Lesson 33 – Sancho Panza, pacifist squire


Welcome back, I missed you. Next, another hilarious conversation ensues
between SP and the other squire, who insists, as per the customs of Andalucía that “we,
too, must fight and smash each other to pieces.” SP claims he is one of those “pacifist squires”
and that he does not want to see his head “split and divided in two” (cf. DQ 1.9). Moreover, he is unarmed: “And there’s
more: it’s impossible for me to duel because I have no sword, for I’ve never worn one
in all my life.” Recall, however, that SP did appear to have
a sword in DQ 1.8. The other squire offers to fight with sacks,
but SP rejects the idea: “let’s drink and live.” The other squire insists again: “Even so…
we should fight for at least half an hour.” SP says this violates his personal code: “I’m
not so ungrateful and discourteous as to have even the slightest quarrel with a man with
whom I’ve shared food and drink.” Remember this: SP will eat and drink with
another neighbor in the future. The other squire offers to offend him: “I’ll
give your grace three or four slaps to the face, which will knock you down, and that
will awaken your anger.” SP now gets angry: “I’m not a man who
let’s anyone mess with his face.” Remember this, too: SP will become anxious
about people touching his face in future episodes. Finally, SP’s moral pacifism wins the day:
“the best thing would be to let everybody’s anger sleep, for nobody knows another man’s
soul.” As the knightly duel approaches, Cervantes
offers us another parody of the classical dawn, tinged with oriental mysticism as multicolored
birds sing diverse songs: “now thousands of differently colored birds began to warble
in the trees; in their diverse and joyous songs they seemed to welcome and greet the
fresh dawn, who, already, through the doors and balconies of the Orient, was revealing
the beauty of her face.” The sky drips “an infinite number of liquid
pearls,” and the plants “budded and rained down copious white seed pearls.” We saw aljófar, a homonym for dewdrops or
tiny pearls, in The Captive’s Tale of part one. But the exotic dawn is rudely interrupted
by a carnivalesque passage. Now that he can see, something about the other
squire’s nose provokes SP’s fear: “But scarcely had dawn’s clarity made it possible
to see and distinguish one thing from another, when the first one that caught Sancho Panza’s
eye was the Squire of the Wood’s nose, which was so huge that it almost cast a shadow over
the rest of his body.” The nose’s size –“as big as an eggplant”–
carries ethnic connotations, and SP’s convulsions are described via another Arabic term: “like
a child with epilepsy” or alferecía. Similarly, the knightly duel that follows
parodies an epic encounter between a Spaniard and an Arab. The Knight of the Woods is now revealed as
the Knight of the Mirrors, his armor covered by “many tiny moons in the form of dazzling
mirrors.” DQ asks to see his face, but the other knight
says there will be time for that when the battle ends. DQ rises to the occasion: “if God, my lady,
and my arm avail me, I shall see your face, and you shall see that I am not that vanquished
Don Quijote you think I am.” Note the personal crisis here: DQ struggles
against the negation of his self. That´s all for now, please tune in and watch our next video.