Who abandons his wife, children and home to follow a potential mad man who is attempting to live the ultimate life of chivalry? Who does that and why? Sancho Panza is Don Quixote’s neighbor whom he convinces to become his squire with the promise of a governorship. Sancho Panza is not deluded by Don Quixote’s fantasy of being a knight-errant, rather he is experiencing a personal crisis from which he is seeking to escape through his adventures with Don Quixote.
In chapter eight, Don Quixote sees the windmills as giants, but Sancho attempts to correct Don Quixote saying, “those things that you see over there aren’t giants—they’re windmills; and what seems to be arms are the sails that rotate the millstone when they’re turned by the wind” (Saavedra, Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote (Signet Classics) (p. 64). Penguin Publishing Group). After Don Quixote attacks the windmill and is injured, Sancho acknowledges that Don Quixote is delusional when he says, “Didn’t I tell you to watch what you were doing, that they were just windmills, and that only a person who had windmills in his head could fail to realize it?” (Saavedra, Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote (Signet Classics) (p. 65). Penguin Publishing Group.) Sancho accuses Don Quixote of having windmills in his head. Basically, he is saying that Don Quixote is an airhead while he is helping him get back on his horse.
If Sancho was delusional, he would not be concerned about the holy brotherhood coming after them following Don Quixote’s brutal attack of the Biscayan. Sancho wanted to get Don Quixote to safety. He didn’t want Don Quixote to be punished for what could very well be considered a crime. According to Don Quixote, knights were permitted to use violence in the pursuit of justice, but Sancho knows that aggressive act had nothing to do with justice rather it was just part of Don Quixote’s fantasy.
Sancho Panza is not delusional. He sees people and objects as they truly are, yet he willingly accompanies Don Quixote on his adventures. Sancho attempts to influence Don Quixote to take care of himself by reminding him to sleep, eat and care for his injuries. He knows he is not going to become a governor of an island, but he is along for the ride. Sancho is seeking to escape from difficulties he may be experiencing in his life as a husband and father.