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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 489

The Trickster of Seville is a play written by Spanish playwright Tirso de Molina, which premiered sometime between 1616 and 1630. It is a dramatic reinterpretation of Don Juan, a fictional archetype of the literary figure of the libertine, an individual who philosophically resists all personal restraint.

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The play is split into three acts. In act one, Don Juan makes love to the duchess Isabela in Naples. Isabela turns on the lamp and realizes that he is not her lover, Duke Octavio. A palace official named Don Pedro arrests Don Juan, but he reveals that he is his nephew, causing a change of heart. Don Pedro helps Don Juan escape and announces that the man in the bedroom was Duke Octavio. After Octavio is arrested, he becomes suspicious that Isabela has cheated on him and flees the country. Meanwhile, Don Juan falls immediately in love with a peasant girl who shelters him after finding him unconscious. When Don Juan also flees the country, she despairs and unsuccessfully attempts suicide by jumping into the ocean.

Act two begins in Seville, where Don Juan's father, Don Diego, reveals to the king that Don Juan has violated Isabela. The king retracts his offer of an arranged marriage between Don Juan and Doña Ana, a nobleman's daughter. He also bans him from Spain. When Octavio arrives and pleas for mercy, the king sympathizes and grants him lodging in the castle. Don Juan befriends a man named Marquis de la Mota, who tells him that he is in love with a woman named Doña Ana. Don Diego facetiously sets up a meeting between the two, ostensibly so that Mota can profess his love. However, he derails the meeting, instigating a sword fight in which he kills Doña Ana's father. He gives Mota his cloak so that Mota is accused of the crime. At the act's end, Don Juan meets a woman named Aminta, the soon-to-be bride of Batricio. Batricio is threatened by Don Juan's status but lacks the power to kick him out.

In Act three, Don Juan carries out his plan to marry Aminta. He claims that he took her virginity and that therefore she must marry him. Meanwhile, Isabela runs into the surviving peasant girl Tisbea, and they team up to find Don Juan. The ghost of Doña Ana's father, Gonzalo, invites Don Juan to a graveyard, challenging him to dine on an elaborate meal of scorpions and vipers. When Don Juan is finished, the ghost smites him, and his body vanishes. The play concludes with a scene at the palace where everyone is telling the king about Don Juan's mischief. Catalinón, Don Juan's assistant, runs in and announces that he is dead. All of Don Juan's former lovers are declared widows, freeing them up to find new lovers. Mota decides to marry Ana, Octavio marries Isabela, and the rest are freed from Don Juan's tyranny and return home.


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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 918

In Naples, Italy, Don Juan Tenorio deceives Isabela by impersonating her lover, Duke Octavio, under the cover of darkness. After Isabela tells Don Juan that she wants to light a lamp, he confesses to her that he is not Duke Octavio. Isabela screams, and Don Juan is apprehended. He is permitted to escape, however, by his uncle Don Pedro Tenorio, the Spanish ambassador.

During a voyage to Spain, Don Juan is shipwrecked on the coast and is rescued by a fisherman’s daughter named Tisbea. When Don Juan regains consciousness in Tisbea’s arms, he begins to conquer this woman of the lower class. He ardently declares his love, discredits arguments regarding the inequality of their social stations and the responsibilities of marriage vows, and finally obtains her consent to his desires by promising to marry her. Don Juan has ordered his servant, Catalinón, to prepare their horses so that they can escape quickly after he has tricked the young...

(The entire section contains 1407 words.)

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