Don Quixote

Don Quixote


Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote: Part 1, Chapter 42 Summary & Analysis

That night, another group of guests arrives at the inn: a judge, his beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter, and their servants. They are on their way to America, where the judge has been offered a job. When the former captive hears that the judge is called Juan Pérez de Viedma, he realizes that the judge is his brother, but before identifying himself decides to test the judge’s loyalty. The priest offers his assistance. The priest tells the judge that a captive friend of his in Constantinople had the same last name as the judge. He says that the friend’s name was Ruy Pérez de Viedma, and retells the captive’s story about the division of property and his military adventures and captivity, up until the episode with the French ship. With tears in his eyes, the judge tells the group that this man is his dearly beloved brother.
Yet another group of people have crowded into the inn, and another cast of characters with their dramas and tragedies have wandered into the small world of the novel. The inn is the serendipitous point where characters and plotlines converge, where strangers from all walks of life find an unexpected point of contact. It is out on the road far from any town, but it also a shelter: it is something in between wilderness and civilization. So it is a place where social boundaries are more flexible and chaotic than in a village or town.
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Convinced now of his good intentions, the priest brings in Ruy Pérez and Zoraida and tells the judge their identities. The brothers reunite joyfully. They decide to travel to Seville right away so that their father could attend Zoraida’s baptism and the wedding. Soon afterwards, everyone turns in for the night – everyone but Don Quixote, who decides to keep guard outside the inn to ensure the women’s safety. Just before dawn, Dorotea hears a beautiful voice coming from outside.
Finally, we are coming back to our knight errant. It is important to note that Don Quixote has not heard many of these stories – he has been raving in the sierras, or asleep. Yet Cervantes depicted his personality and perspective so clearly in the first part of the novel that he remains somehow omnipresent to us as we follow the other characters.
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