Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 69 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 69

They are carried to a courtyard lit up as bright as day with candles. On a tomb, with a canopy of black velvet lies Altisidora -- apparently dead. Two kingly figures (which are later identified as the legendary figures of Minos and Rhadamanthus -- judges in hell) are upon a platform. Don Quijote and Sancho are placed in chairs next to the platform, and the Duke and Duchess enter, acknowledge the pair and sit next to the kings. Sancho is outfitted in a robe decorated with flames and cone-shaped hat with a demon motif and is again told to keep his mouth shut. A young man starts playing a harp and sings ofAltisidora's death and Don Quijote's cruelty, and the magic of this court. One of the kings announces that Sancho Panza will bring Altisidora back to life by experiencing her suffering in the form of twenty-five slaps in the face, twelve pinches and six pricks with a pin on his arms and back.

Sancho then tells them to all go to hell, he's sick of these games and they should go find someone else to play with! One of the kings tells him to settle down or die because this will be done. Six dueñas approach to carry out this task and Sancho says he is definitely not going to put up with this now. He'll put up with a lot to please the Duke and Duchess but he'll go to hell before he'll let dueñas touch him! Don Quijote tells him to calm down, that it's quite an honor that by becoming a martyr he can disenchant and even raise the dead!

Sancho allows the slaps and pinching but as they begin to stick him with the pins he takes a torch and gives chase to his torturers. But lo and behold Altisidora stirs and the king tells Sancho the torture is at an end. Don Quijote has different ideas. Getting on his knees he begs Sancho to whip himself right here, right now while he is so full of power. Sancho says that sounds like fun and while we're at it why not tie a big rock around my neck and drown me? After all:

"...that wouldn't be so bad, if I have to cure the world's problems by being everybody's scapegoat." Volume 2, Chapter 69, pg. 724

Topic Tracking: Scapegoat 22

Altisidora then scorns Don Quijote, thanks Sancho and to show her gratitude she asks him to accept six of her used but clean slips with which he could use to make some new shirts. Sancho kneels and kisses her hands. He asks the Duke and Duchess if he could keep the cloak and hat as a souvenir.

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