The priest pacifies the members of the Holy Brotherhood by convincing them that Don Quixote is insane and should not be held accountable for his actions. Still under the impression that Dorothea is the Princess Micomicona, Don Quixote tells her that the time has come to continue their journey to her kingdom so that he may slay the giant. Sancho objects, telling everyone that he has seen Dorothea kissing Ferdinand and that she cannot, therefore, be a princess.
Don Quixote is infuriated by Sancho’s insolence, but Dorothea pacifies him by telling him that Sancho must have been subject to an enchantment that made him believe he saw her kissing Ferdinand. Don Quixote forgives Sancho, who says he believes that the inn must be enchanted because of all the bizarre things that have happened. Sancho adds, however, that he is still certain that the blanket-tossing he received there was an act committed by real people. Don Quixote assures Sancho that the blanket-tossing was an enchantment as well, which is why Don Quixote has not avenged it. Sancho does not believe him.
The barber and priest contrive a plan to get Don Quixote back to their village without the help of Dorothea and Ferdinand. They build a cage, capture Don Quixote, bind him, and place him in the cage on the back of an ox cart. The barber then pretends to be a sage and predicts Don Quixote’s valorous return to his village and his reunion and marriage to Dulcinea.
Don Quixote accepts the enchantment that he believes is afflicting him but wonders why he travels so slowly. He concludes that enchantments must have changed since the old days, when knights were whisked away on clouds and traveled at very high speeds. Sancho warns Don Quixote that he is not enchanted, but Don Quixote does not believe him. As the group leaves, the innkeeper gives the priest some papers from the trunk the unknown man left at the inn. The priest is anxious to read them.
On the road, the group meets another priest, a canon of Toledo, who rides with the group for a while to talk to the priest from Don Quixote’s hometown. Sancho challenges the barber, saying that he knows that the barber and the priest have taken Don Quixote captive. The barber threatens to lock Sancho in the cage too, and Sancho becomes indignant. The canon tells the priest that he considers books of chivalry to be ridiculous lies and harmful to the populace. He also berates the style of chivalric books, saying that they should all be banished. The priest says he agrees for the most part but that he is able to appreciate them.
The canon says he began writing a book of chivalry but stopped because he discovered that an author must write either good books that the crowds dislike or low-quality books that displease the critics. He then rails against the state of theater in Spain and suggests that there should be a government official to oversee decisions about which plays get produced and which do not. Sancho tells Don Quixote that the barber and the priest have been faking his enchantment out of jealousy of his great deeds. Sancho asks Don Quixote whether he needs to use the bathroom; Don Quixote replies that he does.