Readings & Films

Thought Questions for Lazarillo de Tormes

  1. How does Lazarillo establish his identity: what fundamental changes occur in the book? Is it possible to compare the maturity Lazaro finally attains with our definition of maturity today? How does Lazarillo have to change in order to form part of his society?
  2. What is the relationship between the spiritual death of Lazarillo and the historical and social ambience of Inquisitional Spain?
  3. There are two distinct voices in Lazarillo: that of Lazarillo whose tone is cynical and honest, and that of the author, who in his intentional anonymity rejects the fame that his protagonist seeks. Discuss the relationship between these two voices in the novel.
  4. How does the anonymous author of Lazarillo de Tormes criticize the church? How does he use irony to share his message? (To deal with this question you should consider the language in chapters two and five.)
  5. The rogue is a lonely person who never achieves authentic dialogue with others—everyone distrusts him and, after his experiences, he also distrusts them. Thus, the story of a rogue derives from the fact that the falsity of those around him becomes clear. How do you see technique operating in Lazarillo? Do we lose something in the mode of story-telling? What? What does it accomplish?

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017