The Full Wiki

Don Juan: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Juan in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, a painting by Max Slevogt

Don Juan (Spanish, or Don Giovanni in Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest) by Tirso de Molina is a play set in the fourteenth century that was published in Spain around 1630. Evidence suggests it is the first written version of the Don Juan legend. Among the best known works about this character today are Molière's play Dom Juan ou le Festin de pierre (1665), Byron's epic poem Don Juan (1821), José de Espronceda's poem El estudiante de Salamanca (1840) and José Zorrilla's play Don Juan Tenorio (1844). The most influential version of all is Don Giovanni, an opera composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, first performed in 1787 (with Giacomo Casanova in the audience) and itself the source of inspiration for works by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Alexander Pushkin, Søren Kierkegaard, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Camus.

Don Juan is used synonymously for "womanizer", especially in Spanish slang, and the term Don Juanism is sometimes used as a synonym for satyriasis.


Don Juan legend

Don Juan is a rogue and a libertine who takes great pleasure in seducing women and (in most versions) enjoys fighting their champions. Later, in a graveyard, Don Juan encounters a statue of the dead father of a girl he has seduced, and, impiously, invites the father to dine with him; the statue gladly accepts. The father's ghost arrives for dinner at Don Juan's house and in turn invites Don Juan to dine with him in the graveyard. Don Juan accepts, and goes to the father's grave where the statue asks to shake Don Juan's hand. When he extends his arm, the statue grabs hold and drags him away, to Hell.[1]


In Castilian Spanish, Don Juan is pronounced [doɴˈχwan]. The usual American-English pronunciation is /ˌdɒnˈwɑːn/, with two syllables and a silent "J". However, in Byron's epic poem it humorously rhymes with ruin and true one, suggesting that it was intended to have the trisyllabic spelling pronunciation /ˌdɒnˈdʒuːən/.


The Finding of Don Juan by Haidee by Ford Madox Brown

Haidee is a beautiful Greek girl in Don Juan, who, falling in love with the hero and losing him, came to a tragic end.

Chronology of works derived from the story of Don Juan

There is also a book from Jozef Toman with name The life and death of don Miguel de Manara. Both the Flynn and Fairbanks versions turn Don Juan into a likeable rogue, rather than the heartless seducer that he is usually presented as being. The Flynn movie even has him successfully foiling a treasonous plot in the Spanish royal court. Shaw's play turns him into a philosophical character who enjoys contemplating the purpose of life. Beers' play turns him into a poetic, epic character recoiling from the debasing popular image of womanizer and cheap lover.


  1. ^ The Legend of Don Juan, Theatre Arts at the California Institute of Technology.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Apocryphal Tales, Karel Čapek.
  4. ^ The Lost Diary of Don Juan.

Further reading

  • Macchia, Giovanni (1995) [1991] (in Italian). Vita avventure e morte di Don Giovanni. Milano: Adelphi. ISBN 88-459-0826-7. 
  • Said Armesto, Víctor (1968) [1946] (in Spanish). La leyenda de Don Juan. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe. 

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Don Juan
This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.

Don Juan may refer to:

  • Don Juan, a poem by George Gordon Byron.
  • Don Juan, a work by Nikolas Lenau.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DON JUAN, a legendary character, whose story has found currency in various European countries. He was introduced into formal literature in the Spanish El Burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra, a play which was first printed at Barcelona in 1630, and is usually attributed to Tirso de Molina; but the story of a profligate inviting a dead man to supper, and finding his invitation accepted, was current before 1630, and is not peculiar to Spain. A Don Juan Tenorio is said to have frequented the court of Peter the Cruel, and at a later period another Don Juan Tenorio, a dissolute gallant, is reported as living at Seville; but there is no satisfactory evidence of their existence, and itis unlikely that the Don Juan legend is based on historical facts. It exists in Picardy as Le Souper de fantome, and variants of it have been found at points so far apart as Iceland and the Azores; the available evidence goes to show that Don Juan is a universal type, that he is the subject of local myths in many countries, that he received his name in Spain, and that the Spanish version of his legend has absorbed certain elements from the French story of Robert the Devil. Some points of resemblance are observable between El Burlador de Sevilla and Dineros son calidad, a play of earlier date by Lope de Vega; but these resemblances are superficial, and the character of Don Juan, the incarnation of perverse sensuality and arrogant blasphemy, may be considered as the creation of Tirso de Molina, though the ascription to him of El Burlador de Sevilla has been disputed. The Spanish drama was apparently more popular in Italy than in Spain, and was frequently given in pantomime by the Italian actors, who accounted for its permanent vogue by saying that Tirso de Molina had sold his soul to the devil for fame. A company of these Italian mimes took the story into France in 1657, and it was dramatized by Dorimond in 1659 and by De Villiers in 1661; their attempts suggested Le Festin de Pierre (1665) to Moliere, who, apparently with the Spanish original before his eyes, substituted prose for verse, reduced the supernatural element, and interpolated comic effects completely out of keeping with the earlier conception. Later adaptations by Rosimond and Thomas Corneille were even less successful. The story was introduced into England by Sir Aston Cokain in his unreadable Tragedy of Ovid (1669), and was the theme of The Libertine (1676), a dull and obscene play by Shad well. Goldoni's D. Giovanni Tenorio osia Il Dissoluto, based upon the adaptations of Moliere and Thomas Corneille, is one of his least interesting productions. Tirso de Molina's play was recast, but not improved, by Antonio de Zamora early in the 18th century. A hundred years later the character of Don Juan was endowed with a new name in Espronceda's Estudiante de Salamanca; Don Felix de Montemar is plainly modelled on Don Juan Tenorio, and rivals the original in licentiousness, impiety and grim humour. But the most curious resuscitation of the type in Spain is the protagonist in Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio, which is usually played in all large cities during the first week in November, and has come to be regarded as an essentially national work. It is in fact little more than an adaptation of the elder Dumas' Don Juan de Marana, which, in its turn, derives chiefly from Merimee's novel, Les Ames du purgatoire. Less exotic are Zorrilla's two poems on the same subject - El Desafio del diablo and El Testigo de bronce. Byron's Don Juan presents a Regency lady-killer who resembles Ulloa's murderer in nothing but his name.

The sustained popularity of the Don Juan legend is undoubtedly due in great measure to Mozart's incomparable setting of Da Ponte's mediocre libretto. In this pale version of El Burlador de Sevilla the French romantic school made acquaintance with Don Juan, and hence, no doubt, the works of Merimee and Dumas already mentioned, Balzac's Elexir d'une longue vie, and Alfred de Musset's Une Matinee de Don Juan and Namouna. The legend has been treated subsequently by Flaubert and Barbey d'Aurevilly in France, by Landau and Heyse in Germany, and by Sacher-Masoch in Austria. It has always fascinated composers. Mozart's Don Giovanni has annihilated the earlier operas of Le Tellier, Righini, Tritto, Gardi and Gazzaniga; but Gluck's balletmusic still survives, and Henry Purcell's setting - the oldest of all - has saved some of Shadwell's insipid lyrics from oblivion.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.-F. de Simone Brouwer, Don Giovanni nella poesia e nell' arte musicale (Napoli, 1894); A. Farinelli, Don Giovanni: Note critiche (Torino, 1896); A. Farinelli, Cuatro palabras sobre Don Juan y la literatura donjuanesca del porvenir in the Homenaje d Menendez y Pelayo (Madrid, 1899), vol. i. pp. 205222. (J. F.- K.)

<< Donjon

Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




After the legendary 14th century Spanish nobleman Don Juan.


Don Juan


Don Juan (uncountable)

  1. A man who obsessively seduces women; a philanderer.
    James has three girlfriends; he's a real Don Juan.



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address