Don Quixote Chapter 8: 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 8 of Don Quixote explores the adventures of our protagonist and touches on his relationship with Sancho, who he believes is his friend. In this lesson, we will provide a summary and analysis of what goes down in the chapter. Read on to find out more.

Opposites Attract

If you have ever been friends with someone who was very different from you, you might recognize the beginning of the relationship between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Chapter 8 of Don Quixote. In this chapter, Don Quixote sets off with Sancho, and the pair could not be more different. Let's take a look at the adventures of this interesting duo.

The Adventures Begin

In Chapter 8, we find Don Quixote heading out on another adventure. He is really itching for some combat since his friends and family tried to lock him up in his own house. Determined not to be foiled, in Chapter 7 he enlisted the help of his neighbor, Sancho, to serve as esquire by telling him all about the adventures to come. As they are riding off, Chapter 8 opens with Don Quixote spying a field full of giants. Sancho tells Don Quixote that they are actually windmills (which they are), but DQ just tells Sancho that if he is scared, he can run back home.

The Giants

Don Quixote bravely charges the giants until he gets too close and one of the windmills knocks him and Rocinante (his horse) over. At this point, Don Quixote realizes that his foes are indeed windmills. Instead of admitting his mistake, he decides that some sort of magic changed the giants into windmills. Sancho and Don Quixote continue their trek. Sancho drinks heavily and sleeps deeply as the two men camp for the night.

As they travel along, Don Quixote reminds Sancho that he must not get involved in any of Quixote's battles. Since Sancho is not a knight, it is improper for him to ''put a hand to thy sword in my defence.'' In other words, if another knight is attacking Don Quixote, Sancho must not fight alongside him. Sancho is happy to follow that rule. He is not interested in putting his neck out.


The two men see a couple of friars traveling along the road, and since they are wearing all black, Don Quixote is convinced they are evil sorcerers. There is also a coach following the friars. Inside of the coach is a woman. Upon seeing this, Don Quixote proclaims that the woman is surely ''some stolen princess in that coach.'' He promises ''with all my might I must undo this wrong.''

He attacks the friars - one runs away and the other lies on the ground in agony. Sancho rushes up and begins to strip the friar's gown, telling the others traveling with the coach that the gown is his spoil of war. Sancho gets beaten up and then everyone runs off except for a squire from Biscay who promises ''unless thou quittest coach, slayest thee as art here a Biscayan.'' In other words, this man promises to slay Don Quixote, and they begin to duel just as the chapter ends.


Once again, we find our protagonist in a dangerous situation due to his delusions. Don Quixote believes the windmills are giants, and even when he comes face-to-face with the facts, he refuses to accept that he could be wrong. The absurdity of this encourages the reader to consider how ridiculous it is for others to ignore the truth even when they are presented with undeniable facts. This could be a criticism from the author of religion, politics or even the personal lives of those who cannot admit they are wrong.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account