HomeLiterature Study GuidesDon QuixotePart 2 Chapters 6466 Summary

Don Quixote | Study Guide

Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote | Part 2, Chapters 64–66 | Summary

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Summary

Part 2, Chapter 64

Don Quixote thinks he could do a better job rescuing Don Gregorio but he is forced to stay in Barcelona, where, a few days later, he meets the Knight of the White Moon. This new knight challenges Don Quixote to a duel over the beauty of his lady, "whoever she may be." If Don Quixote wins, he can cut off the other knight's head and take his horse and armor. If the Knight of the White Moon wins, Don Quixote has to retire from knighthood for a full year. Don Quixote agrees.

The battle is brief. Don Quixote is soundly defeated and carried back to Don Antonio's house.

Part 2, Chapter 65

Don Antonio follows the Knight of the White Moon and discovers he is none other than Samson Carrasco. Samson explains that he is trying to rid Don Quixote of his insanity, which Don Antonio thinks is a bad idea. Nevertheless, he promises his support to the young scholar.

Don Quixote stays in bed at Don Antonio's house for six days, and Sancho Panza tries to cheer him up. When they leave for home, Don Quixote wears regular clothing, his armor carried by Sancho's donkey.

Part 2, Chapter 66

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza travel for five days and come to a village inn where there is a dispute between two men who wish to run a race. Sancho Panza offers himself as judge, impressing the onlookers with his sound advice. The next day, they run into Tosilos, the footman whom Don Quixote beat in battle at the Duke and Duchess's castle. Tosilos tells Don Quixote he received 100 lashes for disobeying the Duke's orders. Doña Rodríguez's daughter went to a convent, and Doña Rodríguez herself went back to Castile. Don Quixote thinks Tosilos is still enchanted.

Analysis

Tosilos's news from the castle adds insult to an already injured Don Quixote, who had just been bested by the Knight of the White Moon. Once again, Don Quixote's desire to do the honorable thing by allowing the young man to marry Doña Rodríguez's daughter instead of engaging in an unnecessary battle ends in disaster for everyone involved except Don Quixote himself. The same thing happened with Andrés, the young man whom Don Quixote tried to save from an abusive master. Don Quixote, however, doesn't view any of this as his own fault; he absolves himself of any wrongdoing by blaming it on someone else. Just as he blames his failure in battle on Rocinante, he blames other people's misfortunes on the work of magicians. Don Quixote thinks so highly of himself and the realm of knighthood that he can't fathom how he could be responsible for so much damage when he has such good intentions. Good intentions, as Cervantes is quick to point out, doesn't mean Don Quixote is in the right.

Sancho Panza practically sees the light go out of his master following his defeat by the Knight of the White Moon, "expectations roused by his new promises totally undone, swept away like smoke in the wind." Don Quixote no longer believes in himself, and that formerly unshakable belief was the one thing that propelled him along his journey. His eroded confidence foreshadows his physical decline and eventual death.

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