Don Quixote Chapter 3: 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.

In Chapter 3 of 'Don Quixote,' our main character finds himself in a dangerous situation. Check out the lesson below to find out what happens and what it all means.

What's He up to Now?

Chapter 3 of Don Quixote finds our main character on his knees in the horse stable begging the landlord of the inn to grant him knighthood. The landlord is bewildered and tells Don Quixote to rise. Don Quixote refuses to get up until he is dubbed a knight. The sneaky landlord agrees, telling him that when he was younger he had also wandered the world seeking adventures. We learn that he spent his youth cheating and stealing. Now that he is an older man, he is happy to make Don Quixote a knight. The landlord asks for money in exchange for the knighthood.

A Majestic Battle

Don Quixote tells the inn keeper that he does not have any money. In fact, he read that knights never carried money. The innkeeper explains that he is seriously mistaken and that he needs to have money. Don Quixote agrees and the innkeeper promises to make him a knight. Don Quixote sets his armor on the water trough for the horses. In the night, someone comes to feed the horses and needs to move the armor. Don Quixote warns the man that he will lose his life if he touches the armor. The other man just flings the armor off the trough. Don Quixote wacks the man with his sword and the man flops to the ground. Later, another man also wants to feed and water his horse. This man is also whacked to the ground.

The guests and landlord come rushing out and throw stones are Don Quixote. The people are angry about the attacks on their friends, but the landlord tells the people that Don Quixote is crazy. The people eventually back off, and the landlord dubs Don Quixote a knight.


Aside from the actual events in a story, there are literary elements that are worth looking at. Let's take a quick peek at some elements that stand out.

One of the most interesting aspects of this chapter is the setting. In Don Quixote's mind, he is in a castle surrounded by fair maidens. In reality, he is at a rather crummy inn. This adds conflict to the story and makes room for humor. The landlord takes advantage of Don Quixote's disconnect from reality which advances the conflict of Chapter 3. Will the landlord take full advantage of Don Quixote or will he show some compassion?

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