Cervantes' own life was extremely eventful and colorful. The son of a poor army doctor, young Miguel enlisted in the army and fought in Turkey and Italy. He was captured by Algerian pirates and sold as a slave along with his brother and returned to Spain after three grueling years, when their ransom was finally paid.
His aim in writing Don Quixote was, according to his own notes, to describe the manners and mores of the time and to tell the story in a clear and simple way. The character of the tragicomic Knight was apparently based on one of Cervantes' own uncles who lived in the times of troubadours and knights errant.
The plot revolves round the elderly gentleman, Don Quixote who is fascinated by the ideas of chivalry and noble deeds he has read about in old books. He sets out with his trusted “squire” Sancho Panza, in reality a simple village yokel. The Don who traverses the land riding a decrepit old horse Rocinante, proceeds to fall into a series of misadventures, but still keeps his lofty ideals intact!