3 – Que viene el coco (Here comes the bogeyman)
In print number 3, Goya criticises the deliberate inculcation of superstitious fears in children, something he terms an “ill-fated abuse of early education . . . forcing a child to fear the bogeyman more than his own parents“. This print demonstrates Goya’s belief in the principles of the Enlightenment, which sought to eradicate ignorance and superstition and to improve the general standard of education among the Spanish poor.
However, something of the prudery of the era can also be seen in Goya’s claims that “some mothers use fear of the bogeyman in order to scare their children away so that they may speak with their lovers“. This refers to an urban legend of the time in Spain that the bogeyman (El Coco) was actually a lover in disguise.