One day, when Don Quixote is dining with the Duke and Duchess, the duenna Rodríguez and her daughter burst in. The duenna begs Quixote to challenge her daughter’s seducer to a duel to force him to marry her, and Quixote quickly consents. The Duke offers to find the offender and to set up the duel six days from then. Once the two women leave, the messenger brings in Teresa’s letters to the Duchess and to Sancho. The Duchess reads the letters out loud for everyone’s amusement. In the letter to the Duchess, Teresa sends her thanks and asks for money to buy clothes and a carriage. The letter to Sancho is joyful and incredulous.
The Duchess still considers the whole charade a means to “amusement.” But to Sancho and Teresa, the charade is completely real; their lives are transformed. They have changed their ideas of themselves and of their place in the world. Other events in the novel have contained a similar contradiction When two people look at a single entity, one believing it real and the other imaginary, the entity itself becomes both real and not.