If you had to sum up Sancho Panza's relationship with Don Quixote in a single phrase, it could be: "Sancho is very loyal (sort of)."
Sancho's loyalty is always tied to his self-interest. He follows Don Quixote around with the hopes of gaining a lot of money... or even a kingdom to rule over. On the other hand, there are several tender moments in this book when Sancho claims he'd rather die than leave his master's side. When it comes to loyalty, Sancho is a real paradox, and in Don Quixote, Cervantes uses the theme of loyalty to make a larger point about how almost everything in life is relative: things can change depending on a given situation.
Questions About Loyalty
- How would you describe Sancho's loyalty to Don Quixote? Why does Sancho always stand by his master?
- Apart from Sancho, do any other characters give us good examples of loyalty? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.
- Do you consider Don Quixote loyal to his beloved Dulcinea, even though she doesn't exist? Can you be loyal to an idea, or only to another person? Why?
- What, in your mind, is the biggest breach of loyalty in this book? Can you think of any betrayals that are especially harsh? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.
Chew on This
In Don Quixote, Cervantes shows us that loyalty is not something you can always count on. People's loyalty often changes with different situations.
In Don Quixote, Cervantes suggests that loyalty isn't necessarily a selfless thing. It can actually be very selfish.