Finally, Quixote and Sancho arrive in their village, Sancho greeted by Teresa and Sanchica, Quixote by the curate and Carrasco. Quixote is brought into his house where he tells his friends of his new idea to be a shepherd and invites them to join him, though they think he has developed a new form of madness. When his niece and housekeeper confront him about his new plans, preferring him to become a gentleman living a quiet life at home and caring for his property, he tells them he does not feel well, and they help him to bed.
It is obvious that Don Quixote has suddenly fallen ill, and though it is unknown why, the physician thinks it is melancholy and mortification that have brought him to this place. What is certain is that Don Quixote has come to his senses and declares books about knight-errantry to be of folly and a fraud, and he regrets that it is too late for him to amend his ways by reading "that which would have enlightened his soul." He makes his will known, confesses his sins, repents to Sancho for having persuaded him in his errors, and dies peacefully.