Miguel de Cervantes Best Quotes 💬

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a man of great wit and command for words, and his vast experience of life makes his words endlessly instructional and quotable.

Miguel de Cervantes

(1547-1616), Spanish Writer

From military service to ex-con; civil service to getting excommunicated from commissionary duty, and then came his breakthrough in the world of literature; Miguel de Cervantes really did lead quite a decorated life and there’s no better person to learn from than the one who has seen it all.

There are several worthy quotes – both on life, death, love, prison, society etcetera – invented by the author during his hay days, a lot of them from his bestseller ‘Don Quixote‘, and a few others outside of it.

On Prison

And so…thoughts that never occurred to anyone else, of a sort that might be engendered in a prison where every annoyance has its home and every mournful sound its habitation?

This, not only is one of Cervantes’ most populous quotes but also an open revelation of how he got the inspiration for ‘Don Quixote‘ while being under incarceration. The late 1590s saw Cervantes being imprisoned for issues culminating from a failed accountability of the crown’s money, and he was the prime suspect seeing as he was working for the Crown’s tax department at the time.

This famous quote is an excerpt from his first prologue, as he took the liberty of such a disappointing experience to try and teach readers that even the worse of situations bear the capacity to positively change one’s life for the better.

On Love and Beauty

A father may have a child who is ugly and lacking in all the graces, and the love he feels for him puts a blindfold over his eyes so that he does not see his defects but considers them signs of charm and intelligence and recounts them to his friends as if they were clever and witty.

This is one of Miguel de Cervantes’ famous quotes from his book ‘Don Quixote’. With this expression, ‘Don Quixote‘ provides a defense and reason for choosing to love Dulcinea and making out of her the perfect princess of beauty which, in reality, she is nowhere close to such description.

Don Quixote‘s’ proposition goes as far as implying the popular quote which says that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” effectively raising the argument that society doesn’t have to agree on her beauty for her to be beautiful. To him, what matters most is that he finds her worthy of such quality. Again, he implores readers to go for what pleases them and makes them happy, not what pleases people.

On Fear

For one of the effects of fear is to derange the senses and make things appear different from what they are; if thou art in such fear, withdraw to one side and leave me to myself, for alone I suffice to bring victory to that side to which I shall give my aid…

Also from the novel ‘Don Quixote’, this text is Miguel de Cervantes using ‘Don Quixote‘ to complete a flat out admonition on Sancho Panza who he accuses of not making the most out of life because he cares too much about the convention and allows its principles to prevent him from fully exploring the intrigues of the imagination, which for Quixote, is the only true way one can live their lives to the fullest.

On Time

There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things.

There are only a few authors who understand timing better than Miguel de Cervantes, and his philosophy of time stemmed from his struggles to break away and leave a meaningful legacy for his family. Cervantes’ name may well be popular now and in several hundred years to come, but he patiently waited for this to happen and almost even gave up before it did.

A great lesson passed here to readers by Miguel de Cervantes is to consciously live and enjoy every small moment of all aspects of their lives as they’re sure paths to later big breaks.

On Death

Well, there is a remedy for all things but death, which will be sure to lay us flat one time or other.

Even for a stout adventurer like Cervantes, this is where the line is drawn and all possibilities and promises nullified. The author believes there’s a solution to everything in life, but that when the instrument of death comes along, solutions retire, hope turns bleak, and all becomes nothing.


Was Cervantes an Italian?

Cervantes was originally from Alcala de Henares, a village in old Spain. However, the writer loved Italy and spent a good amount of time in Rome and even had an affair that led to him having a son called Promontorio.

When was Cervantes born?

Cervantes was born on the 29th of September, 1547, to a Spanish couple Rodrigo Saavedra and Leoor de Cortinas his father and mother respectively.

Did Cervantes ever get married?

Cervantes later got married to Catalina de Salazar y Palacios around 1584 and had a daughter Isabel with her. The couple stayed married until 1616, the death of Cervantes’ demise.

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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