Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Part 2, Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Quixote and Sancho admire the bride and groom. As they approach, a man dressed in black and red yells to stop them. The man is Basilio, and he despairingly tells Quiteria that she cannot marry Camacho, since she has already promised herself to Basilio. He declares that he will remove the obstacle to the marriage by ending his life, and immediately throws himself on his sword. Everyone rushes to help him, as he lies bleeding on the ground, and he says in a weak voice that if Quiteria would marry him in the moments before his death, he would feel that he didn’t die in vain. He refuses to confess to the priest until Quiteria fulfills his request. Under such pressure, Camacho consents.
Quixote’s stance on wealth is not very clear. On the one hand, he constantly lets money slip through his fingers, and he willingly gives away all he has to Sancho on several occasions. His interest is in beauty and ideals, not base worldly things like money. On the other hand, he has said that he became a knight to gain glory and wealth. We have not yet seen whether Quixote’s sympathies lie with Basilio or Camacho.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
A pale Quiteria approaches the dying man and the priest quickly marries them. As soon as they receive the priest’s blessing, Basilio jumps up and removes the sword from his body, which had gone not in his flesh but through a metal tube filled with blood. Camacho and his friends run to attack Basilio but Quixote wards them off with a conciliatory speech and his sword. Camacho decides to throw the party anyway, and Quixote and Sancho follow the bride and groom to Basilio’s village, though Sancho is sad to leave the mountains of food and wine.
In this episode, romantic poverty triumphs over wealth, and Quixote takes poverty’s side. Quixote is supposed to be seeking wealth, but in practice it does not matter much to him. This is another in a line of episodes to feature some form of theater. Quixote observes that one can achieve one’s goal by playacting and cleverness, instead of force. He does his part to help Basilio by speaking instead of fighting.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon