Journey With the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha and his fearless followers at University of Mary Washington

Don Quixote’s Soft Side and Sancho’s Refusal

In chapters thirty-six through forty-five of volume two in Don Quixote, there have been a couple of scenes that have caught my attention. The first scene being Don Quixote giving actual sane and helpful advice to Sancho Panza. The second scene involved Sancho’s refusal to be labeled a Don by those he would govern.

For the first time in Don Quixote, the reader encounters a more genuinely affectionate Don Quixote. Don Quixote provides Sancho good advice on how to govern his isle. Don Quixote gives Sancho guidance on living as a governor. He tells Sancho how to be well-established. In his speech he says, “Eat not garlic nor onions, lest they find out thy boorish origin by the smell; walk slowly and speak deliberately, but not in such a way as to make it seem thou art listening to thyself, for all affectation is bad.  Dine sparingly and sup more sparingly still; for the health of the whole body is forged in the workshop of the stomach.  Be temperate in drinking, bearing in mind that wine in excess keeps neither secrets nor promises,” (Chap. 43). Don Quixote appears knowledgeable and worthy of respect. He demonstrates affection for Sancho Panzo behaving as a mentor. Is Don Quixote turning a new leaf and continuing to be supportive and kind to Sancho, or will he return to his old Don Quixote ways?

Then there is Sancho Panza in his new role as governor. He immediately takes a stand against the use of the word Don being added before his name.. When the citizens of his town tried to call him Don, he flat out refused to even be associated with the name Don. Sancho vehemently states, “I have no DON, nor in all my lineage was there ever any. Just plain Sancho Panza is my name, and my father’s name was Sancho, and Sancho my grandfather, and they were all Panzas without adding any DONS or DOÑAS And I imagine that in this ínsula there must be more dons than rocks. But that’s enough. God understands me, and it may be that if this government lasts me four days, I’ll weed out these dons, because there are so many of them they must be as bothersome as mosquitoes.” I believe Sancho refuses to be called Don due to experiences with Don Quixote. Don Quixote has done many crazy things to Sancho and has had him do some crazy things as well. Sancho has witnessed first hands the negativity and undesirable outcomes suffered by Don Quixote, and he wants no part of it. He seems to understand that there is safety and satisfaction with being Sancho Panza.

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