Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra Miguel de Cervantes is recognizably the greatest author that Spain has ever created. He is word famous for his masterpiece Don Quixote. This paper will look closely into the life of this very interesting man. Miguel was born in Ancala Spain, on September 29, 1547. Ancala is a province of Spain.
He was born to Rodrigo Cervantes and his wife Miraflores. The family was in a long heritage of nobility so people expected them to be rich and well-to-do. But they were not. Actually, Miguel was born into poverty. His father, Rodrigo, was a doctor by trade, but he did not want people to know this because he was nobility, he should not have to work. So, when he did work, he had to travel to far away cities so no one would recognize him. He was an excellent doctor, and was well respected in his field of work.
But he did not have a license to practice. Besides being a great doctor, he was also a surgeon, which was rare back then. He also had a big heart. If a patient was too poor to pay for his treatment, Rodrigo would do it for free. His father was actually deaf, but this did not stop him from doing the work that he loved. Not much is said about Miguel’s mother, other than she did all she could toward making the community believe that they were as wealthy as their name. She was not a mean woman, she only wanted the best for her family.
Around the age of 7, Miguel’s father decided it was time to move. So they packed up everything and decided to travel Spain. His father began to travel with “hermesses”. These were almost like traveling fairs. If anyone wanted anything, they would go to the hermess to get it. It gave Rodrigo a lot of business being a doctor. While Miguel was traveling with the hermesses, he was able to meet a lot of interesting people.
He met good people such as actors, politicians, priests, scholars, and unfortunately, met a lot of bad people, such as thieves and robbers. These people and their actions began to form Miguel’s views on life. It is said that most of his idea’s in Don Quixote came from these people. Finally, in 1569, when Miguel was 19 years old, his family settled in Madrid. It was here that he met most of the “intellectuals” of his life.
With these people he discussed politics and religion. Cervantes was a very devout Catholic. In 1569, he was appointed secretary to a papal emissary and moved to Rome. Around this time, Cervantes discovered that he enjoyed writing. His first sonnet was published in 1566. After a time of this, he enlisted in the navy at age 24.
He proudly fought in the battle at Leponte where he was severely injured. He received two gun-shot wounds to the chest and his left arm was left paralyzed or “maim”. He was also a mailman for the army, until he left. In 1575, Cervantes sailed for Spain but his ship was captured by pirates and held ransom. When he was 33 he finally returned back to Spain, only to captivated by its wealth and charisma.
Once he returned, he wrote a play about his time in captivity. During his whole time in prison, he escaped a total of five times. Each time, when he, along with the other prisoners were captured, he took the total blame upon himself. After this, he decided to tour Spain along with a group of traveling actors. He fell in love with Francesca de la Rosa.
This relationship did not last long. After they broke up, he never saw her again. It is thought by most people that Cervantes wrote his story The Beautiful Galatea about her. By this time, war had broken out in England, and Cervantes went back to work for the government as a tax collector. He did not do a good job, however. Twice he made mistakes and was jailed for it. It was during his time in jail that he began work on his masterpiece, originally called The Village of la Moncha.
He spent more than six months working on this. And then, in 1605, the first half of his book was published. It, and he, was an instant success. Never before had Spain created any book like this. In the following years, people begged for a sequel.
They got one, but it was not from Cervantes. It was by a man named Alonso de Avellaneda who wrote in Cervantes’ name. This incident made Cervantes work even faster on the real sequel. In 1615, the second and last part was published. Cervantes continued to write up until the very end.
In his life he wrote lots of stories, books, and plays. Because he was such a success and had such natural talent for writing, most people considered him to be equal with Homer, Dante and Shakespeare. To end on an interesting not, Shakespeare and Cervantes both died on the same day, April 23, 1616. Merit Students Encyclopedia; copyright 1980, pg 310 ,by Sterling A. Stoudemire.