Don Quixote. Part 1 Summary.
Neither Part I nor Part II of Don Quixote is easy to summarise, especially Part I (pub 1605) which contains several interpolated tales. Don Quixote at best plays a peripheral role in some of these tales, but by and large they are self contained stories even when the narration is interrupted by outside events.
1. Don Quixote decides to become a knight-errant. Names his skinny nag (horse) Rocinante and his lady Dulcinea.
2. First sally; he arrives at an inn which he believes is a castle, and meets two prostitutes whom he takes for ladies.
3. Don Quixote keeps watch over his arms, and the roguish innkeeper dubs him knight.
4. First adventures: episodes with Andrés and later some merchants.
5. A neighbour takes Don Quixote back to his village.
6. Examination of Don Quixote’s library.
7. Second sally, this time accompanied by Sancho Panza. Sancho promised an island.
8. Adventure of the windmills; Don Quixote attacks a Basque traveller. Story cut short.
9. Search for a continuation of the story; battle with the Basque ends.
10. Discussion about the balm of Fierabras to cure wounds and the need to search for another helmet.
11-14. [11. Speech on the Golden Age]
[12. Goatherd tells the story of Grisóstomo and Marcela]
[13. Discussion with Vivaldo on the world of chivalry.]
[14. Burial of Grisóstomo and Marcela’s speech defending herself]
15. Adventure of the Galicians; Don Quixote beaten up.
16. They arrive at an inn; “adventure” with Maritornes; a muleteer leaves Don Quixote half dead, and Sancho, Maritornes and the innkeeper end up pummelling each other in the dark.
17. An officer hits Don Quixote with a lamp; Don Quixote takes a balm and throws it all up; Sancho also takes it and “empties himself at both ends!” Sancho is tossed in a blanket.
18. Adventure of the two flocks of sheep which Don Quixote takes for two armies. He is stoned by the shepherds. Takes more balm and is sick again.
19. Adventure of a funeral group. A victory for Don Quixote. Sancho begins his popular sayings.
20. Adventure of the fulling mills. Sancho defecates in his pants out of fear
21. Adventure of the helmet of Mambrino. Don Quixote takes a barber’s basin for the golden helmet of Mambrino. Sancho sees it as a basin. Another victory. Discussion with Sancho about the world of chivalry.
22. Adventure of the galley slaves. The freed slaves throw stones at Don Quixote and Sancho.
23. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza enter the Sierra Morena. They meet Cardenio.
23-36 [Episode of Cardenio/ Luscinda and Fernando/ Dorotea.
24 [Cardenio begins his story.]
25. Importance of imitation. Don Quixote decides to do penance in the Sierra Morena and writes a letter to Dulcinea. Don Quixote gives a relativist description of Mambrino’s helmet: what to Sancho is a barber’s basin is to him Mambrino’s helmet and possibly something else to another person.
26. Don Quixote does penance and Sancho takes Don Quixote’s letter to Dulcinea. Sancho runs into the priest and barber from their village at the inn where the episode with Maritornes took place (chapter 16). They decide to take Don Quixote back to the village. Sancho goes ahead and the priest and barber follow.
27. The priest and barber run into Cardenio. Cardenio continues his tale.
28. The priest, barber and Cardenio come across Dorotea. Dorotea’s tale.
29. They all meet Don Quixote, and Dorotea pretends to be Princess Micomicona, who is seeking the help of Don Quixote.
30. Princess Micomicona tells her “story.”
31. Conversation between Don Quixote and Sancho about Sancho’s “visit” to Dulcinea.
32-46 All return to the inn. Next 15 chapters at the inn.
32. Don Quixote falls asleep. Conversation between the innkeeper and the priest about romances of chivalry.
33-35 [Tale of the Unwisely Curious Husband]
35. Adventure of the wine skins. [Conclusion of Tale of the Unwisely Curious Husband]
36. Fernando and Luscinda arrive. The four lovers (Fernando/Dorotea, Cardenio/Luscinda) meet up again.
37. Don Quixote wakes up and meets Micomicona. Don Quixote begins his speech on arms and letters.
38. The speech continues.
39-41. [Tale of the Captured Captain]
42. The brother of the captain arrives by chance. Joyful reunion.
42-44. [Story of Luis and Clara]
43. Maritornes and the daughter of the innkeeper play a trick on Don Quixote. He is left with his hands tied to the hay-loft door while seated on Rocinante. Falls off Rocinante and is left suspended.
45. Fight over Mambrino’s helmet.
46. Don Quixote object of a trick by Fernando et al. They disguise themselves and tie his feet and hands and place him in cage on a cart to return him to the village.
47. They meet a canon. Discussion between the canon and the priest on romances of chivalry.
48. Don Quixote still in his cage.
49. Don Quixote allowed out of the cage. Conversation between Don Quixote and the canon on knight-errantry.
50. The conversation continues.
51. [Episode of Leandra and Eugenio]
52. Last adventure: disagreement with a goatherd and then some penitents. Another beating before Don Quixote is returned to the cage. Return to the village.
Image of Don Quixote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quixote