What is the conflict between blind fate and divine providence in Don Juan Tenorio?

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Zorrilla y Moral's version of the Don Juan story establishes, as much Romantic literature does, a dichotomy within its central character, where a struggle between good and evil is played out. A combination of events (we can call it Fate if we are so inclined) causes Don Juan to kill his rival Don Luis and Don Gonzalo, the father of the novice, or nun-trainee, Ines with whom Juan falls in love. She represents the "purity" Don Juan becomes enraptured with. His life and "career" have been built upon one ruthless seduction after another; this has seemingly been his destiny, but the appearance of Ines is Providential in changing his character, allowing the divine portion of it to emerge and become ascendant.

This divine action upon him, or the invoking of his previously buried better part, is the crux of the plot change Zorrilla works into the outlines of the legend. In Part II of the play, a kind of supernatural epilogue, the ghost of Gonzalo, the Commander of Seville, has the intention (in which he succeeds in most of the earlier treatments of the story) of dragging Don Juan down to hell. But here, Ines intervenes and prevents this from happening. In other words, the "eternal feminine" redeems the soul of Juan, as happens to Faust in Goethe's drama. A man who is fated to be evil finds that fate is reversed through an intervention, perhaps a divine one but equally (given the Romantic Zeitgeist) a human transformation of it in the guise of the woman who has, in effect, re-established Don Juan's character as something better than it was.

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