Dorothea wakes Clara up to hear the singing. Clara is unhappy. She knows the gentleman. He is someone that loves her, and she loves him--though she never showed him any favor. He has been following her on the trip. Her father wouldn't approve of the match because the man isn't of the same status.
Dorothea assures her God will arrange this affair so that it has a happy ending.
Maritornes and the landlord’s daughter want to play a trick on Quixote. They spy at him through a hole in the loft. The overhear him speaking to Dulcinea. He then asks the sun to salute her for him, but not to kiss her and inflame his jealousy.
The innkeeper's daughter calls to him. He recognizes her. Quixote pities her being in love with him, but he cannot betray the mistress of his soul Dulcinea. He will serve her any other way than gratifying her passions. Maritornes claims the landlord’s daughter only wants one of his hands. She is risking the rage of her father coming here. Don Quixote vows that he’d prevent her father from doing her harm.
Quixote gives the landlord’s daughter his hand. Maritornes ties a knot around his offered hand. Quixote asks her not to handle it so roughly. He knows she suffers from unrequited passion for him, but do not punish him for being faithful to his lady love.
The landlord’s daughter and Maritornes leave Quixote tied up. He tries not to move, fearing that Rocinante—whose back he is standing on—will move and leave him dangling.
He believes the Moor enchanter had caused this to happen. He curses his foolishness in returning to the enchanted castle. By morning he is yelling. He is hungry, thirsty, and tired. Still, when four horsemen come up, Quixote tells them they have no right to knock at the castle’s door before dawn has fully risen.
The head trooper tells him to open the doors. They are riding post haste and wish to feed their horses. One of the horses goes to sniff Rocinante, who moves just enough to leave Quixote hanging by his arm. Quixote begins screaming in pain.