Throughout the readings for this week, one of the main topics raised in class was the fact that the Duke and the Duchess kept tricking and making fun of Don Quixote and Sancho. There were many instantness in the readings where Don Quixote and Sancho would be left in an unfortuanate circumstance while the Duke and the Duchess would be laughing behind their backs. The way they pulled so many tricks on them was because they indulged in each of Don Quixote’s and Sancho’s fantasies.
Don Quixote’s belief that he is a noble knight-errant and Sancho’s belief that he would be governor of an island one day is what both of them put a lot of value on and almost live for. The Duke and the Duchess realized that and took advantage of it. They would agree with Don Quixote’s and Sancho’s crazy ideas and opinions and hence gained their trust. Once they had Don Quixote’s and Sancho’s trust, they knew they had power over them. They used this power to abuse Don Quixote and Sancho and play elaborate tricks on them.
A great example of this comes in chapter thirty-two. This is when the servant plays a trick on him. They wash Don Quixote’s head with basin and then happen to run out of water in the middle of it all. Don Quixote then has to sit at the table with a mound of suds on his head for quite a long time. A quote from this comes on page six hundred and sixty-nine, “All those present, and there were many, were watching him, and when they saw that he had a neck half a vara long, and a complexion more than moderately dark, and closed eyes, and a beard full of soap, it was truly astonishing and a sign of great astuteness that they could hide their laughter.” The Duke than to keep Don Quixote from realizing it was a joke told the maiden, “Come and wash me, and be careful you don’t run out of water.” Don Quixote of course never realized it was a joke.
Another example of this is in chapter thirty five when a huge wagon arrives on the scene. Merlin who was in the wagon tells Don Quixote that in order to disenchant Dulcinea, Sancho must whip himself 3,300 times on his bare bottom. Sancho of course says no to this idea and says it is not his problem. The maiden on the wagon, dressed as Dulcinea, then chastised Sancho for not doing what she said. The Duke also threatens to take away Sancho’s govenorship if he does not comply. After hearing that, he gives in but says that he will only preform the whipping when he feels like it and on his own time. It later shows in the novel that this was the Duke and the Duchess’s plan all along.
In these new chapters, Don Quixote and Sancho are getting teased and played around with a lot but are oblivious to it. They must think that they are just having a lot of bad luck recently. I don’t know if this will keep happening as the novel continues but I have a feeling it will.