Study Guide

Don Quixote Part 2 (Chapters 11-20)

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Part 2 (Chapters 11-20)

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 11

  • As they ride away, Sancho notices that Don Quixote is looking really mopey. He scolds him for being such a baby, because in Part 2 of this book, Don Quixote definitely seems a little less confident than in Part 1.
  • As they continue along, Don Quixote and Sancho run into a cart of actors who are wearing costumes. They're on their way to perform a show. One is dressed up as death, another as the devil, and others in just generally strange outfits.
  • Someone jumps out from the crowd ringing bells and acting like a clown, and he scares Rocinante. The horse bolts with Don Quixote still on him. Sancho jumps off his donkey to try and help Don Quixote, at which point the clown guy jumps on Sancho's donkey and starts riding him around.
  • Eventually, though, the clown gets tired of the act and gets off the donkey, who goes running back to Sancho.
  • Don Quixote wants to attack the actors, but Sancho warns him that everyone loves actors, and that they should leave the actors alone if they don't want to get beaten up. No, the Don Quixote from Part 1 would have never stood for this; but the Don Quixote of Part 2 backs down under this advice.
  • Don Quixote and Sancho ride on looking for more adventures.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 12

  • As Don Quixote and Sancho continue on their way, they eventually run into a dude who calls himself the Knight of the Mirrors. This guy also has a squire with him, and he sings about wanting to get back to his beloved.
  • In fact, he seems every bit the knight that you would expect from one of Don Quixote's books. In fact, it's really weird that Don Quixote would actually run into another knight-errant, but this seems to be the case.
  • Don Quixote and Sancho go up to talk to the knight. At one point, Sancho interrupts Don Quixote, and the other knight says he can't believe that a true knight-errant would ever let a squire interrupt him. Sancho, though, tells him that he'll talk whenever he likes.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 13

  • Sancho leaves Don Quixote with the Knight of the Mirrors to go chat with the other knight's squire. He tells the guy about how Don Quixote is going to give him an island so that he can be governor of it. The other guy says that being a governor isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's usually more trouble than it's worth.
  • Sancho doesn't get discouraged, and the conversation turns to how people talk to each other differently in modern times, calling each other things like S.O.B. and stuff like that. As you can imagine, talking like this will probably get Sancho in trouble later in this book.
  • Sancho goes on to say that he thinks his master, Don Quixote, is way too easy to trick and even kind of foolish. But he can't help but feel a deep sense of loyalty to him.
  • Sancho closes the conversation, though, by saying that after he and Don Quixote get to Zaragoza, he'll probably pack up and head back home to his family.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 14

  • While talking to Don Quixote, the Knight of the Mirrors (he's also known as the Knight of the Wood) tells him that his beloved, Casildea de Vandalia, is the most beautiful woman in Spain. Uh oh.
  • Don Quixote disagrees and says that Dulcinea is the most beautiful, at least when she doesn't have an ugly spell cast on her.
  • This disagreement eventually leads to a fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the Mirrors. So they get on their horses and get their lances ready for a good ol' fashioned showdown.
  • Meanwhile, the Knight of the Wood's squire says that he and Sancho should fight because their masters are. The tradition, he says, is for squires to fight each other with sacks full of rocks. Sancho says no way.
  • Don Quixote notices that the Knight of the Wood isn't quite sure how to hold his lance, which is strange, considering that he's a knight. But nonetheless, Don Quixote makes haste and knocks the guy right off his horse.
  • When the Knight of the Wood is on the ground, Don Quixote unlaces his helmet to see if he's alive. And whom do they find beneath the helmet? None other than Sansón Carrasco. The jerk must have thought that he'd be able to take Don Quixote down in the fight. This must have been the plan that he had hatched with the curate and barber. He must have thought that after getting beaten, Don Quixote would have to fulfill the promise of going home to live a normal life.
  • Sancho says that a wizard must have made Don Quixote's foe look like Sansón so that Don Quixote wouldn't kill him; but Sancho says he should kill him, anyway. Don Quixote is about to act on this advice when the knight's squire comes running up and tells them that it's actually Sansón in disguise.
  • Sansón gets to live by promising Don Quixote that he'll go to Dulcinea and tells her about how great Don Quixote is.
  • Don Quixote and Sancho head onward to Zaragoza.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 15

  • This chapter just fills us in on what Sansón's plan was when he sent Don Quixote out on his mission to Zaragoza. All along, he planned on dressing up like a knight, then challenging Don Quixote to a duel.
  • Being beaten, though, Sansón feels like his pride has been badly hurt. So he swears to have his revenge on Don Quixote sooner or later.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 16

  • Now that he just won a duel, Don Quixote seems to have all of his old swagger back. He makes a promise to himself to do whatever it takes to lift the curse on Dulcinea's looks.
  • As Don Quixote and Sancho are riding along, they're passed by a man in rich-looking clothes who is driving a cart. Don Quixote asks him what the hurry is, and the man is surprised by the Don's strange appearance.
  • Don Quixote gives him the whole "Perhaps you've heard of me" routine, now that he knows there's a book out about him. But the guy still doesn't get it, and on top of that, he doesn't believe that there was ever such a thing as a travelling knight.
  • Eventually, the guy introduces himself as Don Diego de Miranda. He's a wealthy man, and he is entertained by Don Quixote's whole deal. So he invites the Don to dinner at his house, figuring that his family will be happy for the amusement.
  • Don Diego also informs Don Quixote that he has a son he'd like to see go to law school. But all his son is interested in is writing and studying poetry.
  • Don Quixote says this is a good thing, because he thinks it's wrong for parents to force their children into a certain profession. On top of that, he's a pretty big fan of poetry and literature, so he's on board with the choice to study books instead of law.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 17

  • As the men travel, Sancho sees some shepherds selling milk curds and decides that he's really hungry. He grabs Don Quixote's helmet and puts the curds in it because he has nothing else to carry the curds with.
  • As Sancho returns to Don Quixote's side, though, the Don decides he wants to put his helmet on. Sancho tries to talk him out of it, but Don Quixote slaps the thing on and the milk curds go all over his head. Don Quixote threatens to hurt Sancho, but Sancho goes with the trusty "It must have been a wizard" routine, and Don Quixote backs off. Meanwhile, Don Diego thinks these two are really weird.
  • As they travel, the three men come upon some guys who are transporting a cage of lions to the king's castle. The lions are some sort of gift.
  • Don Quixote wants to show everyone how tough he is, and he points his sword at the person on the cart and orders him to open the cage so he can fight the lions.
  • Everyone runs as far away from the cart as they can once the cage is opened. Don Quixote stands outside with his sword drawn. And we're all thinking at this point, "Man, this dude is totally going to die."
  • It turns out, though, that lions are extremely lazy. All they do is stand up, poke their heads outside the cage for a second, then go back to sleep.
  • At this point, Don Quixote realizes he won't be able to make them get up. So he figures that the lions must be too scared to battle him.
  • The person from the cart shuts the cage again, and everything calms down. But everyone is actually really impressed by Don Quixote's bravery (or madness).
  • Don Quixote and Sancho ride onward with Don Diego, whom Don Quixote has begun calling the Knight of the Green Coat.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 18

  • Don Quixote, Sancho, and Don Diego reach Don Diego's house, which is super nice.
  • Don Diego treats the guys to a really nice meal—so nice, in fact, that they decide to stay for four days. Don Diego's son, you see, is really fascinated by Don Quixote and his knowledge of literature, and the two have nice conversations with one another.
  • After they have spent some time talking, Don Diego takes his son aside and asks him what he thinks of Don Quixote. The young man basically says that Don Quixote is insane beyond recovery, since his brain has blended true things with make-believe to such an extent that it would take a lifetime to untangle them all one-by-one.
  • At this point, the son (named Don Lorenzo) agrees to read some of his poetry for the group. When he's done, Don Quixote says it is some of the finest poetry he's ever heard.
  • Don Quixote likes how romantic and idealistic the young man's poetry is, perhaps because that's the way Don Quixote is himself.
  • During this four-day stay, Sancho is pretty much as happy as can be, since he gets to sleep in a nice bed and eat some awesome food. He's really sad to leave it all behind.
  • Eventually, Don Quixote gets restless and decides to leave. Before going to the tournaments in Zaragoza, he wants to visit a magical place called Montesinos's Cave. Why? We don't know yet.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 19

  • As Don Quixote and Sancho travel along, they come upon a group of people who look like they're preparing for a wedding. They say that the most beautiful woman in the countryside, named Quiteria, is going to marry a wealthy dude named Comacho.
  • But, of course, there is another dude named Basil who is in love with the same woman, and people believe that she's in love with him, too, and is just marrying the rich Comacho because her father said so.
  • Basil, the guys say, is really clever and funny. Everyone likes him, but he doesn't have a penny to his name.
  • Don Quixote is of the opinion that marriage shouldn't be based on mutual affection, but on people's class. Otherwise, the low people would mix with the high people and dilute the quality of good families.
  • That said, it turns out that this Basil fellow has been lovesick ever since he found out that his beloved is going to marry another man. He has even been threatening to kill himself around the town.
  • During this conversation, one brute of a guy says to another that education and training are worthless, since a person is either naturally strong and smart or not. He even challenges one of the educated guys to a sword fight, but loses instantly because the other guy has received training. This fight seems to be an allegory for the idea that educated people are just plain better than the uneducated.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 20

  • Don Quixote and Sancho decide that it's a good idea to check out Comacho's wedding, since there might be some sort of adventure involved.
  • When they get to the thing, Sancho is overjoyed to find that there is a ton of food waiting for them, and he gorges himself on some chicken.
  • On top of that, a bunch of actors come out and start doing a play about a fair damsel who has to choose between money and love. When she chooses love, though, Don Quixote figures that the play was written by someone who wants Basil to win the bride away from Comacho.