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Classics Summarized: Don Quixote

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Sep 14, 2018

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Classics Summarized: Don Quixote
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Transcription

  • Don Quixote was written in 1605 by Miguel de Cervantes,
  • as a critique and dissection of the at-the-time popular genre of chivalric romance.
  • Basically, the body of work that made up the Arthurian, and expanded, chivalric mythos.
  • He published a second part in 1615
  • as a direct response to someone else's fanfic-y continuation of his story that he HATED,
  • but today I'm just gonna be talking about the first part,
  • since that's basically the story people mean when they talk about Don Quixote.
  • ...Now, here's the thing.
  • The most popular trend in modern adaptions reimagines the plot of Don Quixote
  • to be almost completely unrecognizable,
  • putting the story focus on Don Quixote as a dreamer chasing his passions
  • in the face of an unfeeling and frequently cruel world.
  • This Don Quixote is a noble, almost tragic hero,
  • born in the wrong era,
  • trying to recall a golden age of chivalry in the face of constant ridicule.
  • At worst, he'll be characterized as delusional, but well-meaning and fundamentally heroic.
  • This interpretation is terrible enough, I half suspect Don Quixote wrote it himself.
  • The book version of Don Quixote isn't even well-meaning.
  • He's explicitly dangerously violent and prone to destructive fits of rage,
  • and is pretty much a public menace from minute one.
  • So no, "Don Quixote, misunderstood dreamer daring to follow that star," is not accurate.
  • "Don Quixote, loud incoherent man you try not to make eye contact with and cross the street to avoid"
  • is significantly closer to the truth.
  • But the aim of the novel is not to point and laugh at the mentally ill.
  • Don Quixote is a clownish figure, but over the course of the novel,
  • he crosses paths with a large and complicated secondary cast of characters,
  • each of whom will either be living parodies of chivalric or pastoralist fantasies to drive home their silliness,
  • or will be fully-developed and complex characters living out very interesting lives,
  • which Don Quixote is completely unaware of because they don't revolve around him
  • and they don't fit with his chivalric vision of reality.
  • If anything, the overarching message of Don Quixote is that reality is better and more interesting than fantasy,
  • and that fantasy blinds you to the fascinating potential of reality.
  • Which makes it even more annoying that the modern takes will try and spin it to be that
  • "dreaming the impossible dream is super noble and dope"
  • when the reality is the exact opposite.
  • Ugh...
  • So our story begins with our protagonist,
  • Alonso Quixano,
  • a forty-something stay-at-home dude without much going on in his life,
  • who buries himself in chivalry books to the exclusion of pretty much everything else.
  • He stays up too many nights reading and dries out his brain.
  • According to the humoric theories of the day,
  • this makes him choleric,
  • and as a result, he is prone to fits of violent anger, hallucinations,
  • and completely believes that the fantastical contents of his novel are reality.
  • So he decides he wants to emulate his heroes by becoming a knight-errant,
  • and cleans up an antique suit of armor that's been rotting in a corner for four generations,
  • DIYs a helmet, spends four days thinking of a name for his horse before settling on Rocinante,
  • and chooses a local farm girl to be his courtly lady love,
  • a staple of chivalric romances where the dashing knight-errant has a lady he holds in his heart,
  • pines for daily, defends the honor of, and sends his vanquished enemies to serve.
  • This girl is named Aldonza Lorenzo,
  • and they've never even talked to each other,
  • so he mentally renames her Dulcinea, and ventures out into the world in search of grand adventure.
  • He spends the whole day on horseback, monologuing in the crazy heat,
  • which does no favors to his poor long-suffering brain,
  • but come evening, he arrives at an inn,
  • which he interprets as a castle,
  • which is good, because it's been bumming him out that he's not actually been knighted,
  • and he was hoping to find a local lord or king or something,
  • who could officially knight him before he goes harrying off on grand adventures.
  • Of course, the inn-people are pretty weirded out,
  • but the innkeeper decides to err on the side of politeness,
  • and he tolerates Don Quixote's awkwardly archaic speech as he asks him to knight him,
  • and to let him stand guard over his armor in the 'castle's' chapel.
  • The innkeeper says their chapel has been torn down for repairs,
  • but if he wants to stand watch, he can do it anywhere.
  • Don Quixote heads over to a trough by the well,
  • and drops his armor in to guard it,
  • and spends the night seriously injuring anyone who gets too close
  • or tries to remove his armor from the horse trough.
  • The innkeeper 'knights' him in a hurry to get him out of there,
  • and Don Quixote rides off in search of adventure,
  • though first he decides to head home and pick up some supplies,
  • since all those chivalric novels never explicitly feature the knight in shining armor paying for anything,
  • the innkeeper gently informed him that he should really carry some money
  • so he could pay any innkeepers he happens to meet.
  • But, on his way home, Don Quixote hears the tell-tale sounds of someone in distress.
  • Upon investigation, he finds a young man named Andres getting thoroughly walloped by his master.
  • Don Quixote intervenes, and orders the farmer to pinky-swear that he'll stop,
  • before confidently riding off, where upon the ass-kicking immediately resumes.
  • On the way back to town, Don Quixote spots a group of traders,
  • and decides they must be fellow knights,
  • so plants himself in the road and demands
  • they acknowledge his Dulcinea as the hottest woman on earth.
  • When they ask if maybe they could see her, so they can make that judgement,
  • Don Quixote takes this as the highest insult and charges them.
  • Unfortunately, his horse trips and his armor is too heavy to let him get up,
  • so the traders grab his lance, break it, smack him with it, and leave him in the road.
  • Don Quixote reacts to his horrible injury as only the finest knight would,
  • by which I mean, he rolls around wailing about his lady love, Dulcinea.
  • Until one of the peasants from his home town happens to pass by,
  • recognizes him, and bundles him onto his mule to bring him back to the village.
  • The peasant returns after dark to avoid publicly embarrassing him, and finds Casa Quixote in a uproar.
  • Don Quixote's niece, housekeeper, barber, and priest are all freaking out over his disappearance,
  • and upon his return, they agree something has to be done about
  • his insane obsession with these damn books.
  • So while Don Quixote is unconscious and recovering,
  • the priest goes through his library, choosing a handful of books that deserve to exist,
  • and dumping the rest onto a big pile to burn.
  • And afterwards, they wall up and cover over the library, so the room's completely inaccessible.
  • When Don Quixote wakes up and asks about his books, they tell him it's the darnest thing.
  • A wizard stopped by and stole the entire room.
  • Don Quixote knows exactly which wizard they're talking about, calls him his nemesis, and buys it.
  • He spends two uneventful weeks recovering at home,
  • but in that time, he approaches his neighbor,
  • a farmer, Sancho Panza, and convinces him to be his squire,
  • with the promise knights win land and governorships basically every week,
  • and they'll be fabulously famous and wealthy in no time.
  • Now, Sancho isn't very invested in the chivalry knightly stuff, but he is pretty dumb,
  • and buys most of what Quixote tells him, unless it's directly contradicted by his observed reality.
  • So Sancho agrees, and they sneak away at night to pursue grand chivalric adventures and stuff.
  • Don Quixote's first grand adventure is the most iconic,
  • where he sees a large number of windmills, he insists they're giants, and charges.
  • Unfortunately, the wind picks up at just the wrong time
  • and the spinning sails shatter his lance and flings him off his horse.
  • His next grand adventure happens when he spots a couple Benedictine monks
  • and a lady in a coach, traveling down the road with an entourage,
  • and he decides the monks are sorcerers kidnapping a princess.
  • After assaulting the monks, one of the lady's guards moves to defend her
  • and winds up getting seriously concussed by Don Quixote,
  • who only stops when the lady begs him to leave the poor guy alone.
  • Sancho nervously suggests that maybe they should take refuge in a church or something,
  • since they just assaulted a random dude,
  • but Don Quixote confidently insists knight-errants are never arrested,
  • no matter how many people they injure or kill,
  • so they'll obviously be fine.
  • When they go to find shelter for the night, they wind up hanging out with a posse of goatherds,
  • and it's here Cervantes starts getting really snarky about pastoralist tropes.
  • See, the goatherds explain that a dude named Chrysostom (Spanish Translation: The Sad Student)
  • recently died in a village nearby,
  • Chrysostom was a well educated student
  • and occasional shepherd who fell in love with Marcela (ST: The Woman with a Heart of Ice)
  • a beautiful woman who didn't really love him back.
  • In fact, the goatherds chime all in with their personal 'loving Marcela' stories,
  • to explain that Marcela is very polite and friendly to everyone,
  • but the minute someone starts trying to get their flirt on, she shuts them down.
  • It's really bumming them out, how she's not ... interested in ... any of them.
  • Now this is a very common trope in the contemporary literature,
  • 'Local Beauty Who's Super Mean Because She Won't Date Me
  • Even Though I Love Her So I Must Instead Pine From Afar, Cursing Her Name For Ensorcering Me'
  • so Cervantes takes this opportunity to spin it on it's head.
  • Chrysostom has ordered that at his funeral,
  • they should read all the whiny poetry he wrote about Marcela and how she's super mean,
  • but as they're working their way through his extensive collection,
  • who should appear to crash the party but Marcela herself,
  • who, in defense of herself, pretty much vivisects the entire concept of the friendzone.
  • Her argument is basically that her beauty makes them feel entitled to her,
  • but the fact that someone finds her attractive doesn't mean she owes it to them to find them attractive.
  • They're acting like she choosing to not be interested, when she certainly can't,
  • and won't force herself to be pretend to be attracted to someone she isn't,
  • just because they'll be upset she doesn't reciprocate their feelings.
  • She didn't lead Chrysostom on, he just refused to process his emotions like an adult,
  • and treat like an act of malice for her to not be into him.
  • So yeah, file this under 'Pleasant Surprises I Wasn't Expecting To Find In A 400-Year-Old Novel'.
  • I guess Cervantes was ahead of his time.
  • Anyway, after that, Marcela makes her exit
  • and Don Quixote decides that the lady who just presented a dissertation
  • on why she wants to be left alone,
  • is the exactly the kind of person he should follow into the woods and convince to let him be her knight.
  • So he and Sancho book it after her, but can't find her, which is probably for the best.
  • But while they're chilling in the woods, some Galicians are watering their ponies nearby,
  • and Don Quixote's horse, Rocinante, decides this is a good time to get his flirt on,
  • and start humping some lady ponies.
  • The Galicians start whacking him to make him stop, Don Quixote charges to the defense of his horse,
  • and he and Sancho both get their asses kicked.
  • They scoot to the nearest inn to recuperate, which, again, Don Quixote thinks is a castle.
  • Anyway, the innkeeper has a pretty daughter, who Don Quixote, of course, assumes is a princess,
  • and more than that, assumes is definitely in love with him,
  • dashing yet vulnerable knight-errant that he is.
  • This goes from wacky delusion to wacky misunderstanding when that night,
  • the inn servant girl attempts to quietly sneak past him to sleep with the messenger guy in the next bed.
  • He mistakes her for the daughter, and grabs her,
  • to nobly explain that he appreciates her affection and all, but he is far too devoted to Dulcinea to ever stray.
  • When the messenger guy notices the servant trying very quietly and very desperately to escape,
  • he attacks Don Quixote and the whole thing rapidly escalates into a very complex brawl.
  • After it winds down, Don Quixote rationalizes the events,
  • by deciding they must be in a weird enchanted castle
  • and the guy who kicked their asses was a enchanted Moor,
  • which is why he couldn't beat him.
  • Yeah, the Reconquista may be in the past at this point, but the racism is still a thing.
  • But you might be wondering about how Don Quixote and Sancho are even functioning
  • after their string of beatdowns,
  • and Don Quixote reassures Sancho that knows how to make a potion that will heal their injuries completely.
  • He mixes up a batch of something he calls 'The Balm of Fierabras'
  • ...fire...
  • ...bras...
  • ...fear-e-are-brozs?
  • which instead of healing his injuries, just makes him violently sick,
  • but he does feel a lot better after he gets it all out of his system.
  • Sancho, on the other hand, is not so lucky and feels absolutely terrible after evacuating his entire g.i. tract.
  • Anyway, then Don Quixote skips out on the bill, leaving Sancho behind.
  • When Sancho also fails to pay,
  • a bunch of the inn-people randomly wrap him in a blanket and start tossing him around.
  • I don't...
  • I guess it's slapstick?
  • Eventually, they stop, and Sancho leaves.
  • Don Quixote explains that inn-castle-thing was hella enchanted,
  • which was why he couldn't help him during the blanket thing.
  • But then he gets distracted by an approaching dust cloud,
  • which he is convinced is an enormous army of knights.
  • Another dust cloud behind them is similarly judged to be an army,
  • and despite the fact that Sancho insists they're both clearly large herds of sheep,
  • Don Quixote wades in and starts...
  • ...stabbing... sheep.
  • The shepherds try to make him stop by throwing rocks at him, knocking out four of his teeth,
  • and when he tries to down some of his 'magical healing brew',
  • it just means he throws up on Sancho, when he tries to determine how many of his teeth he actually lost.
  • So that was a bad day, overall, and it only gets worse when night falls with no shelter or food in sight.
  • But the pair sees a large and ominous procession of people carrying a funeral bier,
  • which Don Quixote immediately decides is the funeral of some
  • noble murdered knight that he must obviously avenge.
  • He leaps out into the middle of the road, demands information about the dead guy,
  • gets mad when they laugh him off, and attacks them.
  • One of the mourners breaks his leg and gets stuck under his mule, while the others run off into the plains,
  • and the mourner explains the dead guy was just a dead guy,
  • who died of fever and was being returned to his home town of Baeza.
  • Don Quixote decides he obviously doesn't need avenging then,
  • and while Sancho robs the packs the mourners left behind,
  • Don Quixote berates the remaining mourner
  • for being out at night dressed like that if he didn't want to get randomly attacked.
  • Wow Cervantes. Seriously ahead of your time.
  • Anyway, as they continue, Sancho offhandedly refers to Don Quixote as,
  • 'El Caballero De La Triste Figura'
  • which is normally translated as
  • 'The Knight of the Rueful Countenance'
  • but could also be translated as
  • 'The Knight of the Sad Sack'
  • which I like a lot better.
  • When they continue down the road,
  • Don Quixote spots a dude in the distance wearing what appears to be a very shiny hat.
  • He immediately decides this dude is wearing something he calls 'The Helmet of Mambrino',
  • and that he deserves to have it instead.
  • In actuality, this dude is just a barber,
  • and his hands are full, so he's wearing his brass basin on his head.
  • But Don Quixote charges him anyway,
  • and the barber falls off his horse and runs away, as Don Quixote triumphantly claims his prize,
  • even though it doesn't fit and Sancho insists it's a barber's basin, not a hat.
  • The next big misadventure comes when they run into a line of galley slaves,
  • who Don Quixote decides he simply must rescue,
  • because it is the duty of a knight-errant to help anyone and everyone
  • who's stuck in a situation they don't wanna be in.
  • He frees the galley slaves, but gets infuriated when they refuse his order to present themselves to Dulcinea,
  • and when he attacks them, they quickly overwhelm and then rob him blind before scattering.
  • Sancho is very alarmed at this,
  • since freeing galley slaves is a much worse crime than just random assaults,
  • and he persuades Don Quixote that they need to hide in the nearby Sierra Morena mountains
  • to evade the judgement of the Holy Brotherhood.
  • Now, this kicks off a portion of the plot I tend to refer to as 'the love square'.
  • It's the longest, most complicated meta story included in the book,
  • and Don Quixote and Sancho are almost completely incidental to how it plays out.
  • It's also pretty much a telenovela and I'm super into it.
  • So the subplot begins when Sancho and Don Quixote find a torn saddlebag,
  • that contains a decent amount of money,
  • and a notebook full of sad poetry and letters that seem to be about some kind of romantic betrayal.
  • Don Quixote is struck by the poetry in the writer's soul and decides he must track the author down.
  • They flag down a local goatherd to ask him about the bag,
  • and he explains that six months ago, a well-dressed young man had ridden into the area,
  • asked for directions to the most remote and miserable part of the mountains,
  • and ridden off again.
  • Since then, he reappeared a couple times,
  • very disheveled and not entirely in his right mind,
  • seemingly prone to random fits of violent anger
  • during which he frequently yells about someone named Fernando.
  • When Don Quixote manages to track the young man down,
  • he hugs him like a friend
  • (awkward),
  • and tells him he wants to help him escape his tragic situation,
  • (whatever that may be).
  • So the young man sits down to tell him his life story.
  • To start off, his name is Cardenio
  • and ever since childhood, he's been in love with this girl named Luscinda.
  • Their parents totally approved,
  • and everyone agreed it was basically only a matter of time before they got married.
  • But one day, Cardenio is summoned by the duke,
  • who wants him to come work for him.
  • Whereupon, Cardenio befriends the duke's son, Don Fernando, a pathological skirt-chaser,
  • who, when Cardenio first meets him, is utterly smitten with a peasant girl.
  • But once he manages to sleep with her, he loses interest,
  • and starts scouting around for another girl to chase.
  • Unfortunately, Cardenio of course trusts his friend,
  • and frequently gushes about how wonderful his Luscinda is,
  • and when they're first introduced, Don Fernando is worryingly smitten.
  • Cardenio incidentally mentions that Luscinda had recommended a book of chivalry to him,
  • at which point, Don Quixote jumps in to interrupt that he's read that book and really liked it.
  • Cardenio is clearly pissed to be interrupted,
  • but when he continues his story with an analogy from that book of chivalry,
  • Don Quixote immediately switches into rage mode,
  • because Cardenio's interpretation of the story involved a perceived romantic relationship
  • between two characters that Don Quixote interpreted as being just friends.
  • Yep. He's one of those fans.
  • Cardenio snaps, chucks a rock at Don Quixote, punches Sancho,
  • and vanishes into the mountains without finishing his story.
  • Ever the drama queen, Don Quixote is quite impressed with Cardenio's tragic madness,
  • and decides he wants to go mad from lost love too.
  • He finds a nice flower field to go crazy in, writes a letter to Dulcinea for Sancho to deliver
  • (even though she's illiterate)
  • and tells Sancho to tell her all the tragic forms of madness he's currently bound up in.
  • To prove his insanity, he strips off his armor, prances around a bit,
  • and does a couple somersaults.
  • Sancho heads back towards the village, riding Rocinante,
  • while Don Quixote contemplates which famous knight's madness he should imitate.
  • As Sancho heads village-ward, he ends up at the inn the blanket misadventure happened,
  • and who should he find there but the village priest and barber,
  • who recognize him and ask where the heck Don Quixote is,
  • and if he doesn't tell them, they'll just assume he killed him and took his horse.
  • Sancho caves and tells them everything,
  • and after spending a suitable amount of time completely amazed at the madness of Don Quixote,
  • the barber and priest come up with a plan to bring Don Quixote back home.
  • One of them will dress up like a damsel-in-distress,
  • and beg Don Quixote for his help in righting some wrongdoner,
  • and in doing so, they'll lure him back to the village and get him the help he needs.
  • They head into the mountains,
  • and tell Sancho to first try convincing Don Quixote that Dulcinea ordered him to return,
  • and if that doesn't work, they'll try the cross-dressing thing.
  • But while the priest and barber are waiting around,
  • they hear Cardenio, and track him down to hear the rest of the story.
  • So Cardenio fills them in up to the point he told Don Quixote,
  • and then continues.
  • The couple-to-be just needs the approval of both their fathers,
  • and Don Fernando sends Cardenio off on an eight-day trip while he does the negotiating for him,
  • like the good friend he is.
  • Four days into his absence, Cardenio receives a panicked letter from Luscinda,
  • telling him that Don Fernando has convinced her father to have her marry him instead,
  • and the ceremony is going to happen in only two days.
  • Cardenio immediately saddles up and makes it back to town,
  • finding Luscinda moments before she's due to called up for the ceremony,
  • and she tells him she's going to kill herself before she marries Don Fernando.
  • But instead, at the ceremony, she very quietly agrees to marry him,
  • and then immediately faints.
  • Cardenio doesn't stick around to see what happens next,
  • because he's so overwhelmed with crushing misery and despair,
  • so instead he rides into the mountains,
  • cursing Luscinda for obviously being taken in by Don Fernando's superior social standing.
  • So before they have a chance to fully process this tragedy,
  • the barber, priest, and Cardenio are distracted by a weird sound,
  • and when they go to investigate,
  • they see what appears to be a very pretty young man washing his feet in the river.
  • Upon further investigation, however, this pretty young man turns out to be a pretty young woman,
  • dressed up like a pretty young man.
  • She freaks out when they approach,
  • but when she realizes they're not hostile,
  • she settles down and fills them in on her life story.
  • So she tells them her name is Dorothea,
  • and her parents are low-class vassals but very rich.
  • And one day, their lord's second son,
  • one Don Fernando,
  • (what a coincidence)
  • becomes totally taken with her.
  • He starts bombarding her family with money and gifts,
  • and sending her an endless train of love letters.
  • She's creeped out at his persistence,
  • since she knows for all his flowery words, he's just looking to bang her,
  • and she's not that kinda girl, thank you very much.
  • Her parents are also aware of this,
  • and tell her that if she wants to marry someone to get this guy off her back,
  • they'll approve of whoever she picks.
  • Don Fernando catches wind of the fact that's she's liable to be married soon,
  • and thus inaccessible to him, so he
  • breaks into her room one night, grabs her, and starts trying to convince her to bang him.
  • Classy, and very much not illegal.
  • When this angle obviously fails to persuade her, Don Fernando tries proposing to her.
  • She is initially doubtful, but he is very convincing,
  • and a marriage would give her the one thing she doesn't have: status.
  • So eventually, she agrees, they bang,
  • and the next morning, Don Fernando leaves her a ring and bounces.
  • The next time she hears about him, it's a month later because of the announcement that he's now married Luscinda,
  • which enrages her.
  • She grabs one of her servants, dresses up like a dude so she can travel in peace,
  • and marches on over to Don Fernando's city of residence to give him a piece of her mind.
  • But upon arrival, she hears the whole story.
  • Apparently, immediately after saying yes,
  • Luscinda fainted, and they found a letter on her saying that she couldn't marry Don Fernando,
  • because she was already married to Cardenio, and if she said yes, it was only to honor her parents wishes.
  • They also found a dagger on her that she clearly planned to kill herself with,
  • and Don Fernando was so enraged, he tries to use it to kill her.
  • He's stopped by her parents, and storms off.
  • Luscinda wakes up a day later and learns that Cardenio has also left,
  • leaving a note about how hurt and wronged he is and he's going to go somewhere he never has to see her again.
  • Shortly thereafter, Luscinda also disappears.
  • Dorothea thinks that maybe Don Fernando's failure to marry Luscinda
  • means that her honor has a chance at being restored by properly marrying him,
  • because if there's one thing if there's one thing this guy sounds like, it's a catch.
  • But before she can do that, she hears that her parents are looking for her
  • because they think her servant kidnapped her.
  • She and the servant run into the woods but that night, the servant tries to put the moves on her,
  • and when she refuses, he tries to assault her,
  • so she pushes him off a cliff and books it into the mountains.
  • She's been working as a herdsman for one of the goatherds on the mountain,
  • but when he recently discovered her not-boyness and also started putting the moves on her,
  • and in absence of a convenient cliff to push him off of,
  • she just decided to run further into the mountains to escape.
  • What a excellent goddamn soap opera.
  • So Cardenio finally breaks his silence by completely freaking out,
  • because he totally knows who she is.
  • She's that peasant girl Don Fernando lost interest in before falling for Luscinda.
  • And she's totally shocked to learn this wild man is that Cardenio she kept hearing about.
  • But the good news is since both of their chosen spouses have failed to marry each other,
  • they each have a chance to right the problems that drove them into the mountains in the first place.
  • Cardenio vows he'll do everything in his power to get Don Fernando to do right by Dorothea,
  • and she's overwhelmed with gratitude.
  • The priest and the barber obviously agree to help however they can, and
  • oh right.
  • This book is not about these people.
  • Sancho bursts onto the scene and tells them that he found Don Quixote,
  • half-starved and slightly crazier than usual,
  • and he refuses to return home to Dulcinea because he hasn't accomplished anything great yet.
  • The priest and the barber fill in Cardenio and Dorothea on their plan to lure him in with a damsel-in-distress,
  • and Dorothea suggests that maybe she could make a more convincing damsel than the barber,
  • especially since she's read books of chivalry and knows all the right tropes to play into.
  • So she introduces herself to Sancho as the Ethiopian princess, Micomicona,
  • which I'm pretty sure is Spanish for Princess Monkey Monkey.
  • (Captioner's Note: It is)
  • So they scoot over to Don Quixote,
  • who Dorothea entreats for help in killing a big giant that's usurped her kingdom,
  • and he of course agrees, armoring up and getting back on the horse.
  • Sancho is internally displeased, because the kingdom of Micomicona is supposedly in Ethiopia,
  • which means when he inevitably earns a governorship as a reward, all his subjects will be black.
  • Okay ...
  • But he brightens up significantly when he realizes he can always just sell them.
  • OOOOkay!
  • So the gang heads village-ward as they work to keep up the charade,
  • oh, and by the way, remember that Andres kid from way back at the beginning?
  • He pops up too!
  • Don Quixote, of course, brags about how he 'rescued' him, but Andres is very upset,
  • since instead of actually letting him go, the farmer just beat him waay worse than before,
  • and Andres had to be hospitalized since then.
  • Don Quixote offers to avenge him, but Andres just tells him to leave him alone.
  • So the gang gets back to the inn, Don Quixote immediately goes to sleep,
  • and everyone else hangs out and talks about books of chivalry.
  • The innkeeper is almost as into them as Don Quixote is,
  • and specifically believes they're completely factual, fantastical elements and all.
  • Because you really think someone would put fiction...
  • ...in a book?
  • But reading is briefly interrupted by a panicked Sancho,
  • bursting in to tell them Don Quixote has been fighting somebody,
  • although 'fighting' turns out to mean 'flailing his sword around while sleepwalking'
  • and 'somebody' turns out to mean 'the inn's entire supply of red wine'.
  • Anyway, while they're resolving that, five mysterious figures ride up to the inn,
  • including two veiled people, a man and a woman.
  • The woman seems very upset, the man seems pissed, as soon as one of them speaks,
  • Dorothea and Cardenio freak out, because, surprise, surprise,
  • the woman is Luscinda and the man is Don Fernando.
  • Luscinda immediately tells Don Fernando to get stuffed and runs over to Cardenio,
  • while Dorothea has a full-on breakdown and demands Don Fernando do right by her,
  • and marry her, like he swore he would do.
  • He eventually calms down enough to have a change of heart, and agrees to marry her, for real this time.
  • And also stops staring down Cardenio with murder in his eyes.
  • Hurray! Happy ending!
  • And... oh right.
  • The book is not about these people.
  • So the next morning,
  • while Don Quixote is lecturing everyone on why knights are more important than scholars,
  • because writing is boring nerd junk,
  • and raw, physical might is where it's at
  • (which is funny, because he is of course only into this because he read a bunch of boring nerd junk)
  • another couple of interesting characters walk in.
  • A Moorish Christian man, and a Moorish veiled woman who doesn't appear to speak Spanish.
  • The man explains she's Algerian, and her name is Zoraida,
  • but she's come to Spain to be baptized, and wants to change her name to Maria to reflect that.
  • So, the man tells his life story, the short of it being:
  • he left home to become a soldier, fought in a number of interesting wars,
  • was taken prisoner, worked as a galley slave for a while, and wound up in prison.
  • But Zoraida had fallen in love with him from afar,
  • and snuck him a letter explaining she wants to become a Christian
  • and also she's very much in love with him.
  • She also includes enough money to ransom himself.
  • At which point, he breaks her out of her father's compound, and they escape for Spain,
  • where, after a brief run in with some pirates, they arrived without incident.
  • Also, a random Moorish judge walks into the inn, and turns out to be this guy's long lost brother.
  • Boy, this inn is getting crowded.
  • Also present is the judge's daughter, Clara,
  • which becomes relevant when that night Dorothea wakes up to hear someone singing love ballads outside.
  • Clara explains that the person singing is a cute boy she likes but she's never really spoken to.
  • They've been doing that 'You Belong With Me' window flirtation thing
  • and when he learned they were leaving, he seems to have followed them.
  • So, as if the 'Inn of Fortuitous Character Reunions' wasn't already crowded enough,
  • four big and heavily-armored dudes ride up to the inn, looking for a young man named Don Luis.
  • Who is, specifically, Clara's admirer.
  • They've been sent by his father who's worried sick in his absence.
  • Don Luis is located but refuses to return home,
  • and when the judge comes out to see what's up, Don Luis tearfully explains he's in love with Clara.
  • The judge is surprised but reassures him that he'll consider his proposal
  • and asks him to return home and stop stressing out his dad.
  • Also, a full-on tavern brawl breaks out for complicated and various stupid reasons,
  • but it winds down pretty quickly.
  • But the four big dudes who came for Don Luis are also members of the Holy Brotherhood,
  • who have a warrant for Don Quixote's arrest for release of those galley slaves.
  • One of them recognizes him and goes to arrest him,
  • but the priest convinces them that Don Quixote is clearly insane,
  • and they should let them take him home and receive proper treatment.
  • They eventually agree, and the gang figure out that the best way to wrangle Don Quixote back home
  • is to literally tie him up and stick him in a cage so he can't run off.
  • They convince him that he can't move because he's been enchanted, which he buys wholesale,
  • and they hit the road to head home.
  • But we're not done.
  • We're nearly done, I promise,
  • but we got at least two more characters to go through to before we call this a done deal.
  • The first of those characters is another priest,
  • a canon who stumbles on the group, is fascinated by Don Quixote's madness,
  • and commiserates with the priest over how terrible books of chivalry are,
  • and goes so far as to suggest that certain stories shouldn't be allowed to exist,
  • and maybe the government should get to decide what art gets made.
  • ...Um ...
  • The second of those characters is a goatherd that bursts onto the scene, angrily pursuing a goat.
  • The goatherd chills out and decides to tell everyone why he's a goatherd.
  • See, in his home village, there was a rich guy with a hot daughter named Leandra who everybody loved.
  • The goatherd, Eugenio, had a pretty good shot at her, being young, rich, and high-class.
  • But his romantic hopes were dashed when glamorous, globe-trotting soldier, Vicente De La Roca
  • sweeps through town and Leandra is immediately smitten, and runs away with him.
  • But she doesn't run very far, as they find her three days later, in a nearby cave, robbed completely blind.
  • Turns out Vicente only interested in her money.
  • Leandra is sent to a convent to un-dishonor her, and all of her suitors fall into a deep and abiding despair.
  • Eugenio decides to take the classic lost-love mourning route of vanishing into the mountains,
  • to become a tragic love lorn goatherd,
  • but Eugenio mentions that all of Leandra's suitors followed suit,
  • and now the mountain is literally crowded with lonely, tragic pining pastorialists
  • wailing their romantic failures to the sky.
  • This feels like something Terry Pratchett would write.
  • Anyway, the goatherd explains that the moral of this tale is that this is why he hates women,
  • and therefore why he was yelling insults at his goat.
  • Ne--at.
  • But of course, the 'hero' of our story, Don Quixote
  • overhears this story and tells Eugenio that if he were him,
  • (or not-enchanted)
  • he would ride off to that convent right now and rescue Leandra.
  • Eugenio is unimpressed, this turns into a fistfight,
  • and Don Quixote gets distracted by the sound of trumpets and charges off to investigate.
  • What he finds is a bunch of penitents in a procession,
  • carrying a covered statue of the Virgin Mary.
  • Don Quixote decides the statue is actually a kidnapped girl, so he hops on Rocinante,
  • makes a quick speech about the vital role knights play in today's society,
  • and charges off to attack the procession,
  • at which point, he is one-hit KO'd by one of the penitents.
  • Sancho thinks he's dead, and loudly, and surprisingly eloquently mourns his loss.
  • But Don Quixote wakes up and asks to be put back in the cart, please.
  • They FINALLY RETURN TO THE FREAKING VILLAGE, and dump Don Quixote into bed,
  • and Sancho heads off to explain to his wife why being a squire is the freaking best.
  • Oh yeah, so there's technically a framing sequence for these stories.
  • The narrator claims that these documents are true tales of someone's exploits, recently translated from Arabic.
  • And while this is where his sources run out,
  • he has found evidence of further adventures of Don Quixote as well as some stuff about his epitaph.
  • It's a half-dozen layers of narrative telephone that's just there for satire,
  • and not especially plot relevant,
  • so let's just...
  • call it...
  • that's it,
  • that's a wrap,
  • I don't care,
  • I DON'T CARE!
  • Just let it be over, please,
  • WHY IS THIS BOOK SO MUCH?
  • ♪To dream the impossible dream♪
  • (The Impossible Dream - Mitch Leigh)
  • ♪To fight the unbeatable foe♪
  • (CN: Thanks to Wikipedia for allowing me to write these names!)
  • ♪To bear with unbearable sorrow♪
  • (CN: This took me 12 hours but I'm DONE)
  • ♪To run where the brave dare not go♪
  • (CN: I spent the equivalent of half a day on this & did 22/23 minutes by myself)
  • ♪To right the unrightable wrong♪
  • (CN: I hope you're proud of me)
  • ♪To love pure and chaste from afar♪
  • (CN: Signed, A Devoted Captioner)
  • ♪To try when your arms are too weary♪
  • (CN: P.S.: I Feel Really Happy Now)
  • ♪To reach the unreachable star♪
  • ♪This is my quest♪
  • ♪To follow that star♪
  • ♪No matter how hopeless♪
  • ♪No matter how far♪
  • ♪To fight for the right♪
  • ♪Without question or pause♪
  • ♪To be willing to march into Hell♪
  • ♪For a heavenly cause♪
  • ♪And I know if I'll only be true♪
  • ♪To this glorious quest♪
  • (CN: Hi! I'm AngelLilac, who only fixed some minor issues to the captioning and added the lyrics. I might be wandering around YouTube adding captions and comments, so... just wanted to say hi.
  • ♪That my heart will lie peaceful and calm♪
  • ♪When I'm laid to my rest♪
  • (CN: Goodbye, everyone! :D)

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Thanks to Drunner64 for requesting this video!

Spain's most famous eccentric takes center stage in a comedy that SORT of manages to hold up in spite of the majority of its humor amounting to pop-culture references that make NO sense in our current cultural climate. Also this book is about 150% longer than it needs to be, and that's not even touching on the sequel!

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