In the book's first edition the disappearance of Sancho's mule was left un-narrated, the animal simply present at one moment and gone the next, before later reappearing just as mysteriously. This is the most notable of various apparent errors throughout the text, although some argue they are in fact an ingenious element of its satire on the chivalric romances, many of which were riddled with narrative inconsistency. This scene of its theft by ungrateful galley slave Ginés de Pasamonte however, hastily-inserted for later editions, suggests that this was a genuine oversight either on Cervantes' part or that of his printers, as Sancho himself helpfully surmises in Part II (See note to page 510).
An equally central figure to the knight errant in chivalric romances was the idealised damsel for whose love he would pine, and in whose name he would fight. Don Quixote fulfils this requirement by using local farm-girl Aldonza Lorenzo as the template for his immaculate, noble lady-love 'Dulcinea del Toboso'. Cervantes highlights the self-serving falsehood of such sexual idealisation by ensuring that the real woman behind these saccharine illusions never once appears in the book - Quixote dedicates extravagant praise and frequent acts of violence to the fictitious name of a 'lover' he has never even spoken to.
The character depicted by Sophia Loren in the sentimental stage adaptation 'Man of La Mancha'
Those who interpret Don Quixote as containing a subversive, anti-religious undercurrent cite this as one of its most openly blasphemous passages - the deranged hidalgo, stripped from the waist down and enacting his penance in the Sierra Morena, fashions a makeshift rosary from the material covering his naked behind. From the second edition onwards Quixote substitutes galls from a nearby cork tree as a less provocative alternative, suggesting that Cervantes realised he was treading too close to a perilous line (See note to page 51).