Miguel de Cervantes – Best Guide in 2023

The most significant and well-known figure in Spanish literature is Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote (1605, 1615). His full name is Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, and he was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, and passed away on April 22, 1616, in Madrid. His book Don Quixote is available in complete or condensed form in more than 60 different languages. Regular editions have been released since the 18th century, and the work has endured unabatedly under the scrutiny of critics.
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes

In contrast, due to their extensive visual representation in literature, drama, and film, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are likely the fictional characters with the greatest visual familiarity among the general public. Cervantes was an excellent experimenter. He studied every significant literary subgenre, with the exception of epic. Around 20 miles (32 km) from Madrid, on September 29 (San Miguel Day), Cervantes was most likely born. He was unquestionably baptized on October 9. He came from a minor gentry family that had fallen into the underclass. He was the fourth child out of seven. His father performed minor surgery, bloodlettings, and bone setting as a barber-surgeon.
Due to the family’s frequent moves, little is known about Cervantes’ early education. The conjecture that he studied for a while under the Jesuits is not unlikely, but it is still just that a conjecture based on a passage from one of the Exemplary Stories. In contrast to the majority of Spanish authors at the time, including some from modest backgrounds, he reportedly did not attend a university. It is certain that he eventually became passionate about reading books. Juan López de Hoyos, the principal of a municipal school in Madrid with erasmist intellectual tendencies, refers to Miguel de Cervantes as his “beloved pupil.”. The fact that this happened in 1569, when the future author was 21 years old, suggests that if this was the same Cervantes, he was either a student-teacher at the school or had previously studied under López de Hoyos. The young queen Elizabeth of Valois, who had been Philip II’s consort, was the subject of his first poem, which he published at this time.

One Soldier and One Slave

In the same year, he made his way from Spain to Italy. Whether this was because he was the “student” with the same name that the police were looking for in connection with a wounding incident is unclear given the conflicting evidence. Cervantes nevertheless followed the lead of numerous other young Spaniards at the time who went to Italy in order to further their professional careers. It appears that he was once the chamberlain in Cardinal Giulio Acquaviva’s Rome residence. He had enlisted as a soldier in 1570, serving in Naples, which was then a part of the Spanish Empire, with the Spanish infantry regiment. He had been there for roughly a year before seeing active duty.
The Ottoman Empire of Selim II was in disarray when the Turks invaded Cyprus in 1570. The Turkish fleet would eventually come into conflict with Venice’s, the papacy’s, and Spain’s naval forces. On October 7, near Corinth in the Gulf of Lepanto, a sizable fleet under Don Juan de Austria’s command engaged the enemy. Midway through September 1571, Cervantes sailed with this fleet aboard the Marquesa. At the conclusion of the bloody conflict, the Turkish army suffered a humiliating defeat that ultimately resulted in the end of their dominance over the Mediterranean.

Multiple accounts of Cervantes’ actions during the incident attest to his personal bravery. Despite having a fever, he resisted going down below and instead jumped right into the action. After receiving two gunshot wounds to the chest, a third gunshot wound left him with a permanently paralyzed left hand. He was always proud of the things he did during the battle. He continued in the military from 1572 to 1575, mainly operating out of a base in Naples; he was at Navarino and saw action in Tunis and La Goleta. Whenever he had the chance, he must have also been reading Italian literature. He set sail for Spain in September 1575 with letters of recommendation addressed to the king from the Duque de Sessa and Don Juan himself. These letters may have recommended a promotion to the rank of captain, but it’s more likely that they simply recommended that he leave the army.


Cervantes spent most of the remainder of his life after returning to Spain in a manner that was entirely dissimilar from his ten-year period of adventure and peril. Don Quixote wouldn’t be published for another 25 years, during which time he would continue to struggle financially and work in a laborious and demanding job. When he returned home, he found that prices had gone up and that many people’s standard of living, particularly those in the middle class, had fallen, including his family. The joy of Lepanto was gone. Cervantes’ military service had not yet paid off as he had hoped. He applied unsuccessfully for a number of administrative positions within the empire of Spain in America. As the royal messenger to Oran, Algeria, for a brief period of time in 1581, he held the position that lasted the longest for him. In vain, he followed Philip II and the court to Lisbon in the recently annexed Portugal.

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