Miguel De Cervantes And The Spanish Golden Age

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8. CERVANTES, a Cultured Spaniard of the Age. Above all the other great writers of the Spanish Golden Age towers the colossal figure of Miguel de Cervantes, “author of the unsurpassed picaresque novels known as the Novelas Ejemplares and the Historia del Ingenieso Hidalgo, Don Quixote de la Mancha– universally acknowledged as a crowning peak in the realm of the novel, and as one of the loftiest and most profound expressions of the human spirit,” 6 wrote Romero Navarro, . Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in 1547 at Acalá de Henares. In him are found all the characteristics of the cultured Spaniards of his Age: First, a soldier, then an artist, and finally, a mystic. (This succession of three stages was very common in Spain to wit, Charles I, the man who reigned over the largest empire in history, retired early and went to live in a monastery preparing for a Christian death!) As a young man, Cervantes fought for his country and his religion at Lepanto in 1571 against the Turks, where “he was twice shot in the chest and had his left hand maimed for life for the greater glory of the right,” 2 as he loved to say, with justifiable vainglory. In fact, during all his life he was prouder of his nickname –The Cripple of Lepanto– than of writing Don Quixote. On his return to Spain in 1575 his ship was attacked by Moorish pirates and he was kept prisoner in Algiers for five years. There he organized various uprisings of his fellow Christians, but they all

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