Just as Rocinante and Don Quixote are each other’s mirrors, so too are Dapple and Sancho. The latter two also serve to juxtapose the former, representing grounded realism and humility compared to Rocinante and Don Quixote’s idealism and loftiness. Like his master Sancho, Dapple is patient and hardworking. As Don Quixote’s fantasies become increasingly elaborate, both Sancho and Dapple must carry greater loads, both mental and physical, in order to please their employer.

That Don Quixote rides a horse and Sancho a donkey also establishes not only their ranking on the social hierarchy but also their aspirations in life. Dapple is a donkey, an animal often associated with work and the lower class. Horses, meanwhile, could still have belonged to the lower classes, but were also very much associated with wealth and nobility if they were excellently bred. Don Quixote and Rocinante are not excellently bred, but they have aspirations of achieving a high-class, knightly, and noble status, although neither is as capable or magnificent as they might believe themselves to be. On the other hand, Sancho and Dapple never claim to be nor appear to be anything other than a servant and a donkey. Their humility may be less exciting than the illustrious delusions of Don Quixote, but they are ultimately more grounded, and end up better off than Don Quixote.

While Don Quixote and Rocinante may represent wealthy male egoism, Sancho and Dapple represent the humbler roles of the working class. Peasants lived at the whims of the wealthy, fulfilling subservient roles to their lords. Sancho, and consequently Dapple, often bear the brunt of Don Quixote’s ridiculous actions, as well as the responsibility of cleaning up Don Quixote’s mess. This symbolizes how peasants would have been forced to absorb the negative consequences of decisions made by the wealthy. However, Sancho and Dapple not only put up with Don Quixote and Rocinante’s foolish fancies, but even seem to admire them at times. Similarly, the working class sometimes put their lords on a pedestal, believing the age-old propaganda that the rich are inherently more ethical and intelligent than the poor. Cervantes uses Sancho and Dapple to challenge this myth, as the servant and his donkey consistently show themselves to be more rational, steadfast, and capable than Don Quixote and Rocinante. While they certainly have faults and follies of their own, they are generally characterized as more sane and useful than their counterparts. Of course, they are still destined to serve Don Quixote and Rocinante despite all of this – such is the unfair lot of the oppressed in Don Quixote.