1. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in the University city of
a. Alcalá de Henares**
2. The nickname by which Cervantes was known was
a. El ingenioso hidalgo de la Mancha
b. El Monstruo de la Naturaleza
c. El manco de Lepanto**
El manco de Lepanto (cripple of Lepanto) refers to the wound suffered by Cervantes in the naval battle of Lepanto which mangled his left hand and rendered it useless--sort of like Bob Dole! Cervantes called Lope de Vega monstruo de naturaleza (a monster of nature) in the prologue to his Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nunca representados.
3. The only authentic portrait of Cervantes was painted by
a. Juan de Jáuregui
b. William Kent
c. El Greco
Although there are numerous portraits and engravings alleged to depict Cervantes, none are considered authentic. The paintings attributed to Juan de Jáuregui and William Kent are in Madrid (Real Academia de la Lengua & Biblioteca Nacional).
4. If Cervantes & Shakespeare decided to hang out together in Madrid, they probably would have
a. visited the Prado
b. visited the Corral del Príncipe **
c. discussed Montemayor or Don Quixote over a beer**
The contemporary equivalents of the Globe Theater in Madrid were the Corral del Príncipe and the Corral de la Cruz, named for the streets on which they were located. Cervantes was passionate about pastoral romances, as evidenced by his own La Galatea (1585). Montemayor's Diana (1559) is the source for Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona. Shakespeare knew Don Quixote. With Fletcher he penned the now lost play, The History of Cardenio, based on an episode from the first part of Don Quiixote. The Prado, of course, did not open as a public museum until the 18th century.
5. If Cervantes would have followed in his fathers footsteps,
a. he would have been a government official
b. he would have been a physician
c. he would have been a bloodletter**
His father was an itinerant cirujano, or barber-surgeon. His job would have included very minor medical procedures, and bloodletting would have been chief among them.
6. Cervantes died satisfied that his literary reputation would rest forever on
a. La Galatea
b. Don Quijote de la Mancha
c. Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda**
7. Which of the following is not true of Cervantes & Lope de Vega?
a. Lope once borrowed Cervantes glasses to read a poem to a literary academy
b. Lope and Cervantes purchased the house of Góngora in order to evict him**
c. For years Lope & Cervantes wrote insulting poems to each other
d. At one time, Cervantes and Lope were neighbors in Madrid
Quevedo is said to have done this.
8. According to one modern critic, Don Quixotes madness results from
a. homoerotic feelings for Sancho Panza
b. powerful incestuous desires for his niece**
c. Oedipal desires for his mother
See Carroll B. Johnson's book, Madness and Lust. A Psychoanalytical Approach to Don Quixote.
9. Which of the following have nothing to do with Don Quixote?
a. Orson Welles
b. John Cleese and Robin Williams
d. Gordon Lightfoot
The filming of a version of Don Quixote was Orson Welles' pet project for many years. What was shot has been shown at film festivals in recent years. John Cleese and Robin Williams have agreed to star as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in a new version of the novel. Cantinflas stars in a strange adaptation of the work called Un Quijote sin Mancha. Gordon Lightfoot, the Canadian folksinger, wrote and recorded a song called "Don Quixote."
10. Which of the following statements about Cervantes, all made by famous and reputable critics, is probably true?
a. Cervantes was gay and avoided torture in captivity by engaging in homosexual relations with one of his captors
b. Cervantes was denied an administrative position in the New World because he was of Jewish ancestry
c. The sisters of Cervantes used his house in Valladolid to practice what amounted to prostitution **
11. Cervantes went to Italy and became a soldier probably
a. To avoid exile and the loss of his right hand for wounding a man in a duel **
b. To gain experience and adventures in the service of the crown
c. To avoid being jailed in Sevilla over discrepancies with his accounts as requisitioner for the Spanish Armada
12. Which of these sites in the city of Cervantes' birth will you both find and not find today?
a. A prominent statue of Cervantes
b. The house where Cervantes was born**
c. The church of Santa María la Mayor, where Cervantes was baptized
The actual house where Cervantes was born was intentionally razed in the 1950's and replaced by the Casa de Cervantes that exists as a museum today. The reconstruction is much larger and more ornate than the original, and faces in the wrong direction.
13. Which of his novels did Cervantes repeatedly promise to continue, even shortly before his death?
a. La Galatea**
b. Don Quijote de la Mancha
c. Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda
14. Who is not the author of Don Quixote?
a. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
b. Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda
c. Francis Bacon**
Fernández de Avellaneda is the pseudonym for the still unidentified author who wrote the unauthorized continuation of Don Quixote that appeared in 1614, which so enraged our author that he precipitously concluded his own contunuation that saw the light in 1615, and is filled with disparaging remarks about the spurious author and his work. There is a website that argues that Francis Bacon wrote Don Quixote and hired Cervantes, who had just been released from prison, to translate it into Spanish [http://fly.hiwaay.net/~paul/quixote.html].
15. What does Fernández de Avellaneda say of Cervantes in his prologue?
a. He is complaining, gossipy, impatient and short-tempered**
b. His Don Quixote is boastful and offensive to its readers**
c. He is a soldier as old in years as he is youthful in courage, with more tongue than hands**
d. he is as old as the castle of Cervantes, and is annoyed by everybody and everything**
16. If Don Quixote was indeed conceived in a prison in Seville, why was Cervantes there?
a. He was implicated in the death of Ezpeleta, mortally wounded in a duel outside of Cervantes' house
b. He had insufficient funds to cover the amount he owed to the Exchequer for the provisions collected in Andalusia**
c. He wounded Antonio de Sigura in a duel in Madrid
d. He had been excommunicated due to his dealings in Andalusia
Although the more spectacular events listed here are true, the reason for all of the periods of incarceration for Cervantes always centered on his poor accounting habits.
17. The ransom asked for the freedom of Cervantes while captive in Algiers was so high because
a. He tried to escape so many times and organized some plots with fellow prisoners
b. He carried letters of recommendation from high military leaders **
c. He was sentenced to 2,000 strokes of the lash for a failed escape attempt
18. The really weird thing about Cervantes' marriage to Catalina de Salazar was
a. He was nearly 20 years her senior**
b. He already had a daughter with Ana Franca**
c. He rarely lived with his wife**
d. He shared his apartment in Valladolid with his wife, his sisters and his illicit daughter **
© 1998 Quiz composed for The Barcelona Review by Dr. John T. Cull, Associate Professor, Dept. of Spanish, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts