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El barbero como una figura de marginalización en Don Quijote

David Reher    The University of Chicago, USA    



In Don Qujiote, the barber occupies a curious role in which his access to lower social classes highlights Don Quijote’s own inability to relate to them while, at the same time, his profession as barber is undermined in various ways. To understand the barber’s unique position as an intermediary between high and lower classes in the Renaissance, we first must explore a history of the profession, which was, at the time of the text, on the rise despite being dismissed by university-educated doctors. Next, we must separate the barber from the priest who always accompanies him. The two have a complementary partnership in which the priest’s authority balances the barber’s social know-how, enabling both to mediate on the protagonist’s behalf and to succeed where he fails. At the same time, the barber’s profession is repeatedly marginalized both directly, as he adopts a beard for the farce that convinces the errant knight to come home, and indirectly, as the two other barbers mentioned in the text are criticized or undermined by the knight. In conclusion, Don Quijote has an unusual interest in adopting the role of barber, which contrasts to his far-more pronounced predilection with knight-errantry.  

June 6, 2016
July 14, 2015

Keywords: BarbersMarginalizationPopular culturePriestDon Quixote

Copyright: © 2017 David Reher. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.