Miguel Cervantes Essay

Miguel Cervantes Essay

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Born in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra grew throughout his lifetime to become an accomplished and well-known author in the sixteenth century. While little is known about his early life, Cervantes’ joined the Spanish Armada at a young age. His service to Spain upheld his idea of taking risks for honor and liberty, and he portrayed this concept through many of his works, one of which being The Adventures of Don Quixote. During his time in the Spanish Armada, he fought chivalrously in the Battle of Lepanto and received a gunshot wound to his left hand, rendering it useless. He later wrote that he “had lost the movement of the left hand for the glory of the right” in his mock-epic poem, Viaje al Parnaso (Journey to Parnassus). In another event during his military life, Cervantes was attacked by pirates and taken to Algiers, where he was held captive and spent five years as a slave until he was ransomed by his parents. His captivity furnished subjects for his writing, such as his two plays set in Algiers: El Trato de Argel (The Treaty of Algiers) and Los Baños de Argel (The Baths of Algiers). After his ransom, he moved to Madrid and wrote a pastoral romance, La Galatea, shortly after getting married. When his writing produced insufficient income, he struggled with financial problems and was imprisoned for debt. Cervantes attempted to escape numerous times, but eventually began writing Don Quixote while he was serving his time. The overwhelming popularity of Don Quixote soon after its publication brought Cervantes fame and prompted him to write a continuation of the novel. Miguel Cervantes’ lived through various experiences and encounters that contributed inspiration for his writing as a novelist, poet, and pl...


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Works Cited

“Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.” European Authors 100-1900: a Biographical
Dictionary of European Literature. Ed. Stanley J. Kunitz and Vineta Colby. The H.W. Wilson Company, 1967. Print.
Merriman, C.D. “Miguel de Cervantes.” The Literature Network. N.P., copyright
2007. Web. 10 January 2012.
Perry, Thomas Amherst. “Miguel de Cervantes.” Magill’s Survey of World Literature.
Revised ed. Salem Press, January 2009. 1-7. Literary Reference Center. Web.
7 January 2012.
Riley, Edward C. and Cruz, Anne J. “Miguel de Cervantes.” Britannica Biographies.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., copyright 1994-2012. 1-2. Literary Reference Center. Web. 17 January 2012.
White, David Allen. “Miguel de Cervantes.” Critical Survey of Long Fiction. 4th ed.
Salem Press, January 2010. 1-7. Literary Reference Center. Web. 7 January 2012.

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