The world that Don Quijote attempts to navigate in the Ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha is one in which vows are flawed, unsustainable, or completely absent, and where the dastardly effects of broken vows become both the cause and the product of violence. Chapter 4, with its incisive portrayal of the protagonist's systematic misunderstanding of promises and antipathy towards ocular proof, offers an early example of the Quijote's continual representation of the fallibility of vows and Don Quijote's attempts to overcome or overlook them. In particular, the silk merchant episode in the second half of the chapter engages questions exploring the foundation of faith. This episode dramatizes Don Quijote's problematic assumption that his chivalric code is one that all others must obey, while charting the etiology of violence associated with demanding visual evidence and exacting pledges of faith in the Quijote.


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pp. 411-433
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