The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The seller of indulgences Character Analysis

The seller of indulgences is Lazaro’s fifth master. He makes a living by selling articles that are believed to pardon the sins of those who purchase them. He is a conman, in short—a cunning master of deception. He devises elaborate theatrical productions to convince otherwise rightfully skeptical townspeople to buy his indulgences. His job is one of the most morally suspect positions in the clergy, since it represents a near complete conflation of wealth with moral purity and transforms currency into a vehicle for redemption.

The seller of indulgences Quotes in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes quotes below are all either spoken by The seller of indulgences or refer to The seller of indulgences. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the NYRB Classics edition of The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes published in 2004.
Chapter 5 Quotes

When they tried this out the first time, I must admit to my shame that I was frightened by it like most of the others, and thought it was just what it appeared to be. But afterwards, when I saw how my master and the constable laughed over the affair and made fun of it, I realized that it had all been worked out by my industrious and inventive master.

Related Characters: Lazaro de Tormes (speaker), The seller of indulgences
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

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The seller of indulgences Character Timeline in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The timeline below shows where the character The seller of indulgences appears in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Lazaro’s fifth master is a seller of indulgences (also referred to as a pardoner) whom Lazaro meets by chance in Toledo. Lazaro describes the seller of indulgences as a... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
The seller of indulgences has been preaching in a region of Toledo for three days but has failed to... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
...with the seller of indulgences. Then the constable is brought to the pulpit, and the pardoner places an indulgence on the constable’s forehead, at which point the constable regains consciousness and... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
In the next village, the townspeople are strongly opposed to buying the pardoner’s indulgences, even after he announces that they can have an entire year to pay for... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
...the cross, and he jumps back when he feels how hot it is, but the pardoner exclaims that it must be a miracle. One by one the clergymen kiss the cross... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...he was too young to know better, and that he had thought many of the pardoner’s tricks were funny. He also mentions that although he suffered plenty of hardships while serving... (full context)
Chapter 7
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Lazaro settles down with the second constable (different from the first constable who helped the pardoner sell indulgences), but the job is dangerous. One night, not long after Lazaro entered his... (full context)