Don Quixote Chapter 2: Summary & Analysis

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

If you are reading 'Don Quixote,' check out the following lesson. We will take a look at the important events from Chapter 2, as well as offer an analysis. Read on to get the scoop.

Summary: Make Pretend

Have you ever played along with someone (maybe a child) who was pretending to be a dinosaur or firefighter? If so, you will recognize what happens when Don Quixote hangs out with his new friends at the inn in Chapter 2 of Don Quixote.

Becoming a Knight

Don Quixote heads out on his horse because there isn't a moment to lose. He worries that ''all the world was losing by is delay.'' His journey is just getting started when he realizes that ''he had not been dubbed a knight.'' Additionally, since he is a ''novice knight,'' he is supposed to wear white. He decides to scrub his armor until it looks white, and then lets his horse lead the way.

Scolding the Silly Women

He rides along under the hot sun. In fact, the sun is so hot that it would have melted his brain ''if he had any,'' explains the narrator. He travels all day, but nothing interesting happens. He eventually finds an inn to sleep for the night. To Don Quixote, the inn is a castle. The common women at the inn look like fair maidens to him, and a swine herder is a trumpeter announcing Don Quixote's arrival. He greets the women far too formally. They giggle, and he warns them, ''laughter that has little cause is great silliness.''

Playing Along

The landlord comes out and decides to play along. The women follow his lead and also pretend that Don Quixote is a knight. Don Quixote tells them to take care of his majestic horse, and he heads inside to rest. The women take his armor, but cannot figure out how to remove his helmet since it is fastened with ribbon. So, he keeps his helmet on throughout the night. The women offer home some fish, and Don Quixote asks that it is brought quickly, since his muscles need nutrition. The fish is poorly prepared, and the bread is ''as black and moldy as his own armor.''


In this chapter, we take another step deeper into Don Quixote's delusions. While Chapter 1 presented him as a rather fun and adventurous man, this chapter makes it clear that he is lost in his hallucinations. Right from this chapter, the theme involves sanity and truth.

Don Quixote is committed to the new identity he has created for himself. He doesn't just gallop away; he makes plans to be knighted so that he can be a ''real'' knight. He even makes sure to represent his version of the truth by making his armor appear white, since this is the requirement for a new knight. This strange and entertaining behavior accents the humorous tone of the story.

Another important part of this chapter is that the narrator makes his opinion and presence more clear. The comment that the sun would have cooked his brain ''if he had any'' is quite an insult. Don Quixote is brought down to the level of a crazy old man. The author also explores the thoughts and feelings of each of the other characters, making it clear that he is third person omniscient.

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