Don Quixote - Part 2: Chapter 2 Summary and Themes

Chapter 2 of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quijote de la Mancha introduces a number of new characters and advances the story of Don Quijote's transformation into a knight errant.

In this post, we'll first take a look at the characters introduced in this chapter before diving into a summary and analysis of the chapter as a whole.


Don Quijote -The protagonist of the novel, a middle-aged gentleman who becomes so enamored with tales of chivalry that he sets out to become a knight errant himself.

Sancho Panza - A poor farmer who becomes Don Quijote's squire. Sancho is described as short, fat, and simple-minded. 

Rocinante - Don Quijote's horse, who is described as old, skinny, and homely. Andres - A young boy who Don Quijote saves from being beaten by his master.

Juan Haldudo - Andres' master, a rough and cruel farmer who beats Andres for no apparent reason.

The innkeeper - The owner of the inn where Don Quijote and Sancho spend the night. He is a practical man who sees Don Quijote's madness but humors him anyway.

The prostitute - A young woman who works at the inn and catches Don Quijote's eye.


Chapter 2:begins with Don Quijote preparing for his quest. He spends the night arming himself with whatever weapons he can find, including an old sword, a rusty helmet, and a makeshift shield. Don Quijote then mounts his horse, Rocinante, and sets out into the countryside. Along the way, Don Quijote comes across a young boy named Andres who is being beaten by his master for no apparent reason. Don Quijote intervenes and, after a brief scuffle, forces the farmer to stop beating the boy. Don Quijote then delivers a speech to the farmer about the virtues of chivalry and knights errant before continuing on his way. That evening, Don Quijote and Sancho Panza arrive at an inn.

Don Quijote is convinced that the inn is actually a castle, and he demands that the innkeeper dub him a knight. The innkeeper obliges, and Don Quijote spends the night in the inn's stable, where he has a series of delusions about his quest. One of these delusions involves a prostitute who works at the inn. Don Quijote believes that she is a noble lady who has been enchanted and is being held against her will. He tries to rescue her, but he is beaten by the innkeeper and his men and is left unconscious.


Chapter 2 of Don Quijote de la Mancha continues to explore the theme of madness and the power of imagination. Don Quijote is clearly delusional, but his belief in the virtues of chivalry and knights errant give him a sense of purpose and meaning that he lacks in his ordinary life. This theme is exemplified in Don Quijote's intervention on behalf of Andres, where he sees himself as a heroic knight fighting for justice. At the same time, however, Don Quijote's madness is also dangerous.

He is willing to put himself and others in harm's way in pursuit of his delusions, as evidenced by his attempt to rescue the prostitute at the inn. This theme is also present in Don Quijote's insistence on being dubbed a knight by the innkeeper. While the innkeeper humors Don Quijote, it is clear that he sees Don Quijote's madness and does not take it seriously.