Don Quixote

Don Quixote


Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote: Part 2, Chapter 53 Summary & Analysis

Sancho is in bed on the seventh night of his tenure as governor when he hears shouts announcing the arrival of enemy troops – another one of the butler’s tricks. Servants suit Sancho in armor, which is so heavy and stiff he can barely move. When he tries to walk he falls helplessly onto the floor, and his islanders trample over him while someone shouts nonsensical orders. Sancho, curled up blindly in his armor, soon hears shouts declaring victory. His servants take off his armor and he faints from shock and pain. When he wakes up, he saddles his donkey and announces his resignation: he would rather be free and poor than a hungry and busy governor. Everyone bids him a sad goodbye.
This novel is full of physical humiliation, but Sancho and Quixote both usually come out with their dignities intact. Harsh beatings don’t completely destroy them, though they do gradually wear them down; the two friends live for a set of ideals, and they are willing to suffer for them (though this is relatively new quality in Sancho). Sancho does not leave the island as a defeated man, but as a man who has made a considered choice.
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