Don Quixote has continually been laughed at and looked down on because of his craziness but now it seems as though don Quixote’s fantasy world is colliding with reality and the characters that he interacts with are getting a small taste of what he experiences.
The priest and the barber still try to “help” don Quixote.
In an attempt to bring don Quixote back home, the priest and the barber set up a plan in which one will act as a damsel in distress asking for don Quixote’s help. Although they disagree about who should dress up as the woman they believe that their plan is pretty normal and that it will work, especially with Sancho’s help. They eventually enlist the help of a Dorotea who agrees to play the damsel (princess Micomicona) and makes up a story about giants to convince don Quixote to help her.
The priest and the barber aren’t doing it for selfish means, they aren’t mocking don Quixote’s mental problem, they merely wish to help don Quixote be like the status quo and fix his problems. However, both the priest and the barber become a little closer to don Quixote than they would like because their plan (of dressing up as a woman) is a little out of the box, they stay at the same inn as don Quixote, and the priest reads the manuscript and actually enjoys it (after having watched don Quixote become obsessed with books).
Sancho becomes increasingly selfish, irritated, and unable to distinguish between reality and don Quixote’s fantasy.
Sancho becomes more selfish because he seems to be mostly concerned with how and when don Quixote will get the island Sancho is to govern. Sancho’s motivation comes from the sole promise that don Quixote will present him with an island, as that continues to not happen and Sancho is put into horrible situations he becomes irritated with don Quixote’s antics causing there to be increased tension between the two to the point that Sancho insults Dulcinea and don Quixote beats him up. Sancho’s loyalty to don Quixote is tested as he becomes more aware of how he is being treated and how he doesn’t get any rewards for all he’s done.
Sancho’s increased time spent with don Quixote makes it harder for Sancho to distinguish between what is real and false. When it comes to Sancho’s island he is stuck in don Quixote’s fantasy where he believes that is possible, when Sancho tries to help the priest and the barber bring don Quixote home that means he understands that something isn’t completely right with don Quixote, when Sancho believes that don Quixote has defeated the giants for the princess and tries to find the giants head he has switched back to don Quixote’s fantasy, and when Sancho uses Dulcinea he makes up stories about her because he knows the character of her isn’t real and therefore shows his connection to reality again.
Don Quixote seems to be changing those around him and even though he has moments, “Don Quixote expressed his discourse in such a way and with such words that none of those listening could have thought him to be crazy. Rather, since most of them were themselves associated with arms, they listened to him with great pleasure” (Chapter XXXVII), he continues to live in his fantasy world which is so strong that others are forced to be pulled into it.