At the beginning of the novel, the reader is introduced to Alonso Quijano, a middle aged man who enjoys reading books about knights and their deeds. After becoming so engrossed in these fantasies, he changes his name to Don Quixote and decides to set off on his own ‘Knight's Errand’.
Don Quixote sets out with Sancho Panza on a ‘Knight's Errand’. In a world no longer ruled by the values of knighthood, Quixote embarks on a quest to show his chivalric nature to the world. However, it becomes clear that Quixote is nothing more than a senile old man with delusions of grandeur.
Quixote sets off on his adventures and encounters many people. At first, his chivalric values are to help but in later encounters, he ends up fumbling up his deeds. It is finally in Morena that a priest finds him doing penances and tensions begin to rise.
In a sudden twist of luck, Quixote accidentally reunites two bereaved couples. Cardenio with Lucinda, and Ferdinand with Dorothea, who were torn apart by Ferdinand’s deceptions. The four lovers reunite at an inn where Don Quixote sleeps, dreaming that he is battling a giant.
Two close friends of Quixote’s capture him and forcibly take him home in a cage. Quixote, captured, believes that he has been enchanted.
On the way to Quixote’s home, the priest and barber are confronted by Sancho who wants them to free Quixote. The barber threatens to lock Sancho in the cage too and Sancho backs down. In the end, the canon and the priest discuss books on chivalry saying they are ridiculous lies, perhaps to crush the notions that got Quixote into his madness.