Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Part 2, Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Duchess and the Duke decide to play some amusing tricks on their guest. One day, they decide to take the two friends hunting with a large, noisy group of men and animals. When they are deep in the woods, a huge wild board comes running toward them, and several people spear it though. They carry the boar to a nearby clearing, where a meal has been laid out for them. Sancho says in a long-winded speech sprinkled with proverbs that hunting seems like a cruel amusement. Don Quixote scolds him for his foolish proverbs, but the Duchess jumps to his defense, saying that his mismatched proverbs are more delightful than appropriate ones.
In her compliment to Sancho, the Duchess invokes the tradition of literary nonsense, which became widely popular in the 19th century with the writings of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. The most basic principle of literary nonsense and nonsense verse is that something that does not make sense, that has no clear meaning, can be funnier and more delightful than something with meaning. Hence, Sancho’s unsuitable proverbs are more delightful to the Duchess than suitable ones.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Madness and Sanity Theme Icon
The company rides back into the woods as it gets dark. Suddenly, they see fire all around them and hear thousands of loud instruments, as well as a Moorish battle cry. A young man in costume introduces himself as the devil; he has come with troops of enchanters, Dulcinea, and Montesinos to tell Don Quixote how Dulcinea is to be disenchanted. He tells Don Quixote to wait there for instructions. In a little while the piercing noise resumes; three old men sitting on top of fire-lit carts introduce themselves as sages and enchanters.
This scene resembles Sancho and Quixote’s encounter with the troupe of actors, who also had a devil and princess among them. But this adventure took place in the second part of the history, and the Duke and Duchess have not read about it. They assume that Quixote is as innocent and easily fooled as he was in the very beginning.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon