the sport endlessly, but Corchuelo thinks he can win by brawn alone. He is defeated and admits that skill is more important than strength.

Part 2, Chapter 20

The wedding party begins early in the morning, and Sancho Panza marvels at the vast quantity of food being prepared under the tent, all paid for by Camacho the Rich. Don Quixote and his squire enjoy dance and theatrical performances, the latter of which is a commentary on the importance of both money and love. Sancho Panza is convinced that Basilio doesn't have a chance with Quiteria—he's betting everything on Camacho and his wealth.

Part 2, Chapter 21

The bride and groom's arrival is quickly followed by the appearance of Basilio, who tells Quiteria that sacred law prevents her marrying Camacho "as long as I'm alive." He impales himself on a sword. The priest wishes to hear his last confession, but the fading Basilio will only do so if Quiteria promises to take his hand in marriage for however briefly he lives. He demands she marries him not as a "polite formality" but "because you want to confess and declare that you surrender [your hand] of your own free will." She agrees, and the priest blesses the marriage.

Basilio jumps to his feet, suddenly cured. It turns out his impalement was just a trick, accomplished with an iron tube and blood. The marriage is declared null, but Quiteria asserts that it is real and marries him all over again. Camacho's friends are ready to fight, but Camacho decides he's better off without Quiteria. The party continues as a show of goodwill. Basilio, Quiteria, and their friends decide to leave anyway and take Don Quixote and Sancho Panza with them.


Sancho Panza's views about love are colored by his desire for money and his low station in life. He thinks Camacho will be the winner of Quiteria's heart namely because he is wealthy, for Sancho Panza would surely choose a wealthy gentleman over a peasant for his own daughter. This contrasts with his wife, who thinks "birds of a feather flock together" and everyone should marry someone like themselves.

Don Quixote's ideas about marriage are closer to Teresa Panza's than her husband. He thinks a couple needs to be well matched not only in status but also in temperament, comparing choosing a spouse to choosing a traveling companion. Yet he also thinks that "love and affection have a way of blinding" people, which prevents them from making good matches themselves. They should instead rely on Heaven to do it.

Cervantes offers several stories-within-the-story that point to the headaches caused by romance, but the couples who truly love one another are the happiest. Money and status may make a good match, but a good foundation of mutual respect and admiration is far more valuable when it comes to happiness.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Don Quixote? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!