Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes

10 famous works of Cervantes(Alcalá de Henares, 1547, Madrid, 1616)

10 famous works of Cervantes

His biographers have established Alcalá de Henares as his birthplace and the day September 29, 1547. Of noble family but with little fortune, he had an itinerant childhood. That is why there is no certainty about where he recieves his elementary education. At the age of twenty-two he leaves for to Italy and becomes a soldier of the Holy League. In Lepanto he wins his famous nickname of “manco”, he ends up with only useless hand that would carry with great pride the rest of his life. Near the Spanish coasts, the ship where he travels is hijacked by pirates and the next five years he will be held captive in Algeria.

In 1580 he returns home, thanks to the negotiations of the trinitarian order and the sleeplessness of the women in his family, which possibly explains why his female characters are treated with such respect. With all the experiences gained, he starts writing. He has a daughter and he marries. Although those two facts are not connected: Isabel is the result of the relationship with an unfaithful woman and her marriage ends up being also a mistake. He tris to return to military life, but only get an ungrateful job. As a collector, he would win enemies of all sizes, being excommunicated by the Catholic Church and even imprisoned for embezzlement. During this new confinement he outlined the first part of Don Quixote, published in 1605. He achieved fame, but this success did not earn him the respect of his peers. A second apocryphal part appears in 1614 and he launches his the following year. The set of those signed by Cervantes would make his more than a century later consider himself the initiator of the modern novel.

There is also no consensus on the date of his death. It is recorded on April 23, 1616 as the most probable. His last years were spent in Madrid, sick, full of shortcomings and without being entirely clear about the immense legacy he left behind.

10 famous works of Cervantes

1. La Galatea (Alcalá de Henares, 1585)

10 famous works of Cervantes - La Galatea

Appears under the title of First part of La Galatea, divided into six books, but the publication of a second installment would only remain in intentions. It is associated with the pastoral novel, but differs from it by the treatment given to love, from a psychological point of view rather than anecdotal. Galatea is a beautiful shepherdess who prefers her freedom to match the feelings of Elicio and Erastro.

2. Don Quixote I (Madrid, 1605)

10 famous works of Cervantes - Don Quixote

The first part of this masterpiece of literature in Spanish tells the story of an elderly gentleman who goes mad after becoming obsessed with cavalry novels. So he decides to go out into the world to demonstrate his courage and face injustice. What begins as a parody of this genre, becomes an allegory of humanity that has not lost force four centuries later.

3. Exemplary novels. Madrid, 1613

10 famous works of Cervantes- Exemplary Novels

Composed of twelve short novels of amorous bias, here is the most experimental Cervantes, the one that looks at different genres and sets a valuable precedent for some that would be developed later. Despite his intention to gather a group of moralizing tone stories, some of these had to be slightly modified by the author to avoid censorship.

– The little gypsy

The longest one within twelve o’clock focuses on the romantic relationship of a gypsy and a young nobleman. He leaves his comfortable life to follow Preciosa, from whom at the end of the novel it is discovered that she was kidnapped by those who believed her blood family.

– The Generous lover

As in the Moorish novels, it deals with the clashes and encounters between Muslims and Christians, although the second one stands out here. Ricardo and Leonisa, two young men kidnapped by Moors, will face a series of tests separately before they can meet again and realize their love.

– Rinconete & Cortadillo

Pedro del Rincón and Diego Cortado are two young men who flee their homes with the intention of winning adventures and wealthiness. In that search for freedom they end up getting involved with a horde of delinquents, representation of the underworld of the time.

– The English Spanish lady

Again the rapture unleashes the development of one of the “exemplary novels”: from Cadiz is transferred to London a seven years old girl and is welcomed by a family that must hide its Catholic faith. It ends under the protection of Queen Elizabeth I of England and she will give you valuable lessons about true love.

– The lawyer of Glass

Follow the adventures of Tomás Rodaja, a young man who comes to Salamanca to study law and acquire new experiences. Subsequently, a disgruntled lady will make him drink a concoction that will end up putting the idea that his body is glass, hallucination that will give fame and reputation as a counselor.

– The Power of Blood

It is a story that tells the rape of a young girl and how it ends up finding the masked men who abused her. The story begins with the abduction of Leocadia, the subsequent outrage and the psychological damage that the young woman would drag. The plot turns up when she discovers that she is pregnant and then accepts motherhood.

– The jealous Man from Extremadura

Intense story considered one of the best in the collection. A jealous man encloses his young wife to avoid being unfaithful. But his shrewd lover easily mocks the slave in charge of his surveillance. Two versions of this story were published. The one of Cervantes avoids references on the consummation of the sexual act.

– The illustrious Kitchen-Maid

It resorts again to the agnición, used before in The little gypsy, artifice that consists of giving an important revelation at the end of the novel on the origin of some of the characters. Avendaño and Carriazo form a couple of adventurers of noble origin who meet at a inn in Toledo with a happy and beautiful maid.

– The Novel of the Two Damsels

Teodocia is a girl who leaves her family to go in search of the man who disappointed her. Her brother meets her by chance and, aware of her problem, helps her to find Marco Antonio, who also happens to have a relationship with Leocadia. One of the most esteemed novels of Cervantes presents another outcome in which good judgment is imposed.

– The Novel of Lady Cornelia

Two young Spaniards arrive on Italian soil to continue their university studies. Established in Bologna, they receive news of a beautiful and kind young girl named Cornelia who lives under the extreme protection of her brother. Cervantes traces the story with characteristics of Byzantine novel, which does not prevent him from criticizing some of its features.

– The Novel of the Deceitful Marriage

Quite explicit for the time, comes to form a unit with The Dialogue of the Dogs, which would relate what happens to Alferez Campusano after the woman with whom he gets infected with syphilis. In this story with elements of picaresque novel, Estefanía Caicedo hides her murky past to the military man with whom he marries.

– The Dialogue of the Dogs

Once Campusano is abandoned, he ends up hospitalized and victim of extremely high fevers that make him delirious until he witnesses the animated conversation between two dogs. Berganza speaks to Cipión about all the masters he had during his journey between Seville and Valladolid, a story whose structure is reminiscent of Lazarillo de Tormes.

4. Don Quixote (II). Madrid, 1615

Within the plot highlights that the two previous exits of Don Quixote have become a popular book, like the infamous version attributed to Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda. Thus, he and his squire are recognized not a few times during the new journey. Like the couple of dukes who know their way to Zaragoza, who invite them to stay with them and make them victims of heavy jokes without realizing it. There are some chapters dedicated to Sancho Panza as governor of the “island” that he so desired, and the appearance of the “Knight of the White Moon”, who challenges Don Quixote to try to get him out of his delusions and force him to return, is also memorable. to home.

5. The works of Persiles and Sigismunda (Madrid, 1617)

Published posthumously, Cervantes considered it his best work. The story is about two young lovers who must pretend to be brothers so they can hide their feelings. Following the model of the Byzantine novel, both embark on a journey full of adventures and misadventures that ends up settling in Rome, where they marry. Francisco Rojas de Zorrilla was inspired by this to create the comic piece Persiles and Sigismunda, which premiered in 1633 with great success.

6. The trip of Parnassus (Madrid, 1614)

10 famous works of Cervantes - The trip of Parnassus

This narrative poem is a free adaptation of the Viaggio di Parnaso, published in 1578 by Cesare Caporali of Perugia. It is composed of chained triplets and counts in eight chapters the galley journey that Cervantes himself does, who in his youth embraced the idea of ​​dedicating himself to poetry, along with other famous poets towards Mount Parnassus.

7. The Algiers deals. Madrid, 1784

It belongs to the theatrical production of the author, much of which ended up lost due to the lack of interest of his contemporaries. One of the characteristics of this work set in Algiers is its autobiographical character, constant in its publications. Some see in this the inauguration of a new genre, which deals with captivity. The little action is replaced by the deep reflections of the characters. It is not the only title that refers to this part of his life.