Humanist Writers

Humanist Writers : Miguel de Cervantes

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES (1547-1616), the son of a medical doctor. He fought in the BATTLE OF LEPANTO and, on his way back to Spain, was captured by Algerian pirates, and sold as a slave. 5 years later, ransom had been paid and he returned to Madrid. He published many novels, the most famous of which is DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA, the story of an old, poor nobleman who wants to live as a knight is supposed to live, according to the ideals of chivalry, but fails in a world dominated by money and the market economy, and who also fails gaining the respect of society.
Don Quixote is a persiflage on the other great novel of Spanish literature, EL CID, depicting a hero who by his virtue set a role model for Spanish nobility, began the Reconquista, made history - not for gaining personal property, but for the sake of glory. Don Quixote criticizes chivalry (and thus the feudal society, with the vast privileges enjoyed by nobility) as outdated.

Links from Golden Age Sonnets
Cervantes Project 2001
DOCUMENTS Works of Cervantes, from Indiana/Purdue Univ., by Fred Jehle
VIDEOS Man of la Mancha, musical 1972

This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on May 31st 2001