La Numancia by Cervantes-A Review


La Numancia by Cervantes-A Review

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La Numancia by Cervantes-A Review

La Numancia by Cervantes-A Review

La Numancia by Cervantes-A Review


“La Numancia,” a lesser-known gem by the renowned Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, stands as a striking departure from his more celebrated works like “Don Quixote.” This poignant play in verse unveils the harrowing tale of the legendary city of Numantia and its resolute stand against the mighty Roman siege. Through intricate character development, intense emotional resonance, and vivid imagery, Cervantes weaves a tragic narrative that transcends time, offering readers a captivating glimpse into the human spirit’s indomitable will.


The heart of “La Numancia” lies in the historical account of the Roman siege of the ancient Celtiberian city of Numantia. The play unfolds amidst a backdrop of intense warfare, chronicling the city’s heroic resistance against the overwhelming might of the Roman Empire. Throughout the drama, Cervantes skillfully navigates between moments of unwavering courage and the profound despair that engulfs the besieged citizens.

Character Depth and Development:

Cervantes is renowned for his multifaceted characters, and “La Numancia” does not disappoint. The play introduces a cast of characters who encompass a range of emotions and experiences. From the valiant Numantian warriors to the compassionate women who share their suffering, each character contributes to the tapestry of human resilience in the face of adversity. Cervantes humanizes both sides of the conflict, allowing readers to empathize with the Romans while still rooting for the city’s defenders.

Themes and Symbolism:

At its core, “La Numancia” delves into themes of honor, sacrifice, and the resilience of the human spirit. The play explores the clash of civilizations, contrasting the martial prowess of Rome with the unwavering spirit of Numantia. The city becomes a symbol of resistance against oppression, and its fall underscores the cyclical nature of history and the inevitable passage of power.

Imagery and Language:

Cervantes’ mastery of language is evident throughout the play. His vivid descriptions and evocative imagery transport readers to the heart of the besieged city. The juxtaposition of serene landscapes with the brutal reality of war creates a powerful emotional impact. Cervantes employs poetic verse to craft a lyrical narrative that captures the essence of the characters’ experiences, making the play not only engaging but also emotionally resonant.

Tragic Element:

“La Numancia” stands as a quintessential tragedy, following the Aristotelian principles of a downfall brought about by the protagonists’ own flaws. As the Roman siege tightens its grip on the city, the characters are confronted with impossible choices, and the inevitability of their fate lends the play its tragic weight. Cervantes masterfully crafts a sense of catharsis as readers grapple with the profound emotional journey of the characters.


In “La Numancia,” Cervantes deviates from his more lighthearted works to deliver a poignant and compelling tragic drama. Through rich character development, powerful imagery, and an exploration of timeless themes, he crafts a narrative that captures the human spirit’s enduring struggle against oppression. “La Numancia” not only adds to Cervantes’ literary legacy but also provides a captivating perspective on history’s forgotten stories of valor and sacrifice. 0 0 0.

N.B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘The Reviews of Epic Literature Around the World‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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