Sancho Panza is a farmer from the same village in La Mancha that Don Quixote is from. He is also Quixote’s neighbor. Panza has a wife whose name is Teresa and several children, one of which has the name of Sanchica. The role that Sancho Panza plays in the novel is that of Don Quixote’s squire throughout his many adventures as a knight errant. Panza continually acts as a voice of reason trying to call Don Quixote out of his foolish visions. For example, on the adventure where Quixote thinks that several windmills are giants waiting for battle, Panza calls out to Quixote as he is charging the windmills that they are not giants as Quixote truly believes. Although Panza fails at getting Quixote to see his foolishness, he keeps a clear mind and sees things as they truly are. Sancho Panza’s reasonableness throughout the novel makes him a very interesting character to review.
Sancho Panza is a supporting character in the novel because he acts as a sidekick and accomplice to the main character, Don Quixote. Throughout the novel, Panza aspires to do exactly as his master says and to serve him to the best of his abilities. One adventure that actively displays this is when they encounter the men from Yanguas. Although Panza is afraid of engaging in battle with the men because he and Quixote are outnumbered, he follows Quixote into battle anyway. Even when the quarrels seem senseless, Panza follows his master into the face of danger.
Two of Sancho Panza’s positive character traits, which are discussed earlier in this paper, are loyalty to his master and the ability to maintain reason in absurd circumstances. A third positive character trait that Panza possesses is his pacifist disposition. Panza believes that he should not engage in senseless combat, unless there is a danger that threatens his life. One of the flaws that Panza must overcome is his ignorance. Because he is illiterate, Panza has never read about the chivalry and “rules of knighthood” that Don Quixote always speaks about, so he relies on Quixote’s knowledge of these subjects to maintain proper chivalry and uphold the duties of a squire. Another flaw that Panza must overcome is his impatience. Panza continually asks on several occasions when he will get the island Don Quixote promises him (Damrosch and Pike 386, 395). A third flaw that Panza must overcome is his cowardice. In the battle with the Basque, Panza suggests to Quixote that they should hide because he is afraid that the “Holy Brotherhood” is going to come after them and throw them in jail. Sancho Panza must overcome these character flaws in order to uphold his good standing as a squire, which commands that he should be patient instead of impatient and brave over cowardly.
Sancho Panza’s core quest is to uphold his duties of being a squire for the knight errant, Don Quixote, during his many adventures aimed at righting wrongs. Panza’s quest contains a combination of reward, revenge, and escape. The reward that drives him to embark on his quest is Don Quixote’s promise that he will make Panza a governor over an island. The revenge that is involved in Panza’s quest is not his but his master’s. Because Don Quixote makes it his mission to exact revenge on any wrongdoing, when Panza becomes Quixote’s squire, it also becomes his mission to aid his master in revenge. There are many escapes that also keep Panza’s quest progressing, which include the escape from the Basque and the escape from the Yanguas. The quest of upholding his duties of being a squire for Don Quixote is important to Panza because he wants the island that he is promised, but above all it is important to him to be loyal to Quixote.
By the end of the novel, Sancho Panza evolves his character by partaking in the foolishness that enchantments are real. Throughout all of the adventures, Panza does not believe that there is such thing as the enchantments that Don Quixote always thinks he sees. By the end of the story, though, Panza tricks Quixote into thinking that a peasant girl is his Lady Dulcinea del Toboso and lets Quixote believe that an enchantress hid Dulcinea’s beauty and true personality in order to stop Quixote from continuously searching for her and trying to make his love for her known.
The writer of this analysis and Sancho Panza are alike in a few admirable personality traits. Both are loyal to their friends, and both keep an eye on the sane without easily falling into tricks. The writer of this analysis also, like Panza, displays some of the negative personality traits. Both seem to get impatient at times, and both can be cowardly in fearful situations. However, the writer of this analysis does not suffer from the ignorance that Panza does. The writer of this analysis probably would not have followed the same course of actions because she would not have went on a journey that left her family all alone and wondering if she is safe or ever coming back.