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Don Quixote Chapter 5: 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.

Chapter 5 of 'Don Quixote' sheds some more light on our protagonist's strange and delusional world. Check out the lesson below where we will go over a summary and cover an analysis of Chapter 5.

Blame Game

If you have ever tried to find out who or what is to blame for a serious problem, you will recognize what happens in Chapter 5 of Don Quixote. In this chapter, Don Quixote gets a helping hand while his family and friends try to figure out what went wrong and who is to blame.

Chapter Summary

In Chapter 4, we left our main character laying on the ground after being thrashed by some traders he tried to fight. He passes the time by reciting a poem from one of his favorite books. Luckily, a villager passes by and lifts Don Quixote's helmet and visor and recognizes him. The villager checks Quixote for serious wounds and finds none. After his examination, the villager helps Don Quixote up onto Rocinante (Quixote's horse).

The peasant listens as Don Quixote recites various parts of stories he once read. Quixote is convinced that he is being taken prisoner and begins to recite the lines of a famous prisoner he remembers from his stories. The man he is with is thoroughly irritated by this and tries, without success, to talk some sense into Don Quixote.

The peasant waits until it is dark before he enters the village so that he is not see with a mad man. He heads straight for Quixote's home where he finds Quixote's housekeeper, niece, bookkeeper, priest and barber all trying to figure out what happened and where Quixote went. They all agree that Quixote is crazy and that all the books about knighthood didn't help. They spend some time promising each other that they need to burn the horrible books that caused this situation.

Chapter Analysis

If we take a closer look at the events in Chapter 5 of Don Quixote, we get the idea that the author is making a commentary on something other than a silly man's adventures. First of all, one of the biggest literary devices at work is the use of satire. This is simply when a writer uses exaggeration, humor or irony to mock someone or something. So far, there has certainly been quite a bit of humor in Don Quixote. The image of an old man riding around on a decrepit horse wearing floppy armor is humorous.

To add to the satire, the difference between Don Quixote's fantasy and the reality of the situation provides a picture of exaggeration. Don Quixote is not just a young guy who is dreaming of being a superhero, nor is he just a bookworm dreaming of being a superhero. He is an old, wealthy, bookworm dreaming of beating up bad guys. This difference may be a criticism about the government pretending to be strong and have everything under control when it really doesn't.

There is also a very clear contrast between DQ's lack of sanity and dedication to his moral beliefs. This situation encourages the reader to think about what insanity and sanity really are. Why is the ''crazy guy'' the one who seems to have the highest moral standards? Sure, he might be making a lot of mistakes, like fighting with simple townspeople, but he is sticking to his morals. What makes someone ''good''? Is it actions or intentions?

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