Groups of People in Don Quixote Novel
Groups of People in Don Quixote Novel
Countess Trifaldi’s Twelve Doyennes
When the Duke’s butler dresses up as a countess named Trifaldi (aka the Dolorous Doyenna) she enters the garden where the Duke, the Duchess, Don Quixote, and Sancho Panza await her. Preceding her entrance are twelve Duennas walking in a column who fill the courtyard in front of the Dolorous Doyenna with their bodies. Dressed in ample nuns habits made of “milled serge, tightly woven black veils to cover their faces, and white widows weeds of fine muslin long enough that only the hems of their habits show,” these doyennes clothes are contrived to hide their blond, black, and white bristling beards, that an evil giant named Malumbrino accurses them with. As soon as this squadron of Doyenna’s appears in a forest garden, they stop and form a corridor along which the Countess of Trifaldin advances holding the hand of her squire Trifaldin of the White Beard. After reciting a long story about how the Countess and her doyenna’s came to have such long beards, the dozen doyennes lift up their veils to show Don Quixote and Sancho Panza how a “malevolent knave named Malumbrino” punished them by covering their silky smooth faces with coarse bristles. By “darkening the light of their faces with stubble” all around, these doyenna’s can hardly find a soul who likes them even though they “apply a thousand different concoctions and cosmetics to hide their beards.” For example, one Doyenna says since she “doesn’t have money to be shaved” she adopted the economical remedy of using sticking plasters on her face, which she rips-off, to leave her visage as smooth as the bottom of stone mortar. Though this remedy works for a time, eventually, this Doyenna’s beard grows back as thick as ever, due to Malumbrino’s curse. But when one of the Doyenna’s says she should let of the many roving women, who travel from house to house in the Kingdom of Kandy, plucking eyebrows and removing hair, shave off her beard, another more lasting and permanent solution, says another Doyenna, is for Don Quixote to lift her curse by vanquishing Malumbrino in single combat, so she is not carried to her grave with a hairy face. In sum, the doyennas urge Don Quixote to kill Malumbrino to lift the curse of their regenerating beards.
Duke’s Maidens, Pages, Messengers, Doyenne’s, Butlers, Grooms, Lackeys, Under-Chefs, and Other Helpers
Reader’s first meet the Duke and Duchess of Aragon’s servants when Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the royal couple, reach the Duke’s country house. When they arrive at his castle’s gates, two lackeys, or grooms, instantly appear, wearing ankle-length robes known as dressing gowns, of finest satin crimson, and sweep Don Quixote up in their arms saying that his highness must go and help the Duchess dismount from her snow-white palfrey. When the foursome enters the house’s central courtyard, two beautiful maidens appear and drape a fine robe of crimson over Don Quixote’s shoulders, and in an instant all the galleries around the courtyard fill with menservants and maidservants heralding a warm greeting to the crème de la crème of knight-errantry, the Knight of the Two Lions.
When Don Quixote goes to an upstairs bedroom in the Duke’s Dacha, he is taken to a great hall decorated with rich cloth of gold and brocade. There, six maidens remove his armor, and act as pages, “all of them trained and instructed by the Duke and Duchess about what they have to do and how they should behave towards Don Quixote,” to make him believe, by seeing for himself, that he is treated like a real knight errant. After these maidens remove his armour, Don Quixote is left in his narrow knee breeches and his chamois-leather doublet, standing undressed lean and long and lank, with “his jaws meeting up and kissing the inside of his mouth,” cutting such a funny figure that if the maidens had not striven so hard to suppress their giggles (which is one of the precise orders given by their master and mistress) they would have exploded with laughter, so funny is Don Quixote’s appearance. The maidens then ask Don Quixote to allow himself to be stripped naked so they can put a clean shirt on him. But Don Quixote will by no means consent to this request saying that “modesty is as becoming in a knight errant as valor is.” However, Don Quixote tells the damsels to give Sancho Panza a shirt. Later, Don Quixote puts a seal-skin sword strap over his shoulder, drapes a robe of scarlet around his body, dons a cap of green satin that the maidens give him. Thus arrayed, Don Quixote strides out into the great hall, where he finds the maidens standing in two equal lines, bearing the necessary implements to wash his hands, which is done with much bowing, curtsying, and ceremony.
Then twelve pages come with the butler to take Don Quixote to dinner, where his hosts await him. The pages surround him, and with great pomp and majesty they conduct him to another room, were a sumptuous table is laid with four places, for the Duke, the Duchess, Don Quixote, and a Grave Prelate. Then a place-mat is added for Sancho Panza. After the Duke, the Duchess, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the Grave Churchmen finish dinner, four maidens appear, one with a silver bowl, another with a jug also of silver, another with two luxurious, pure white towels over her shoulder, and a fourth with her arms bare to the elbow, with a bar of Naples soap in her delicate white hands. With jaunty gracefulness the maiden with the silver bowl slips it under Don Quixote’s chin and begins lathering his beard. Astonished at this ceremony, but not speaking a word ? because it is his assumption that “in Aragon it must be the custom to wash beards after a meal instead of hands” ? Don Quixote thrusts out his chin as far as it will go, and at the same moment the jug begins to rain forth its contents, and the maiden with the soap rubs water on Don Quixote’s beard as fast as her hands will go, building up piles of lather as white as snowflakes. The maiden then applies this soapy solution to Don Quixote’s beard, face, and eyes, forcing him to shut his eyelids. Then a maiden with a water jug, hurries over and claps a bowl to the Duke’s chin, just as she does to Don Quixote’s chin, to give him a good washing and a clean lathering. After leaving Don Quixote fresh and dry, the maidens curtsy, and leave the dinning room. Later, when the Duke’s butler takes Sancho Panza to have his beard washed, Sancho Panza returns, moments later, to the great dining hall, scared out of his wits, with an ash cloth for a bib, chased by a throng of rascally under chefs, who try to thrust a trough of dirty dishwater under his beard. Objecting to the scullion-barber’s chaotic attempt to plunge his chin into “devils piss,” when Don Quixote’s beard was washed in “angel-water,” Sancho Panza requests clean towels, clear lye, and pure water, so the underchefs wash their hands before dunking his face into clean water. When the ministering scullions, and the Duke’s butler, think that the Duchess is displeased with Sancho Panza’s beard washing jest, they slip the ash-cloth from his neck and slink away in confusion, shame even. Later, the Duke’s butler pretends to be a magical sorcerer named Merlin, while one of the Duke’s pages poses as an enchanted Dulcinea, on a high throne atop a triumphal chariot.
First Group of Goatherds
When Don Quixote and Sancho Panza stumble upon a group of six goatherds, these country herdsmen spread sheepskins on the ground, make haste to lay a quick rustic table, and treat our knight and squire to chunks of goat meat, which simmer in a cauldron, set-on a tripod, over a burning fire. With rough ceremony they invite Don Quixote to sit on an upside down bowl while they pass Sancho Panza a drinking horn full of wine. After polishing of a meat course, the goatherds offer Don Quixote and Sancho Panza many sweet acorns along with half a cheese to celebrate their repast together. After Don Quixote discourses on Spain’s golden age to the bewildered and bemused goatherds, one of the goatherds offers him some pleasant musical entertainment. This goatherd then fetches a friend of his named Antonio who sings, to the musical accompaniment of his fiddle, a love poem about his companion Olalla. At the end of Antonio’s sonnet, one of the shepherds treats Don Quixote’s wounded ear with a rosemary and salt poultice tightly bound in lint assuring him that no other remedy is needed.
First Group of Shepherds
Numbering a dozen, or so, Don Quixote meets 12 shepherds when he heads to Grisostomo’s funeral. Clothed in black sheepskin jackets with wreaths of cypress and bitter oleander crowning their heads, these rustic farmers mourn the passing of their friend by dressing in weeds of mourning. Accompanying this group of goatherds, are two gentlemen on horseback and three servants on foot.
Muleteers Who Blanket Toss Sancho Panza
The muleteers who blanket toss Sancho Panza are four cloth-teaselers from Segovia, three needle makers from the Potro district of Cordova, and two inhabitants of the Heria quarter in Seville, who are described as “cheerful, well-meaning, mischievous, playful fellows, who pull Sancho Panza from his ass, throw him into a blanket that they get from the innkeepers bed, and begin to toss him up-and-down laughing all the while.” Though these muleteers first toss Sancho Panza indoors, when he bumps his head against ceiling rafters, they rush outside into the garden, where they blanket toss him to their heart’s content. Eventually, they stop blanket tossing Sancho Panza out of sheer fatigue, no thanks to Don Quixote, who, exhausted from upchucking the Balsam of Fierbras, is too weak to dismount his horse, jump over the garden wall, and assist his distressed squire. One of the muleteers is called Pedro Martinez, another is called Tenorio Hernandez, while the other seven remain unnamed. In short, since these men come from places of ill repute, like the Heria quarter in Seville, it is no wonder that they get their jollies by conducting a mischievous prank on Sancho Panza.
Muleteers from Yanguas
In an unnamed valley in La Mancha Don Quixote and Sancho Panza encounter a group of more than twenty muleteers from Yanguas whose custom it is to take their siesta with their animals wherever there is grass for them to eat and water for them to drink. When these low born rustics give Rocinante a good hiding for accosting their Galician pony mares, Don Quixote seizes his sword and deals one of the muleteers such a vicious blow that he “splits his leather smock in two and a large part of his shoulder as well.” To avenge their fallen comrade, the muleteers surround Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and pound them with their rustic walking staffs. After knocking Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to the ground and bruising them black-and-blue all over, the Yanguasian muleteers load up their pack animals and take flight to avoid a prison sentence for beating Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
Procession of Penitents
The processions of penitents are twenty white clad figures on their way to Segovia carrying a litter containing the corpse of a gentleman who died in Baeza of pestilential fever. Among the group are: eleven priests; a bachelors of arts named Alonso Lopez who is a native of Alcobendas; sundry foot attendants; various mounted figures; and other random persons who accompany the retinue to Segovia. When Don Quixote sees swaying lights coming towards him on the road at night, and hears strange murmurs, as well, (prayers for the dead man), he believes that the procession of penitents are otherworldly figures carrying a knight who died in battle. To learn the truth of the dead man’s fate, Don Quixote blocks the funeral march by stationing himself in the middle of the road so that he can ask the throng who they are, where they are going, and what they are carrying on their bier. Since the procession of penitents is in a hurry to continue their journey, they respond by saying that they do not have time to stop and inform him about who they are, what they are doing, or where they are going. Offended by such a reply, Don Quixote tells the penitents to mind their manners and reply to his questions otherwise they will have to fight him. At this point, one of their mules rears up and falls back on its rider, pinning its occupant beneath its crushing weight. Meanwhile, an attendant on foot who sees the fall shouts insults at Don Quixote, which causes our knight to charge at the man “leaving him sore wounded and defeated on the ground.” At this point, the men in white, being timid, unarmed characters, sprint across the fields to escape Don Quixote’s furious assault. But the other men in mourning cannot run away from our knight since they are tripped-up by their long skirts and full length cassocks. Since they cannot run away from Don Quixote, he gives them a good beating with his pike and drives them from the field of battle. At this point, Alonso Lopez, frightened that Don Quixote will kill him with his pike, begs our knight, if he is a good Catholic and a good Christian, to show him mercy and compassion. When Don Quixote learns that the dead man they transport died of a natural disease, not because of any knight’s wrong doing, he assists the Bachelor of Arts by pulling him out from under his mule so that he can go free unmolested. Then Don Quixote asks the student scholar to forgive him for the grievance he caused him since it is beyond his power to avoid. So ends the adventure of the mournful penitents.
Second Group of Shepherds
A second, larger group of shepherds, numbering twenty, or so, joins the first group of 12 shepherds, to attend Grisostomo’s funeral together. When the first group of shepherds meets the second group of shepherds, they exchange courteous greetings as good friends. Like the first group of shepherds, the second group of shepherds also wears black sheepskin jackets, with crowned wreaths, some made of yew and others made of cypress. Out of the twenty shepherds, six carry Grisostomo’s funeral bier, which they cover with a great variety of flowers and branches. At the foot of a mountain, were Grisostomo is to be buried, four of their number dig his six foot grave with sharp pick axes of their own.
Shepherds Whose Sheep Don Quixote Kills
To protect their flock, a group of shepherds, draw their slings from their belts, and fling large stones at Don Quixote’s body, out of sheer outrage. After fracturing two of Don Quixote’s ribs, crushing two of his fingers, and knocking-out three of his teeth, the Shepherds gather their flock, pick up their dead sheep, and ride off quickly. Since the Shepherds think they have killed Don Quixote, they exit the crime scene to avoid going to jail.
When Don Quixote ventures in the Sierra, he encounters a coffle of twelve chain gang prisoners being marched to the king’s galleys to serve-out their prison sentences. To learn what their alleged crimes are, and, thus, what to do about their sentences, Don Quixote asks each convict what jail-worthy sins they have committed. The first convict, a twenty-four year old man from Piedrahita, answers that he is guilty of pilfering a basket full of linen. This crime is penalized by a hundred lash strokes and a 3 year rowing sentence in the Spanish Armada. The second convict, when asked the same question, is so overcome by melancholy that he cannot reply. So the first convict answers for him by saying that when he was accused of being a horse thief he confessed to his crime to spare himself physical pain. Since he was unable to withstand the pain of being whipped he was sentenced to six years in the galleys and two hundred strokes of the lash. Because he was not strong enough to hold out under firm questioning, and since there were no witnesses, or evidence, against him other than his own confession, the other convicts despise, mock, and maltreat him, making his life impossible for lacking the guts to keep saying no. Though the third convict’s crime is not explicitly stated, it is likely that he is a debtor who defaulted on a small loan since he claims that for “lack of ten ducats” he is being sent to the galleys for five years. When questioned further, the third convict says if he had twenty ducats to liven up his lawyers wits he would have beaten the misdemeanor charge against him so he would be “in the middle of Zocodover square in Toledo instead of in the middle of the road like a greyhound on a leash.” Even though he is in a difficult situation, the convict still has faith that his life might improve in the near future because, according to him, “God is good and you just have to be patient.” The fourth convict, a man with a venerable face and white beard reaching below his chest, is so chocked up with emotion that he sobs speechless when asked about his galley sentence. So the fifth convict answers for him by saying that he is going to row in the galleys for four years since he was found guilty of body broking, which is a euphemism for prostitution. In addition to being a pimp he is accused of “having a touch of sorcery about him since he would concoct love potions to make people think that they were in love, when, according to Don Quixote, “it is impossible to coerce the will in this way,” since one’s free-will is sovereign, and is thus not subject to liquid control. After being paraded through the streets exposed to public shame and ridicule he is carted off to prison, despite his advanced age and regardless of his bladder trouble. The sixth convict, a great talker and a first-rate latiner, is sent to the galleys for six years for having sexual relations with two girl-cousins of his and with two girl cousins of someone else’s. Since he “hasn’t got” the money to pull any strings on his behalf, and since it was all proved against him by his accusers, he was almost hanged for his indiscriminate sexual relations. But since he is young the religious authorities spare his life in hopes that he will reform later. Though Don Quixote thinks that what he did is a sexual indiscretion, not a crime the young man accepts his sentence as punishment for his philandering. But, being young, he still has hope for a better future because, according to him, “while there’s life there’s hope.” In conclusion, since we do not get an explicit character sketch of the next five chain gang prisoners, nothing can be said about their characters, or descriptions, or why they are sentenced to row in the galleys. That said, however, we do get an elaborate description of the twelfth convict, the notorious Gines de Pasamonte himself who is a major character in the novel.
On an unnamed country road in La Mancha, Sancho Panza’s “teeth begin to chatter [when he sees] twenty figures in white drapes, all mounted, with flaming torches in their hands, murmuring [prayers].” These ghostly apparitions carry a litter [festooned in black mourning ribbons, which is] followed by another six mounted men, in mourning too, right down to the heels of their mules, because it [is] clear from their sober gait [that they do not ride] horses. Unfortunately, Don Quixote imagines that the litter is a bier carrying a sore wounded or dead knight, whose revenge Don Quixote thinks is for him alone. Therefore, without further thought, Don Quixote couches his pike, comfortably settles in his saddle, and with graceful and courageous bearing stations himself in the middle of the road blocking the men in white’s path. When Don Quixote asks this group who they are, were they are coming from, where they are going, and what it is they are carrying, one of them replies that they are in a hurry, and the inns a long way off, and they have no time to stop to answer Don Quixote’s questions. Affronted by such a reply, Don Quixote grabs the penitent’s mule’s bridle, saying to him that he should halt, mind his manners, and answer his questions. Since the Mule is a highly strung animal, he is so frightened at being seized by the bridle that he rears up, falls back on its haunches, and on top of his rider. A foot attendant who sees the fall, starts shouting insults at Don Quixote, who, beside himself with fury, couches his pike again, and without more ado charges at one of the men in mourning, leaving him sore wounded on the ground. Then, Don Quixote charges the rest of the men. Since the men in white are timorous, unarmed, characters, they are only too happy to flee from the skirmish and run away across the plain with their torches blazing, looking for all the world like masked figures at a midnight party rushing hither and thither. But the men in mourning, swathed and tangled in their skirts and cassocks, can’t run. So Don Quixote “[gives] them a good beating with impunity and makes them quit the field much against their will,” because they all think he isn’t a man but a devil from hell, come to steal away the dead body they carry in the litter.
Originally posted 2020-01-21 05:12:31.