Online Literary Criticism Collection
Sites about Don Juan
Critical sites about Don Juan
- ‘Tis more than what is called mobility’: Structure and a Development towards Understanding in Byron’s Don Juan
- “A reader perusing Byronï¿½s Don Juan in search of traditional indications of surface structure is doomed to disappointment. The ottava rima epic replete with digressions and whimseys is peppered with plot twists in no way coherent with the Don Juan myth extant in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The main character, Don Juan, neither achieves salvation nor is he damned. Byronï¿½s views on literary and political figures of his day (notably Southey, Wordsworth, and Wellington) intrude at random points throughout the epic, and disparaging social commentary, both implicit and explicit, frequently displaces narration. Byronï¿½s mental lability or his “mobility” both fascinates and repels the reader. In view of the seeming disorder of the poem, the casual reader might be forgiven for concluding that Byron had composed Don Juan in the same way as he admittedly composed his letters, eschewing caution and “generally say[ing] what comes uppermost at the moment.””
- Contains: Content Analysis
- Author: Cynthia Whissel
- From: Romanticism on the Net Vol. 13 February 1999
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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013