The men carry Don Quixote and Sancho into a dark, torch-lit courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard, they see a platform carrying Altisidora’s corpse. The Duke and Duchess seat themselves beside it, along with two mysterious men in black. A servant dresses Sancho in a black robe painted with flames and a cardboard cone over his head. A young man stands by the corpse and sings a song describing Quixote’s murder of Altisidora. The mysterious men, the judges of the proceedings, tell Sancho he must receive a variety of beatings to bring Altisidora back to life. Sancho angrily refuses, especially since his beating must be carried out by the twelve duennas. Finally, though, he gives in, and in the middle of the punishment Altisidora wakes up and thanks him. The night is over and the two friends retire to sleep in their old room in the Duke’s castle.
This final prank brings Quixote one step closer to disillusionment. If in the beginning of their acquaintance with Quixote the Duke and Duchess tried to arrange everything according to Quixote’s notions of knighthood, and so briefly convinced him of being a real knight, in this episode they accuse him of being the opposite of a knight – a killer of innocent maidens. It is appropriate that Sancho’s costume includes a cardboard cone, like that worn by Inquisition victims, because Sancho and Quixote’s real crime is their unorthodox ideas.