Don Quixote Part II (1615): Summary
Part II is more tightly structured and more psychologically penetrating than Part I. There is a clear trajectory: Don Quixote and Sancho head for Zaragoza, but Don Quixote changes his mind -see chapter 59 below-- and they proceed to Barcelona before returning home. There are virtually no interpolated tales, farce is much reduced and Don Quixote and Sancho are central to the whole development of Part II.
1. The priest and barber visit Don Quixote. He appears to be sane until the priest questions him on what the king should do against a perceived Turkish threat. Don Quixote’s replies that the king should call on all the knights-errant in Spain to defeat the Turks. Don Quixote makes a passionate defence of knight-errantry and insists that knights-errant really existed. He even gives a description of some, including Amadís of Gaul.
2. Sancho Panza appears. Don Quixote asks him what people are saying about him. Sancho also informs Don Quixote that a student from the village –Sansón Carrasco—has told him that a book has been published about their adventures, with the title El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha.
3. Conversation between Don Quixote, Sancho and Sansón Carrasco. Don Quixote is disappointed that the author of the book was a Moor and it contains no great deeds of his. Sancho is delighted that he is one of the main characters in the book. There are also comments about the interpolated tales of Part I.
4. Sancho urges Don Quixote to go out on a third sally, and he will accompany him provided he does not have to fight. Wants to be known as the most loyal squire to have ever served a knight-errant. Sansón suggests they head to Zaragoza to participate in some jousts.
5. Conversation between Sancho and his wife, Teresa. Sancho talks of marrying their daughter to someone important if he becomes a governor; his wife objects, saying she should marry someone of her social status. Sancho ends by correcting his wife’s language (as Don Quixote has done with him!)
6. Conversation between Don Quixote and his niece. He defends knight-errantry following her assertion that all knights were fictitious.
7. Sancho asks Don Quixote for a salary. Don Quixote has never heard of knights-errant paying their squires, and he refuses, telling Sancho that he can find plenty of squires… whereupon Sansón Carrasco turns up and offers himself as squire! Sancho capitulates.
8. Set off on third sally. First, Don Quixote wants to call at El Toboso to see Dulcinea.
9. Arrive at El Toboso at night. Can’t find Dulcinea’s palace. Sancho persuades Don Quixote to wait outside the village while he looks for Dulcinea.
10. Sancho sees three village girls on donkeys, and tells Don Quixote that Dulcinea is approaching accompanied by two ladies-in-waiting. Don Quixote is puzzled because he can only see three ugly, garlic-smelling peasant girls. After a disastrous encounter, he rationalises that Dulcinea has been transformed by some evil enchanters (who have always persecuted him).
11. Incident with the actors. Don Quixote is perplexed and comments on the dangers of appearances. He accepts Sancho’s advice not to attack the actors because they are not knights.
12 – 15. Don Quixote battles with the Knight of the Mirrors (also called the Knight of the Forest). Against all odds, he succeeds in defeating him. His adversary turns out to be Sansón Carrasco, who had dressed up as knight, confident that he would defeat Don Quixote and therefore oblige him to return to the village. Result: Don Quixote continues, his resolve strengthened after his victory (again rationalizes that the Knight of the Mirrors was made to look like Sansón Carrasco by those enchanters!). Meanwhile, an angry Sansón Carrasco swears vengeance.
16. Meets Don Diego de Miranda, Knight of the Green Coat. Each narrates his life story to the other.
17. Adventure of the Lion. Don Quixote against all advice orders the door to the cage opened and awaits the lion's challenge, but all it does is yawn and turn its back to him.
18. Arrive at Don Diego’s house. Conversation with Don Diego’s son about poetry. Decide to continue to Zaragoza, but first Don Quixote wants to visit the Cave of Montesinos.
19. They meet two students and two peasants on donkeys. Students tell them they are on the way to an arranged wedding between Camacho and Quiteria. The wealthy Camacho, however, has a rival, Basilio. Don Quixote and Sancho decide to accompany them.
20 – 21. The wedding. How Basilio tricks them all and ends up marrying Quiteria.
22. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza discuss marriage before heading for the Cave of Montesinos. Descent into and return from the cave.
23. Don Quixote describes what he saw in the cave. All those he met there –including Dulcinea-- were enchanted and awaiting him as their disenchanter. Montesinos was to let Don Quixote know how he would do this. This cheered Don Quixote enormously. The only dissonant note was that Dulcinea –through one of her “maids”-- had asked him for a loan.
24. Don Quixote and Sancho meet a soldier going off to war and a man carrying lances and halberds to his village.
25. Don Quixote and Sancho stop at an inn where the man carrying arms tells them why he is doing so. Introduces tale of the lost donkey and the braying aldermen. Arrival of Maese Pedro and his prophesying ape. Don Quixote asks Maese Pedro if the ape can tell him whether what he saw in the Cave of Montesinos was real or a dream.
26. Maese Pedro puts on a puppet show. Don Quixote ends up destroying the puppet theatre. He agrees to pay for the damage and tells Sancho to hand over the money to Maese Pedro. Maese Pedro turns out to be a convicted galley slave freed by Don Quixote in Part I, chapter 22.
27. Don Quixote and Sancho run into villagers bearing arms in support of the braying aldermen (chptr 25). The village has been insulted by a neighbouring village. Sancho inadvertently offends them and gets beaten. Don Quixote, after initially trying to help Sancho, turns tail.
28. Sancho complains about his lot and Don Quixote agrees to pay him a salary.
29. They arrive on the banks of the River Ebro. Adventure of the enchanted boat. Don Quixote pays for the destroyed boat.
30-57. Don Quixote and Sancho arrive at the palace of the Duke and Duchess. This is the beginning of the longest and most complicated “episode” of the entire book.
The duke and duchess have heard of Don Quixote and organize a series of intricate pranks throughout this episode in order to have fun at the expense of both Don Quixote and Sancho.
30-43. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are together in the palace. In chapter 35, Don Quixote finds out how Dulcinea is to be disenchanted: Sancho has to whip himself voluntarily 3,300 times!! In chapter 42, the duke gives Sancho the island of Barataria to govern (this has been Sancho’s dream). Don Quixote gives Sancho advice (chapter 43) on how to govern before the latter leaves for Barataria.
44-55. Sancho departs for Barataria, leaving Don Quixote in the palace. These chapters cover what happens to Don Quixote at the palace and Sancho at Barataria. They also contain several letters: from Don Quixote to Sancho, from Sancho to Don Quixote, from Sancho to his wife, Teresa, and her reply, and even a letter from the duchess to Teresa with the latter’s reply.
Both Don Quixote and Sancho are disillusioned with their experiences. Sancho returns to Don Quixote in Chapter 55.
58. Don Quixote and Sancho leave the palace of the duke and duchess. Discuss topic of liberty. They meet some travelers carrying religious images and later some wealthy individuals playing at being shepherds.
59. They arrive at an inn where they meet don Jerónimo and don Juan who are discussing Part II of Don Quixote! This is an allusion to a false continuation of Don Quixote which appeared in 1614. Both don Jerónimo and don Juan agree that the Don Quixote and Sancho they are talking to are the “real” ones. Don Quixote decides to head for Barcelona rather than Zaragoza, which is where the false Don Quixote had gone to.
60. Don Quixote and Sancho meet Roque Guinart, an authentic historical figure and famous Catalan bandit. Tale of Claudia Jerónima and Don Vicente Torrellas. Roque talks about himself.
61. Don Quixote and Sancho arrive in Barcelona. Some boys place thorns beneath the tails of Rocinante and Sancho’s donkey, causing them to toss Don Quixote and Sancho to the ground.
62. Don Quixote is a guest of Don Antonio Moreno, a wealthy noble who shows him around Barcelona at the same time as having some fun at his guest’s expense. They enter a printer’s shop where Don Quixote sees the false continuation of his life being printed.
63. That evening Don Antonio takes his guests aboard a galley ship. They chase and capture a pirate ship, whose master turns out to be a Morisca, a Christian woman of Muslim origin born in Spain. She is dressed as a man. Her name is Ana Felix, daughter of Ricote, a Morisco whom Sancho had met after renouncing his governship (chapter 54). She gives her life story, including how she and her father were forced into exile (allusion to the historical expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain between 1609 and 1614). Plans are made to rescue don Gaspar Gregorio, Ana Felix’s boyfriend, held captive in Algiers.
64. Appearance of the Knight of the White Moon who challenges and defeats Don Quixote. As a condition of his defeat, Don Quixote has to return to his village for a year or until the victor thinks fit. The Knight of the White Moon turns out to be Sansón Carrasco, disguised again as a knight (see chapters 12-15 above).
65. A despondent Don Quixote remains in bed for six days. Good news of the rescue of don Gaspar.
66. Don Quixote and Sancho leave Barcelona.
67. They talk of becoming shepherds. Don Quixote also wonders how he can disenchant Dulcinea.
68. Don Quixote is trampled by pigs, can’t sleep and is depressed by his defeat and by his absence from Dulcinea.
69 – 70. Return to the duke and duchess’s palace. Sancho helps to resuscitate a damsel, Altisidora (who had “died” pining for Don Quixote) by being slapped and pinched.
71. Since Sancho has been instrumental in reviving Altisidora, Don Quixote urges him to whip himself in order to disenchant Dulcinea. Sancho consents but only after Don Quixote has agreed to pay for each lash.
72. Don Quixote and Sancho meet don Alvaro Tarfe at an inn. Don Alvaro is a major character from the false Part II who, after talking to “our” Don Quixote and Sancho, agrees to swear before the local mayor and sign a document confirming that they are indeed the “real” Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
73. Final return to the village. Don Quixote tells the priest and barber that he intends to become a shepherd for a year until he can return to his chivalric life.
74. Don Quixote falls ill and takes to his bed. He falls into a deep sleep and, after awakening, rejects the absurdities of knight-errantry and declares himself an enemy of Amadís of Gaul and all his offspring. He is no longer Don Quixote, but merely Alonso Quijano (the first time we know his proper name!). After confessing, making his will and receiving the sacraments, Don Quixote --or rather Alonso Quijano-- dies.