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Quote 3

Now that I’ve to be sitting on a bare board, does your worship want me to flay my bum?

Sancho puts this question to Don Quixote in Chapter XLI of the Second Part, after Don Quixote suggests that Sancho whip himself to free Dulcinea from her alleged enchantment. With these words, which display his sarcastic wit, skepticism, and insubordinate nature, Sancho refuses to obey Don Quixote’s order. The tale of Dulcinea’s enchantment literally comes back to bite Sancho in the rear end—Sancho originally tells Don Quixote that Dulcinea is enchanted in an effort to hide the fact that he does not know where she lives and what she looks like. Sancho’s lie nearly catches up with him a number of times until the Duchess finally snares him completely, telling him that Dulcinea actually has been enchanted. Sancho gullibly believes her story and later agrees to whip himself 3,300 times in order to revoke Dulcinea’s enchantment. Nonetheless, Sancho is not happy with this course of action, and in the end he stands up to Don Quixote about it. This quotation not only fleshes out Sancho’s character but also exemplifies the bawdy humor that pervades Don Quixote. Deeply ironic and complex, the novel is also very funny.