Don Quixote meets a Duke and Duchess who conspire to play tricks on him. They make a servant dress up as Merlin, for example, and tell Don Quixote that Dulcinea’s enchantment—which they know to be a hoax—can be undone only if Sancho whips himself 3,300 times on his naked backside. Under the watch of the Duke and Duchess, Don Quixote and Sancho undertake several adventures. They set out on a flying wooden horse, hoping to slay a giant who has turned a princess and her lover into metal figurines and bearded the princess’s female servants.
Parry’s hurt is an insoluble wound, the unrestrained imagination of Gilliam boldly projecting his psychological firestorm and making manifest his loss. It’s not only Williams’ darkest performance (surpassing his more on-the-nose creepy roles in "One Hour Photo" and "Insomnia," in addition to the morose antisocial cameos in "Dead Again" and "The Secret Agent"), but also Gilliam’s most affecting and deepest turn as a filmmaker. Director and actor weave together perfect discord in madness, audaciously shifting from a moment of soul enlivening sweetness to one of crushing psychological mutilation, Parry deteriorating from the pose of confident wooer to one of hunched-over self-hatred. He screams in unintelligible and drooling fury at the memories that pursue him to the Hudson’s littered shore.
With the help of Dorotea, a woman who has been deceived by Don Fernando, the priest and barber make plans to trick Don Quixote into coming home. Dorotea pretends to be the Princess Micomicona, desperately in need of Quixote's assistance. The final chapters of the novel combine romantic intrigue with the comedy of errors surrounding Don Quixote. Dorotea is reunited with Don Fernando and Cardenio is reunited with Lucinda. This takes place at the same inn which Quixote visited earlier (where was boxed by Maritornes' lover). Numerous guests arrive at the inn, as long-lost brothers are reunited, two other pairs of lovers are blessed and Don Quixote is almost arrested. The Holy Brotherhood has an arrest for Quixote's arrest on account of his "setting at liberty" a "group of galley-slaves." The priest begs for the officer to have mercy on Quixote because the knight is insane. The officer assents; Quixote is locked in a cage and carted home. Quixote believes the cage to be an enchantment, but when it is clear that he is going home he does not fight back. Of course, in Book II, Quixote goes out on his third and final sally, so Book I is not resolved.