Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Don Quixote Part 1, Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The priest explains to the officer that there is no point in arresting Don Quixote, since he would be released immediately because of his madness. The officers are so astonished by his madness that they satisfy themselves instead by ending the fight between Sancho and the barber: they return the pack-saddle to the barber, and the priest pays him for his basin. Don Luis’s servants agree to Don Fernando plan because of his high rank. Since the main conflicts have now been resolved, Don Quixote implores Dorotea to continue their journey to her kingdom, and Dorotea politely consents.
In the standoff between public and private morality, private wins - even if it wins in a way that’s quite humiliating to Quixote. Because of his madness, the officers of the law don’t touch him. This sentence has two meanings in one, because his madness has two meanings in one. It is both a kind of confused helplessness and an inspired private vision of the world.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Madness and Sanity Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
Here, Sancho interrupts to say that Dorotea can’t be a real princess, since she has been kissing Don Fernando on the sly. Quixote yells at Sancho to be quiet, but Dorotea gently interjects to say that an enchanter must have caused Sancho to see the impropriety he described. Don Quixote agrees and forgives Sancho on the spot, adding that most events at the inn take place via enchantment.
Quixote generally acts very politely, but he is often angry and condescending with Sancho. His squire is the loud voice of the other reality, the world Quixote recognizes but chooses not to believe in. He directs his anger and confusion about that world at Sancho.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
The company of friends thinks of a plan that would allow the barber and the priest to bring Quixote back to the village without having to drag Dorotea with them. They build a wooden cage, disguise Don Luis’s servants, and trap him in the cage while he’s asleep. When Quixote wakes up, he thinks that he has been abducted by ghosts and enchanters. The disguised barber tells Quixote in a frightening voice that it is time for him to unite with Dulcinea, which makes Don Quixote quite content. The servants load Quixote’s cage onto an ox-cart in the inn’s courtyard.
The priest and the barber have been trying to take charge of Quixote for quite a while, and here they let go of any pretense of civility. Just as the officers of the Holy Brotherhood wanted to imprison Quixote for his crimes against the crown, the priest and the barber cage him for his crimes against naturalism and common sense.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon