This chapter explores the life and times of Miguel de Cervantes. Born in 1547 in the Castilian city of Alcalá de Henares, Cervantes had several encounters with danger and frustration. His left hand was mutilated as a result of a battle wound. He was a war prisoner in Algiers. He was jailed in Spain. He was excommunicated for having requisitioned some supplies belonging to the church, although it was required of him in his work. His first novel, a pastoral, shines with the visions of beauty and love inspired by the Platonic Renaissance. The end of Don Quixote and some of the Exemplary Novels, written toward the end of his life, express a growing disillusion.
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