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 ?
Christianity brings the sensual into being by opposing it to the spiritual, the musical is the best setting of the purely sensual, Don Juan is the epitome of demonic sensuality, and Mozart's Don Giovanni is the ultimate conjunction of the musical and the sensual unto themselves.
There are two distinct views of the soul at issue: A says that psychic (that is, pagan) eros is incongmous with the notion of seduction, because, again, psychic eros makes no clear distinction between spiritual and sensual, such that Heracles enjoys many only accidentally, whereas Don Juan must desire all by desiring the sensuous as such.
Therefore, the mythical nature of Don Juan is essentially founded in his encounter with death, his confrontation with the hereafter.
The Romantic authors conceive Don Juan in their own image and likeness, they turn him into their accomplice and, understandably, they glorify and absolve him.
Valle-Inclan himself states that, in the figure of Don Juan Manuel de Montenegro, he aims to renew "the Galician aspects to be found in the Don Juan legend.
There is a third thematic line which develops the Don Juan myth in the twentieth century and so in almost all literary genres: that of parody and farcical imitations.
his fellow seducer, the aristocratic libertin Don Juan.
theory," the dark-haired Don Juan has had his ups and downs.
The monkish narrator describes a reserved, mature, almost magical incarnation of Don Juan in the seven days before his arrival at Port Royal.
Emphasizing its modernity, recent reappraisals of Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio have replied to a long tradition of negative criticism That has perceived the play as flawed.
The Don Juan figure has captivated writers, musicians, artists, and critics from all over the world.
This might not bring about any major re-assessment of Jardiel's place in the hierarchy of the contemporary Spanish theatre, but I hope that it will explain the dramatic composition of his Don Juan figure.