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Don Juan: and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics)
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Top Customer Reviews
Don Juan starts as your typical Casanova, a libertine that does as he pleases.
He neither believes in religion nor does he care about the feelings of others.
He only believes that 2+2= 4, meaning he only believes in what he sees, what is real, and what he can touch. However, we see him defy the title of Don Juan (Casanova) when he stays mute to Don Elvira's confrontations.
On the other hand, he lives up to his title when he acts as a true Don in an attempt to help Don Carlos, since he only respects fellow aristocrats.
Molière points out some unfortunate situations towards the commoners such as not paying their dues in the scene with M. Dimanche.
In this scene along with the scene of Don Juan and the beggar, Molière plants the seeds of revolutionary ideas that would hope to change the system in 17th century France where the people were promised a lot but received nothing.
Sganarelle, his valet, is always next to him, like his shadow. In my opinion, Sganarelle is the one who represents the voice of reason in this play. He acts as a balance that Don Juan really needs, just like Dorine in Tartuffe. Interesting, is that both of them are coming from the working class, and tell their masters what they truly think. The only difference is that Sganarelle honestly answers his masters' questions, and that way he gives his opinion. Dorine, on the other hand, is the one who takes initiative and openly argues with her master. I see both of the characters as the representatives of the French people who indicate the changes that were going to happen in the pre-revolutionary France.
Moliere is a very deep and funny comedic writer. He makes fun of everything in a very charming way, and perhaps, because of this trait, he was not admired in his lifetime by the authorities as much as he deserved. Through his plays, he criticizes his society, the Catholic church, marriages of convenience, that were very common in that period of time, etc.