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Last Reviewed on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 388

Don Juan by Moliére is a comedic play about the fictitious Don Juan, a notoriously atheistic and adulterous individual. Moliére's play takes place over the course of Don Juan's final two days and illustrates the total depravity of his life.

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The story starts out with Don Juan's servant, Sganarelle, speaking with the servant of Donna Elvire, Don Juan's new wife. Sganarelle claims that Don Juan is a womanizer and can't settle down with a single woman to save his life. Soon thereafter, Don Juan enters and talks with Sganarelle about the newest object of his affections, a young woman who is not his new wife, proving Sganarelle's claims. Don Juan and Donna Elvire argue about Juan's whereabouts, enraging Elvire. Later, in the countryside, Don Juan convinces another woman, Charlotte, to marry him but is interrupted by yet another of his "betrotheds," Mathurine. He convinces both of them that it has all been a misunderstanding, and upon hearing that he is being pursued by twelve men on horseback, Juan and Sganarelle flee the scene.

In the woods, having fled from their pursuers, Don Juan and Sganarelle save a man from attack by a robber, who happens to be Donna Elvire's brother, Don Carlos. Elvire's other brother, Don Alfonso, enters and, upon recognizing Don Juan, attempts to kill him, for Carlos and Alfonso have been seeking revenge on Juan for his treatment of their sister. Carlos convinces Alfonso to wait, because Juan saved his life just moments before. Don Juan is able to leave the scene and return home.

At Don Juan's home, he is visited by several people: one is a creditor who is turned away rather easily, and one is Juan's own father, who tells Juan of his disappointment in and contempt for his son and the life he has chosen. Finally, Donna Elvire comes to lovingly persuade Juan to change his ways, lest he burn in hell for his actions, but her entreaties have no effect.

Don Juan later finds his father in the country and tells him that he has repented, but he secretly reveals that he only said that to appease his father. After confronting Don Carlos, Don Juan is swallowed by the earth and the fires of hell as he is dragged to eternal damnation for his crimes, ending his terrible legacy.

Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1207

Don Juan’s philandering habits filled Sganarelle, his valet, with apprehension that such scandalous behavior could only bring on him the wrath of heaven and an evil end; but Don Juan blatantly affirmed that any love he had for one fair face could not withhold his heart from others, and as for heaven, he was not afraid of divine wrath. His valet knew him for the greatest scoundrel on earth, a man who was ready to woo a fine lady or country lass at any time but who tired of them in rapid succession. Through fear, however, he remained faithful to Don Juan and often applauded his master’s acts, even though he really detested them.

In one of his many affairs Don Juan had killed a Commander. Though officially pardoned, he was believed not entirely free of guilt, and friends and relatives of the dead man sought revenge. They followed Don Juan on one of his philandering journeys to a town where he determined to separate a pair of lovers he had chanced upon and to gratify his passion for the lady. The happy pair had planned a sail on the sea, and he prepared to follow in another vessel manned by villains ready to do his bidding.

Meanwhile, Donna Elvire, whom Don Juan had seduced and carried off from a convent where her brothers, Don Carlos and Don Alonse, had placed her, had got wind of his escapade and followed him. She upbraided him for his desertion. Don Juan refused to admit that he was tired of her, but he wished her to believe that he repented his former madcap behavior in forcing her...

(The entire section contains 1595 words.)

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