Book Notes

Volume 1, Chapter 37 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 37

Sancho tells his master that the princess has turned into an ordinary lady. The priest fills the newcomers in on their plan of rescue for the nutty knight errant. The new improved Don Fernando says they will help because he is real keen on doing good deeds now. Dorotea maintains that she is still the princess in distress and Don Quijote calls Sancho an idiot for confusing him.

Travelers enter the inn; a dark-skinned good looking man (in his forties) with a long mustache and a well-kept beard dressed in Moorish clothes with a scimitar hanging off him and a woman (also in Moorish clothing) hidden by a veil. For the time being, the narrator refers to him as the 'captive' since the others in the inn would assume from observing him and his dress to be a Christian, newly ransomed or newly escaped from the Moors. He asks for a room, but there is none left. Dorotea approaches the woman and offers to let her stay in their room; the woman bows in appreciation. The captive explains that she does not speak their language and further questioning reveals that she is a Moor but desires to be baptized a Christian (which has been delayed because her life has been in danger). Her veil is removed and she too, is lovely and beautiful like Luscinda and Dorotea. When introduced as Zoraida, she becomes very upset and insists her name is Maria.

Over dinner, Don Quijote discusses the pros and cons of the hardships and virtues of a life of learning over that of soldier, warrior or knight errant.

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