Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 453
Moliére's Don Juan is the story of a deceitful and womanizing man, Don Juan, who gets his comeuppance for the evils he enacts during his lifetime. He argues with others at great length and tries to convince them that he has done no wrong, but there is not a single repentant bone in his body, and in the end he is quite literally dragged to hell for his misdeeds.
Sganarelle: But, Sir, does the liberty you've given me also let me tell you that I am not a little scandalized by the life that you lead?
Don Juan: Oh? And what life exactly is it that I lead?
Sganarelle: Good, good. Well, for example, to see you marrying every month as you do . . .
Sganarelle is quick and to the point when speaking with his master. Don Juan is clearly a womanizer, and it is no exaggeration in the context of the play to say that he marries every month or so. The first act shows him married to Donna Elvire but already having set his sights on a new woman. The two are just recently married, but his tendency toward infidelity is so strong that he immediately latches onto a new lover, and he is shown to do this repeatedly throughout the play.
Mathurine: Sir, what are you doing here with Charlotte? Are you making overtures of love to her as well?
Mathurine is one of the women who has been seduced by Don Juan. She angrily enters the scene to see Don Juan courting Charlotte, who is engaged to Pierrot. Upon her arrival, Don Juan fabricates conflicting tales that he tells secretly to each woman, convincing both of them separately that all is well and that they should continue with their marriage plans. He weaves a tapestry of deceit that entangles both women but ensures his own safety and protects his lewd interests.
Thunder resounds and great lightning-bolts surround Don Juan; the earth opens and takes him; and he exits in the great flames burning where he has fallen.
The final scene of the play shows Don Juan literally consumed by the earth to burn in hell for his misdeeds. Just prior to this scene, he is tormented by a specter of death and the statue of a man he killed earlier in his life. He is warned that if he remains unrepentant, he will be destroyed and will burn in hell, but he maintains his ways and pushes himself even farther from salvation with his constant acts of adultery and deception. In the end, Sganarelle mourns only his loss of income, because Don Juan was so despicable that even those closest to him cared little if he lived or died.