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

Don Quixote and Sancho’s incompetence

Throughout the last chapters we had to read and even before that, I noticed how incompetent Don Quixote and Sancho really were. There are almost two many instances to mention that provide great examples of this and support my claim. Even though Don Quixote and Sancho were not the smartest to begin with, the introduction of the Duke and the Duchess to the novel allows the reader to really witness how foolish Don Quixote and Sancho really are. The Duke and the Duchess with some help from their servants really tore Don Quixote and Sancho’s dignity apart without them even noticing. They were so good at pranking Don Quixote and Sancho that they were able to humiliate them countless times without the duo even having a thought about what was really happening. The Duke, the Duchess and their friends were able to pinpoint when and when not to laugh at the spectacle of Don Quixote and Sancho and that is why they were able to continue their trickery and their pranks on them.

One of the best examples in my opinion of the Duke and the Duchess’s pranks on Don Quixote and Sancho comes in chapter 41. This is when they persuade Don Quixote and Sancho to mount a wooded horse that will supposedly take them to the heavens. The duo makes many mistakes in this scene that allows the prank to keep going and get better. The first mistake I saw was the acceptance of this proposal by Don Quixote. He should be smart enough to realize that he is being tricked. The second mistake I saw was when they were blindfolded. Blindfolding someone is one of the oldest tricks in the book and it is beyond me how neither Don Quixote or Sancho realized it. 

Once they are on the horse, the group around them begins to blow at them and make them think they are flying through the air. They even brought fire near them to simulate them getting closer to the place of fire. This quote from page 723 shows just how gulible Don Quixote and Sancho really are. “By my soul, we must be in that place of fire already, or very close to it, because a good part of my beard has been singed, and I’m ready, Señor, to take off the blindfold and see where we are.” to which Don Quixote replied “Do not” and shared a story on why not to. They made it too easy for the Duke and Duchess because they didn’t even have to say anything to Sancho about taking his blindfold off because Don Quixote did it for them. It is insane to me to think that neither Don Quixote or Sancho picked up on any of the clues given to them showing that it was all just a simulation.

That is just one of the many examples in the novel where the reader can easily see Don Quixote and Sancho’s incompetence toward their surroundings. The Duke and the Duchess really added to this aspect of the story too. I say this because they were the first people to prank them multiple times without loosing their trust in any way. They were the ones who started the pranking and making fun of Don Quixote and Sancho aspect of the novel.


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