The second potion of Don Quixote straddles the line between fantasy and reality, as well as good versus evil, as we delve further into the whimsically multi-faceted nature of many characters.
The prologue by Cervantes himself represents a personality crisis of sorts, in which Cervantes does not hesitate to dismiss the sneaky author of the “false Quixote.” While Cervantes anger is real and valid, such a “dilemma of authorship” proves to be a theme that carries throughout the work, as we see in Quixote’s struggle to make choices for himself when scripting his own narrative.
We begin to see a deeper, more human-like Quixote – a Quixote who begrudgingly learns to respect the wishes and directions of others. (Even if in a very mediocre way.) Alternatively, we begin the see alternate characters, such as the priest and the barber, grow increasingly impatient with Quixote, as evident in their increasingly ill-natured words and actions towards him.
While initially we may speculate as to whether or not Sancho and Quixote will embark on another adventure, we quickly see that the two are inseparable. After all, Sancho “[doesn’t] understand any language but his own,” (Chapter Two) and Quixote may be the only one to understand said language. And no knight-errant adventure is complete without the disapproval of smaller figures, such as Quixote’s niece.
We are introduced to the deceitful “Knight of Mirrors,” a man whose soul purpose is to thwart Quixote on behalf of the priest and barber, and whose name indicates that he may serve as a polar opposite of Quixote himself. Not only does his suit of armor quite literally feature mirrors, but also, the pompous college graduate’s mean-spirited ways are the exact opposite of Quixote’s selfish, but ultimately well-meaning ways.
Is Quixote a changing man? Or is he merely a man whose fog of fantasy is being slowly lifted as he continues his adventure. If so, is the fog lifted at the hands of others, such as Sancho, the priest, or barber, or rather, is he helping himself by learning from his mistakes? And what may become of the dastardly Knight of Mirrors? Hopefully, such questions will be further answered as the plot thickens.
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