Don Juan

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Don Juan

(dŏn wän, jo͞o`ən, Span. dōn hwän), legendary profligate. He has a counterpart in the legends of many peoples, but the Spanish version of the great libertine has become the most universal. At the height of his licentious career, Don Juan seduces the daughter of the commander of Seville and kills her father in a duel. When he later visits a statue of his victim and jeeringly invites it to a feast, the statue comes to life and drags Juan off to hell. The earliest-known dramatization of the story is El burlador de Sevilla (1630), attributed to Gabriel Téllez, who wrote under the pseudonym Tirso de Molina. Molière's Le Festin de Pierre (1665) and Mozart's opera Don Giovanni (1787) are perhaps the most famous treatments of the theme. Among the many other literary works that use the unscrupulous gallant as the hero are Byron's Don Juan, Espronceda's El estudiante de Salamanca, and Shaw's Man and Superman.

Don Juan

 

the hero of many works of literature and art. Don Juan is a pleasure-loving cavalier and a violater of moral and religious standards, devoting his life to a search for sensual pleasures; he is the creation of a medieval legend.

One of the first literary treatments of Don Juan is the play by the Spanish dramatist Tirso de Molina entitled El Burlador de Sevilla (1630); his Don Juan, a vain seducer of women, was so socially typical that he attracted the attention of many writers, composers, and artists. Moliere’s comedy Dom Juan (1665) resounded with scourging, antifeudal satire. The hero of W. A. Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni (1787; libretto by L. da Ponte) is a self-willed dreamer, a seeker after the eternal feminine. Such an interpretation was developed in the 19th century by romantic writers (E. T. A. Hoffmann and A. Musset, for example). In Byron’s narrative poem Don Juan (1819-23), Don Juan is not so much a flighty bon vivant as he is a rebel in pursuit of personal freedom. In the humanistic treatment by A. S. Pushkin (The Stone Guest,1830) he is an egoist who tramples upon human laws and is therefore doomed.

REFERENCES

Nusinov, I. M. “Istoriia obraza Don Zhuana.” In lstoriia literaturnogo geroia. Moscow, 1958.
Weinstein, L. The Metamorphoses of Don Juan. Stanford, 1959.
Saint-Paulien. Don Juan: Mythe et réalité. Paris, 1967.

M. A. GOL’DMAN

Don Juan

literature’s most active seducer: “in Spain, 1003.” [Span. Lit.: Benét, 279; Ger. Opera: Mozart, Don Giovanni, Espy, 130–131]
See: Lust

Don Juan

internationally active profligate and seducer. [Span. Lit.: Benét, 279; Ger. Opera: Mozart, Don Giovanni, Wester-man, 93–95]

Don Juan

for murder, devoured by fire. [Span. Lit.: Benét, 279; Ger. Opera: Mozart, Don Giovanni, Westerman, 95]

Don Juan

a legendary Spanish nobleman and philanderer: hero of many poems, plays, and operas, including treatments by de Molina, Moli?re, Goldoni, Mozart, Byron, and Shaw
References in periodicals archive ?
Note: The above article is a translated and revised version of Carmen Becerra Suarez, "El mito de Don Juan en la cultura y la literatura gallega," Hispanistica 23 (2006): 511-27.
Estudio comparado de Don Juan (1997), Guardo la voz, cedo la palabra (1990), and La historia en la ficcion.
33); in Don Juan, with the owners of riches having taken over the rulership of the world, the narrator himself, far past the point of temptation, is thoroughly corrupt ("Oh Gold
Even after Don Juan acquires a new political seriousness in 1822 that makes it, according to McGann, "a great work of hope, for it insists that projects of change and renewal must continue to be raised up despite the fact of absolute adversity," (26) Byron self-mockingly deflates his political pronouncements with the reminder that his poem is, after all, just commodified entertainment.
The only way for Byron to "escape" the market-generated allegory that was Don Juan was to simply stop writing the poem.
This is the only way out of the dilemma found in Don Juan, canto 3: the dilemma of the trimmer-poet who can only sing of political authenticity.
I suggest that Byron's activity in Greece, like his poem Don Juan, can be read allegorically, as an extension of British economic power and, most of all, as a consumer's attempt to buy political heroism.
Don Juan is Byron's poem of this world, which he finally found impossible to live in.
Lord Byron, Don Juan, in The Complete Poetical Works (CPW), ed.
The claim that Don Juan is a world-systemic poem without being Marxist is not as paradoxical as it sounds.
McGann, Don Juan in Context (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1976) 103.
Martin, "Reading Don Juan with Bakhtin," in Don Juan, ed.