Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Don Quixote Part 2, Chapter 56 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Soon the day of the duel arrives. The Duke instructs the lackey Tosilos, who is meant to replace the duenna’s daughter’s seducer in the battle, not to endanger his life or Quixote’s. The battle takes place on a large platform, surrounded by thousands of spectators, including the duenna and her daughter. But just as the battle is about to begin, the lackey notices that the duenna’s daughter is very beautiful and decides that he’d like to marry her. When the battle begins and Quixote charges at him, the lackey calls over the master of the field and says that he agrees to marry the girl, and the battle is called off.
Once again, the Duke and Duchess’s hoax, which is meant to ridicule Quixote and his fantasies, actually makes those fantasies comes true. The charade turns into a real marriage – real redemption for the duenna’s daughter, who wanted marriage and security. The world changes slightly to become more like Quixote’s vision of the world, where knights help troubled maidens.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
But when Tosilos takes his helmet off, the duenna and her daughter yell out that the actual seducer has been replaced by the Duke’s lackey. Quixote calmly explains that the illusion must be the work of enchanters, who changed the man’s face into that of the lackey. The Duke suggests that the man be locked up for a while to see if he returns to his original form. The duenna’s daughter agrees to marry the man, whoever he is, and everything ends well.
At this point, it is not clear whether Quixote truly thinks the contradiction is the work of enchanters, or whether he suspects the Duke and Duchess of foul play but does not want to be impolite. Perhaps Quixote’s idea of enchantment has come to refer to the contradictory and mysterious aspects of the world, and not to real magic.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Madness and Sanity Theme Icon