Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Part 1, Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Sancho sees that his master has won the fight, he comes over to ask him for the promised island. Don Quixote explains that this isn’t an island-acquiring kind of adventure, but that islands are surely in their future. When they ride away, Sancho suggests that they hide out in a church in case members of the Holy Brotherhood (a kind of religious police force) come looking to punish Quixote for the harm he caused to the coachman, but the Quixote responds that knights are not subject to such laws. The knight and the squire discuss Quixote’s bravery and then Sancho dresses Quixote’s wounds. Quixote wishes he had with him a potion called the Balsam of Fierabras, which instantly heals all wounds.
Though Sancho is a realist who sees inns and windmills instead of castles and giants, he admires Quixote and he’s cautiously open to his ideas. He knows that peasant farmers don’t usually come into possession of islands, but he doesn’t let his experience dictate the range of the possible – in other words, he thinks there might be mysteries in the world that haven’t entered into his particular experience. The priest and the barber, on the other hand, believe that their perspectives are the only possible true and sane perspectives.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
When Quixote notices the harm done to his helmet, he swears (like a knight of old) not to eat bread or sleep with his wife until he metes out revenge on the coachman. Sancho points out that the man has probably been punished enough, and Quixote retracts his oath; instead, he decides not to eat bread until he wins Mambrino’s helmet (a famous helmet from a book).
Just as Sancho allows Quixote to revise his realism, Quixote sometimes allows Sancho to revise his idealism, his knightly vision of the world as it should be. In a chivalry book, a knight would have his revenge no matter what. But Sancho points to the particular circumstances of the offense, and Quixote adjusts the ideal to suit the real.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Sancho offers Quixote some food, but he replies that knights in books eat rarely, sometimes not for a month at a time – they usually eat during lavish banquets, or they gather things in forests. Sancho apologizes for his ignorance, explaining that he cannot read or write, and says that he will carry only nuts and berries for Quixote from now on. The knight objects that he can eat other things if need be. They ride on, and when night comes they decide to sleep under the stars with some goatherds.
The elaborate dignities of knightly life often clash with the needs of the body. A proud and noble knight doesn’t beg or scrounge for food: therefore, he eats only when he is showered with luxuries at court. Quixote believes in dignity and nobility, but he doesn’t want to starve. He decides to allow for some flexibility in the rules.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Madness and Sanity Theme Icon