comedy musical in Spanish language
target audience: middle and high school students
period: to be defined
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Alcalá de Henares in 1547, he spent his childhood moving from one city to another for his father’s activities, he studied in Madrid with the Jesuits, but as soon as he began his literary activity he fled to Italy to escape the prison (he had indeed injured a man). There he served first Cardinal Acquaviva, then in 1571 he embarked as a soldier in the fleet of the Holy League and participated in the famous battle of Lepanto, where, despite the attacks of malarial fever, he showed great courage. He received two wounds that left his left hand disabled. He remained in Naples until 1575, when he embarked to return to Spain, but his ship was attacked by Turkish corsairs and he was deported to Algiers as a slave of the Bey Hassan Bajá. Cervantes remained in captivity for five years during which he organized four escape attempts, until he was redeemed by the Trinitarian friar Juan Gil, with whom he was in debt of 3000 royals. He then placed himself at the service of Philip II, for whom he carried out diplomatic and then administrative tasks for “the invincible army”. In 1584 his only daughter was born from an extramarital affair and in the same year he married Catalina de Salazar, a lady of Toledo. While writing La Galatea, he travelled throughout Spain as a tax collector until he settled in Seville in 1586. He ended up in jail for embezzlement and received a couple of excommunications from the local clergy. In 1606 he was again imprisoned, this time for murder. Completed, he followed the court of Philip III in Madrid, where he devoted himself entirely to literary activity. In 1616 hydrops put an end to an existence as adventurous as that of the protagonists of his most famous novel.
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