Don Quixote de la Mancha, answered the squire; he is a knight-adventurer, and one of the greatest and most valiant that have been seen in this world for many ages.
Sancho answers Maritornes when she asks the name of the knight that accompanies him. Sancho shows his loyalty and admiration for Don Quixote from the start, even though he suspects that the time for knights has passed and Don Quixote may be a madman. Although Sancho’s desire for wealth and power drives his faithfulness, he declares his loyalty and love for Don Quixote many times throughout the novel, often without receiving anything in return.
Don Quixote was enraged, when he heard such blasphemies uttered against his mistress Dulcinea, and lifting up his lance, without speaking a syllable, or giving the least notice of his intention, discharged two such hearty blows upon the squire, as brought him instantly to the ground[.]
After Dorothea offers to marry Don Quixote if he slays a giant, Don Quixote refuses due to his love for Dulcinea. Outraged that Don Quixote refuses to marry Dorothea, Sancho insults Dulcinea. The narrator describes Don Quixote’s reaction to Sancho’s insults. Without a second thought, Don Quixote strikes Sancho to the ground. Even though Sancho remains loyal to Don Quixote throughout their adventures, Don Quixote’s loyalty to the figment of Dulcinea takes priority over Sancho in his mind.
It gives me much concern, Sancho, to hear thee say, as thou dost, that I enticed thee from thy cottage, when thou knowest that I, at the same time, quitted my own house: together we set out, lived and travelled together; sharing the same fortune and the same fate. If thou hast been once tossed in a blanket, I have been bruised an hundred times, and this is the only preeminence I enjoyed.
Don Quixote explains to Sancho that throughout their adventures, he believed they traveled as equals. His words come after he overhears Sancho dispute Don Quixote’s niece’s statement that she believes Sancho drove Don Quixote mad. Sancho responds that, on the contrary, Don Quixote manipulated him into leaving his home. In his response to Sancho and his niece’s argument, Don Quixote expresses his own loyalty to Sancho, although he didn’t suffer as many injuries and injustices as Sancho. Readers may infer that Don Quixote’s words reflect a new attempt to manipulate Sancho into another adventure.