Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
It is the carnival season in Seville, and the Laurel Tavern is a strange place in which to find gallant young Don Juan Tenorio, when the streets outside are filled with masked merrymakers. He is there with his servant, Marcos Ciutti, to keep a rendezvous with Don Luis Mejía, another gallant, with whom he strikes a wager as to which of them could do the most harm in the next twelve months. That night the bet is to be decided.
Don Gonzalo de Ulloa, the father of the girl whom Don Juan hopes to marry, goes masked to the inn, for he wants to hear with his own ears an account of the wild and villainous deeds attributed to his prospective son-in-law. Don Diego, Juan’s father, joins him, masked as well. Several officers, friends of Don Juan and Mejía, are also loitering in the tavern to learn the outcome of the wager, which was discussed in the city for months. Mejía appears promptly, just as the cathedral clock is striking eight.
Good-humoredly, the rivals compare lists of the men they slew in duels and the women they cruelly deceived during the year. Don Juan is easily the victor. Because his roster lacks only two types of women, however, a nun and the bride of a friend, he wagers that he can add both to his list within a week. Fearing that his rival has an eye on Ana de Pantoja, whom he is planning to marry, Mejía sends his servant to call the police. Angered by the evil deeds of which Don Juan boasted, the comendador announces that he will...
(The entire section is 1313 words.)
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