In the most interesting of the eight comedies by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra published in 1615, Pedro the Artful Dodger, the title character dreams ambitiously of becoming all the great personages that a man can become—pope, prince, monarch, emperor, master of the world. After a career that is typical of a picaro or any other adventurous Spanish rogue of the time, Pedro finds his wishes realized when he becomes an actor and enters imaginatively into the ranks of the great. In much the same way, Cervantes’ great ambitions in life were never realized, and the only satisfaction he found was in a world he himself created.
In one sense, Cervantes’ greatest drama was his own life. Born in a small...
(The entire section is 502 words.)