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What is the meaning behind pulling of the beard, the fig and the calling of a dog?

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jamielynnelef... | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 16, 2008 at 7:59 AM via web

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What is the meaning behind pulling of the beard, the fig and the calling of a dog?

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kukufa | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 15, 2008 at 4:25 AM (Answer #1)

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 In Medieval times a beard was a symbol of manhood, power and dignity. One way of telling that a man was still a boy was to say that he had no beard. Even nowadays in Spain you can find saying related to  manhood a beards. In the poem of the Cid, (the Spanish version) the beard is not  just pulled, but pulled or cut off. That is a very important offence; as by removing a man’s beard they could prove that he had been defeated in battle and had not been able to fight back.  It also meant that the opponent could have killed him (he already had the sword on the neck) but had chosen to be merciful (so you owed him your life) or that the defeated had been too coward to accept honorable death and had begged for a dishonorable life.

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