As the chapters’ progress so do the characterizations, the Duke and Duchess seem to become crueler with their jokes, don Quixote seems to be kinder, and Sancho ends up being a decent governor.
The Duke and Duchess
The plan that the Duke and Duchess create for don Quixote and Sancho to ride (“fly”) on a wooden horse and reverse Dulcinea’s enchantment is almost too crazy to believe that both Sancho and don Quixote are somewhat skeptical of it. I think that the Duke and Duchess play these jokes on the unsuspecting duo because they are rich, bored, and knew that they were easy targets. At first the jokes were somewhat small and stupid but now they are getting bigger, more ridiculous, and more elaborate.
Don Quixote Cares
Don Quixote and Sancho’s relationship has always been mostly one sided (Sancho being loyal and following don Quixote), however, between chapters 36 and 45, their relationship begins to change a little. Sancho was always relied on don Quixote for the prospect of an island and as the leader of their adventures, now don Quixote is going to realize how much he relies on Sancho. I feel bad for Sancho because he cares a lot for don Quixote and stays with him but gets nothing in return, when the Duke and Duchess give Sancho the governorship the roles seem to reverse.
Don Quixote offers advice and suggestions to Sancho about how to be a governor, usually it is Sancho trying to give don Quixote advice about how to avoid trouble (which he usually doesn’t listen to). This is the first time the readers see don Quixote compliment and be helpful to Sancho, it is nice that Sancho finally gets the attention and love he deserves. This will also be the first time that don Quixote and Sancho are separated for a long time and don Quixote has a very hard time with it, showing that he really does care for, miss, and need Sancho.
Sancho as a Governor
Sancho finally gets what he has been waiting for, he has been through some of the worst situations and yet stayed loyal and strong and it paid off. Because he is only a squire/peasant Sancho doesn’t logistically have the makings to be a good governor, however, he proves that he is up for the task and rises to the occasion. As a governor he is able to resolve issues sensibly and each case brought to him he is able to solve with wisdom. Sancho has his great moment and is the main character for many chapters. I hope that he continues to do good and be recognized because he really is an important character and many seem to overlook him because he is lower in class/intelligence.
To me it seems that even Cervantes uses these chapters to realize the potential of the character that is Sancho Panza. Cervantes even apologizes for the volume one, “THEY SAY that in the original account of this history one reads that when Cide Hamete comes to write this chapter, his translator didn’t render it as written, for the Moor criticizes himself for having taken on a history that was as dry and as limited as this one about don Quixote… he begs no one to scorn his work, and to praise him not for what he has written but rather for what he has chosen not to write” (Chapter XLIIII). To me it seems like Cervantes uses these chapters to make up for the lack of depth of Sancho’s character in the first volume, he is apologizing because he is becoming a better writer and realizing that using other characters’ perspectives allows for a deeper and different viewpoint. I liked these chapters because it was nice for there to be a change away from the focus solely being on don Quixote and to finally allow Sancho to shine