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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 42 (The Espadañas)

Maria Clara is ill.  Dona Victorina and her husband arrive at Capitan Tiago's house.  Don Tiburcio de Espadana is there on account of the girl, whom he had agreed to treat after Tiago requested for his services (Tiburcio is a Spaniard, who pretends to be a doctor).  Together with the couple is a young Spanish gentleman, Linares. 

Points of Note:
This chapter recounts how Victorina came to marry her husband, how the latter got into the pretense of being a man of medicine, and a brief and amusing account of his woes.

Here Rizal clearly depicts the true character of Dona Victorina.

Captain Tiago's sycophancy is also shown in this chapter when he nearly kisses the hand of Linares, a man considered to be merely dust in Spain that has been cast away into the Philippine islands.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: How old is Dona Victorina?
Answer: She is forty years old.  She claims, however, that she is 32.  She was born in August, but she says it was April.

Question: Why did Victorina grow to be a spinster?
Answer: She turned down all the men who courted her -- including Captain Tiago -- because she wanted a foreign man for a husband.

Question: Who is Don Tiburcio de Espadana?
Answer: He is a Spanish marine who ended up in the Philippines after being unable to continue his duties due to an accident that rendered him a cripple.

Question: Is Don Tiburcio a real doctor?
Answer: No.  He had only worked shortly as a janitor in a hospital in Spain.

Question: What does Dona Victorina always use to threaten her husband whenever they come into a disagreement?
Answer: She threatens to take away his dentures.

Question: How is Linares related to Don Tiburcio?
Answer: He is the latter's nephew, a law student.


  1. Did the couple fight? If yes, what did they fight about and how did it start?

  2. does donya victorina know that his husband is a fraud?


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