Who is the narrator of Lazarillo de Tormes?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lazarillo de Tormes was published in the sixteenth century but was banned because, apart from romanticizing the actions of petty theft, it is a criticism of the church.

It is written in the form of a letter wherein the narrator is required to explain the circumstances of his marriage and his "arrangement" with the Arch-priest.

Lazaro, the narrator, Lazarillo as a child, uses this opportunity to justify his means of bettering himself and he daringly suggests that inheriting a fortune, such as the upper classes enjoy, is not a measure of success, nor does it make a good man. Rather, the working class is to be admired and respected and its efforts are a far better indicator of real success. He goes on to set out the details of his life, the people to whom he is beholden and the life lessons which make him wiser at every instance.

Lazarillo, a "picaro," a rascal and something of a scoundrel, in fact, becomes someone to admire as he ultimately usurps authority despite his desperate circumstances. Its content creates the image of an unlikely hero. It was published anonymously as the author would most likely have been arrested for his dissent. 

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Lazarillo de Tormes

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