Miguel de Cervantes

"Para estar preparado es la mitad de la victoria."

Miguel de Cervantes is considered the most influential writer in Spain. His inspiring works provided the groundwork for future legends such as Tolstoy, Hemingway, and Wharton. The author of Don Quixote used his own daunting life experiences and unique writing style to craft immaculate novels. His work will forever be apart of the legacy of Europe. In the wise words of de Cervantes, "Para estar preparado es la mitad de la victoria." To be prepared is half the victory.
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Early Life and Education

Miguel de Cervantes was born on September 29, 1547 in Alcala de Henares, Spain. Cervantes spent his early life in Alcala de Henares, located in the old kingdom of Toledo, but after his military service he carried out the rest of his days in Madrid. He was the fourth child of a surgeon who was born deaf, and his father was constantly looking for work, leading to a migrant lifestyle Whether or not Cervantes had a formal education is a subject many historians debate about. Based off of his works, many believe he was taught by the Jesuits in his community. However, his family struggled financially, so as a result, education may have been limited. Cervantes was an avid reader as a boy and was taught to do so by an unknown relative. In addition to being intelligent and literate, Cervantes was extremely brave and bold. These traits led to his pristine military training and future career as a proficient naval soldier in 1570, but only after he finished studying philosophy and literature in Italy.

Military Service

In 1570, Miguel de Cervantes joined the naval company of Diego de Urbina. He became an extremely proficient soldier and was known for his bravery and confidence during battles. De Cervantes rarely backed down from challenges, and during one battle, despite being ill, he fought in the most dangerous part of the ship. However, his bravery came with a price. During the battle of Lepanto against the Ottoman Empire, he was shot in the chest three times and lost use of his left hand. De Cervantes often mentioned his victories with pride in his works.
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Lifestyle

Miguel de Cervantes life was full of hardship and adventure. Coming from a poor family, he often moved from town to town and struggled without having a proper income. In addition, his novels did little to support him financially. After de Cervantes, military career, he tried to make it home to Spain. However, he was captured by a fleet of Spanish ships and was sold into slavery. De Cervantes spent five years in captivity before a ransom was paid for his release. Miguel de Cervantes was a lively and bold individual who's bright energy was often reflected in his novels.

The Works of Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote

Don Quixote, published in 1605, is Miguel de Cervantes' most famous work. This book is one of the most famous works of literature in the world and it can be found at most, if not all, libraries and bookstores. Don Quixote is so unique because it was one of the first major bestsellers of its time. It became extremely popular within weeks of its release. It was also one of the first satires, and while other books of this century had little emotion, de Cervantes crafted a novel readers could enjoy. Don Quixote was full of classic wit and readers could relate to the theme of the novel. The book is about a middle-aged man named Don Quixote, who is fascinated by the idea of chivalry. As a result of this obsession, he dedicates the rest of his life to help those in need and defeat evil. However, during his journey, he makes several promises to Spanish citizens that end up going terribly wrong, and never defeats any evil. Don Quixote mocks the Spanish authority of de Cervantes’ time and portrays the demise of chivalry. Humanism is most closely related to Don Quixote because it shows the achievements and failures of the human. The novel is also full of humor, and humor plays a major part in the human experience. I find Don Quixote interesting because during the Renaissance, authors did not challenge the literary status quo in an extreme way, which makes Miguel de Cervantes one of the first authors to craft such a profoundly different novel. Don Quixote went against the customs of society, but also became so popular among the people. It is also one of the first satires, which again shows how it differed from other novels of the Renaissance. To read the first chapter of Don Quixote, click here http://www.online-literature.com/cervantes/don_quixote/5/



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The Writing of Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes was a very successful writer and all of his books almost always became best-sellers. His patrons were the Count of Lemos and the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo. De Cervantes was a witty person and his humor was often displayed in his works. His most famous technique was writing very humorous novels, but masking the humor with formal and sophisticated language. De Cervantes also used sarcasm in his novels to make them more intriguing.
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How do the isms relate to Miguel De Cervantes?

1. Humanism - Humanism is defined as the value of the human experience. Miguel de Cervantes' novels exhibited several qualities of humanism. While many books of his time reflected the power of religion, de Cervantes' crafted satires revolving around the perfections and imperfections of the human. Humor is also a part of the human experience, and de Cervantes' was known for his witty stories.


2. Realism - Realism refers to an object or person that is portrayed in a way that is very similar to how it is portrayed in real life. Miguel de Cervantes' described his characters in such profound detail they seemed as if they were real people. De Cervantes achieved this with lively adjectives and vivid descriptions.

Works Cited

"Chapter I." Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes:. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.


<http://www.online-literature.com/cervantes/don_quixote/5/>.


Don Quixote. Digital image. Medmeanderings. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.


<http://medmeanderings.com/files/7014/1211/9000/Don-Quixote-and-Sancho-xx-


Alexandre-Gabriel-Decamps.jpg>.


Don Quixote Book Cover. Digital image. Wikimedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.


<https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/El_ingenioso_hidalgo_don_Quijote_de_la_Mancha.jpg>.


"Don Quixote Summary." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.


<http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/donquixote/summary.html>.


La Galatea Book Cover. Digital image. Todo Collecion. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.


<http://cloud2.todocoleccion.net/libros-antiguos-clasicos/tc/2012/08/04/32736797.jpg>.


"Miguel De Cervantes." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.


<http://www.biography.com/people/miguel-de-cervantes-9242997#early-years>.


Miguel De Cervantes
. Digital image. Britanica. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.


<http://nzr.mvnu.edu/faculty/trearick/english/rearick/readings/authors/specific/cervantes_britanica.jpg>.


"Miguel De Cervantes | Spanish Writer." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia


Britannica, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://www.britannica.com/biography/Miguel-de-


Cervantes>.


Novelas Ejemplares Book Cover. Digital image. Liceus. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.


<http://www.liceus.com/cgi-bin/aco/lit/01/portadanovelasejemplares.jpg>.


Statue of Miguel De Cervantes. Digital image. Fotothing. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.


<http://www.fotothing.com/photos/59c/59c26d5e77221dfb40e7185b45188526.jpg>.


The Battle of Lepanto. Digital image. Britanica Image Quest. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.


<http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/76/115476-004-5E13FE08.jpg>.


"Works of Miguel De Cervantes." The Works of Miguel De Cervantes. N.p., 2011. Web. 01


Dec. 2015. <http://www.classicspanishbooks.com/16th-cent-baroque-cervantes-works.html>.