The Spain Cervantes Lived In

The Spain Cervantes Lived In
Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, writer of the world famous novel Don Quixote, was born in Spain in 1547. He was the son of a practical doctor, and although they were hidalgos, a title of lesser nobility, they were relatively poor. Cervantes\' life can be described as somewhat chaotic. Coincidentally, the time period when he was alive was also considered chaotic in Europe, and particularly in Spain.
Europe as a whole was going through the Renaissance, bringing about change in every aspect of life. In Spain, Charles V, was king. He divided his kingdom and gave Spain to his son Philip. Philip later married Mary of Tudor, and so he was briefly ruler of both Spain and England. Philip was committed to restoring a Catholic and orthodox Europe. He rarely left the country and spoke only Spanish. Spain had been united through the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand, and soon that country would once again have to unite, but in war.
Sixteenth century Spain could be considered a victim of its own wealth. Their prosperity was not based on actual economic growth, and millitary expenses were leaving Spain in a worse position than before their unification. Many parts of Spain were establishing a picaresque atmosphere; Alcala, which is where Cervantes was from, was such a place, and could be where he got the inspiration to recreate picaresque scenes in further writings. At the same time, Spain was also going through the Golden Age. Well into the seventeenth century, music, art, literature, theater, dress, and manners from Spain\'s Golden Age were admired and imitated. Spain set a standard by which the rest of Europe measured its culture. Spain was also known for its great military power, also known as the Spanish Armada.
The Spanish Armada, also called the Invincible Armada, was a fleet intended to invade England and to put an end to the conflicts with England over colonies and possessions of the Spanish Crown. Philip hoped to send his ships into the channel and slowly conquer England. The defeat of the Grand Armada in 1588 avoided the planned invasion of England but was not a permanent setback for the Spanish fleet, which recovered and continued to be an effective naval force in European waters.
It is in the approach of the seventeenth century that Spain begins to see its decline in power. Philip has his third bankruptcy, and in the next year he passes away. Neither Philip III, or Philip IV provided the great leadership of their father.
Cervantes himself was not only influenced by this time period, but later influenced some events, through his own life experiences. During the time of the war, he served time in the military, where he fought bravely in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. There he lost the use of his left hand. Returning to Spain by sea, he was captured by Algerian corsairs, and made a slave for five years. After four attempts to escape, he was finally ransomed and sent back home. Cervantes was married at age 37 to a woman of 19. He also had an affair which created his only offspring.
Financial problems threw Cervantes back in jail in 1597 which is thought to be the time when he created Don Quixote. After the success of this novel, Cervantes settled in Madrid, just after the return of Philip III. In 1613, Cervantes wrote the Exemplory Novels, and promised a second part to Don Quixote. The success of this novel brought about jealousy from some other existing writers. One was Lope de Vega, who is insulted in the novel itself.
And so the poet tries to adapt himself to the requirements of the manager who pays him for his work. The truth of that can be seen by the infinite number of plays written by one most fertile genius of these kingdoms with so much splendour and so much grace, with such well turned verses, such choice language, such serious thought, and lastly with so much eloquence and in so lofty a style that the world is full of his fame; and yet, because he wishes to suit the taste of the actors, not all his pieces have achieved, as some have, the perfection which art requires.
This brought about the existence