Molieres Don Juan Essay

This essay has a total of 1624 words and 7 pages.

Molieres Don Juan



Don Juan
A Man For The Ages

Although Moliere's Don Juan was written in 1665, its central themes can be carried over
through the ages up to today. Moliere creates many fascinating characters limited not
only to Don Juan, but his servant, wife, father, and others he encounters throughout the
play. In Don Juan, Moliere creates a character who shapes the world to fit his own
personal illusions by an egotistical abuse of power. Even greater, is Moliere's ability
to create characters who can interact with such a main character, trying to even challenge
this abuse of power, however unsuccessful. In this essay, I will examine the
characteristics of Don Juan, and the uses of the other characters and how other characters
uses their own unique way to try and get Don Juan to change his ways.

Don Juan, himself, is a completely egotistical character. Abusing his power to get what
he wants when he wants, Moliere "creates a noble and self-contained Tartuffe who needs no
aid from an established canon of belief to rule the lives of others". Walker, Moliere, pg.
101. Don Juan has already been born to great blood, and does not need the approval of
others to rationalize what he does. His ancestry is reasoning and almost a scapegoat for
Don Juan throughout the play. However powerful Don Juan does seem throughout the play,
there is also another side of Don Juan that almost seeps out of Don Juan very subtly. Don
Juan is a contradiction himself, the power of his tyranny and at the same time, his
dependence upon his "victims", or those he tricks and dehumanizes. In Act I Scene 2, Don
Juan is explaining his feelings to his companion Sgnarelle. Sgnarelle tells him how he
does not approve of the way Don Juan "makes love left and right". To this, Don Juan
answers:


That's a fine thing, to want to pride ourselves in
One passion, and to be dead from our youth on to
S all the other beauties that may strike our eyes! No, no:
Constancy is good only for nincompoops.............
Bringing her gently to the point where we want to bring
Her. But once we are the master, there's nothing more
To say and nothing more to wish for; all the beauty of
Passion is finished, and in the tranquility of such a love
We fall asleep, unless some new object comes to awaken
Our desires and offer our heart to the alluring charms
Of a conquest to be made.(pg. 322)

In this passage, Don Juan is trying to sound powerful and self-assured, but in reality
this simply portrays him as a scared man. Scared to love unconditionally, to commit
himself one-hundred percent to another female. This type of self-talk is not uncommon in
the majority of men today. When Don Juan stated "to be dead from our youth on to all
other beauties" and " "in the tranquility of love we fall asleep", it almost sounds that
he is afraid to grow up and does not want to contemplate his own mortality. By keeping a
solid rotation of "other beauties", Don Juan will continually feel young and unaffected by
growing old. This can easily be transferred to today's culture, where rich old men start
to think about their mortality, and in turn leave their aging wife for a younger one, and
perhaps a red sports car as well. Although Don Juan sees nothing wrong with this
reasoning, his friends, family, and lovers all see what disastrous path this life will
lead the main character on. All try with great pleading to stop this, and all fail to the
stubborn Don Juan.


The first character to plead with Don Juan is his wife, Dona Elvire. Dona Elvire was
seduced out of the convent by Don Juan, only to later learn of her husbands' betrayal. In
Act I Scene 3, Dona Elvire confirms her suspicions and admits her "simplicity and weak
heartedness in doubting a betrayal which so much evidence confirmed" (pg. 326). She asks
Don Juan for a reason in which return Don Juan makes his servant Sgnaraelle address her.
Don Juan finally answers for his actions stating:


I opened my eyes of my soul upon which I was doing.
Continues for 4 more pages >>