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Don Juan von Byron, George G. N. Lord (eBook)

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Don Juan

Don Juan is a satiric poem by Lord Byron, based on the legend of Don Juan, which Byron reverses, portraying Juan not as a womanizer but as someone easily seduced by women. It is a variation on the epic form. Byron himself called it an 'Epic Satire'. Modern critics generally consider it Byron's masterpiece. The poem is in eight line iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme ab ab ab cc - often the last rhyming couplet is used for a humor comic line or humorous bathos. This rhyme scheme is known as ottava rima. In Italian, because of the common rhymed endings, the effect of ottava rima is often highly comedic or highly tragic. Because of its few rhymed endings, the effect of ottava rima in English is often comic, and Byron chose it for this reason. Although the various iterations of the Don Juan myth show some variation, the basic storyline remains the same. Starting with Tirso's work, Don Juan is portrayed as a wealthy, seductive libertine who devotes his life to seducing women, taking great pride in his ability to seduce women of all ages and stations in life. His life is also punctuated with violence and gambling, and in many interpretations (Tirso, Espronceda, Zorrilla), he kills Don Gonzalo, the father of a girl he has seduced, Doña Ana. This leads to the famous last supper scene, whereby Don Juan invites the dead father to dinner. The ending depends on which version of the legend one is reading. Tirso's original play was meant as religious parable against Don Juan's sinful ways, and ends with his death, having been denied salvation by God. Other authors and playwrights would interpret the ending in their own fashion. Espronceda's Don Felix walks into hell and to his death of his own volition, whereas Zorrilla's Don Juan asks for, and receives, a divine pardon. The figure of Don Juan has inspired many modern interpretations.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 504
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783736801578
    Verlag: BookRix
    Größe: 1041 kBytes
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Don Juan


I want a hero: an uncommon want,

When every year and month sends forth a new one,

Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,

The age discovers he is not the true one;

Of such as these I should not care to vaunt,

I 'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan-

We all have seen him, in the pantomime,

Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time.

Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke,

Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe,

Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk,

And fill'd their sign posts then, like Wellesley now;

Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk,

Followers of fame, 'nine farrow' of that sow:

France, too, had Buonaparte and Dumourier

Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.

Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau,

Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette,

Were French, and famous people, as we know:

And there were others, scarce forgotten yet,

Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau,

With many of the military set,

Exceedingly remarkable at times,

But not at all adapted to my rhymes.

Nelson was once Britannia's god of war,

And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd;

There 's no more to be said of Trafalgar,

'T is with our hero quietly inurn'd;

Because the army 's grown more popular,

At which the naval people are concern'd;

Besides, the prince is all for the land-service,

Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.

Brave men were living before Agamemnon

And since, exceeding valorous and sage,

A good deal like him too, though quite the same none;

But then they shone not on the poet's page,

And so have been forgotten:-I condemn none,

But can't find any in the present age

Fit for my poem (that is, for my new one);

So, as I said, I 'll take my friend Don Juan.

Most epic poets plunge 'in medias res'

(Horace makes this the heroic turnpike road),

And then your hero tells, whene'er you please,

What went before-by way of episode,

While seated after dinner at his ease,

Beside his mistress in some soft abode,

Palace, or garden, paradise, or cavern,

Which serves the happy couple for a tavern.

That is the usual method, but not mine-

My way is to begin with the beginning;

The regularity of my design

Forbids all wandering as the worst of sinning,

And therefore I shall open with a line

(Although it cost me half an hour in spinning)

Narrating somewhat of Don Juan's father,

And also of his mother, if you 'd rather.

In Seville was he born, a pleasant city,

Famous for oranges and women-he

Who has not seen it will be much to pity,

So says the proverb-and I quite agree;

Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty,

Cadiz perhaps-but that you soon may see;

Don Juan's parents lived beside the river,

A noble stream, and call'd the Guadalquivir.

His father's name was Jose-Don, of course,-

A true Hidalgo, free from every stain

Of Moor or Hebrew blood, he traced his source

Through the most Gothic gentlemen of Spain;

A better cavalier ne'er mounted horse,

Or, being mounted, e'er got down again,

Than Jose, who begot our hero, who

Begot-but that 's to come-Well, to renew:

His mother was a learned lady, famed

For every branch of every science known

In every Christian language ever named,

With virtues equall'd by her wit alone,

She made the cleverest people quite ashamed,

And even the good with inw

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