The Trickster of Seville

by Gabriel Téllez

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Characters

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Last Updated November 3, 2023.

Don Juan 

A classic libertine, Don Juan is an immoral philanderer. He is motivated by little more than the desire for sexual gratification; his willingness to hurt others in the single-minded pursuit of his desires marks him as callous and uncaring. Everywhere he goes, Don Juan assaults women, disrupts relationships, and causes general havoc. In the play, his actions result in a false accusation of sexual assault against an innocent man, pain and anguish for every woman he encounters, and even murder. Don Juan makes light of his misdeeds, arguing that his sexual needs are a medical condition and, therefore, out of his control. Although he is a miscreant, he is clever and evades capture at every turn. Don Juan is an unlikable character, but his light-hearted wit and wild adventures across the Spanish countryside offer a comical allure that has lasted centuries.

Catalinón

Catalinón is Don Juan’s servant and companion. He is present throughout most of his master's hijinks in Italy and Spain, and although Catalinón does not stop Don Juan's immoral ways, he does seem to act as something of a conscience. Catalinón often chides his master after he has committed a particularly egregious action, as he does while leaving Tarragona, leaving the suicidal Thisbe alone. Despite his lack of agency, Catalinón eventually proves his honesty; after Don Juan’s death, he reveals the depths of his master’s sins to the king. 

Duchess Isabel

Duchess Isabel is a woman living in Naples, Italy. She is tricked by Don Juan and unwittingly invites him to her bed, thinking he is her lover, Duke Octavio. Duchess Isabel is the first woman Don Juan wrongs in the play. A proud woman willing to advocate for herself, Duchess Isabel makes her voice heard, as she does when the king decrees that she must marry her assailant. 

Duke Octavio

Duke Octavio is Duchess Isabel’s lover and is initially blamed for her assault. He is quick to jump to conclusions; when he is charged with violating her, he sees the crime as a sign that she has been unfaithful. Indeed, he decides to leave the country rather than clear his name and comfort Isabel. 

Don Pedro 

Don Juan’s uncle, Don Pedro, is an ambassador working in Naples, Italy. He responds to Duchess Isabel’s screams of fear and apprehends her assailant, but upon learning that it is his nephew, he releases him and blames another man. Don Pedro is a sympathetic and family-oriented man, but this leads him to make poor, unjust decisions that harm others and deter justice from being meted out. 

Don Gonzalo

Don Gonzalo is the King’s Lord Commander. He has a daughter of marriageable age and spends the play's first act seeking a husband for her. Don Gonzalo is a determined man; when Don Juan attempts to assault his daughter, Don Gonzalo promises that vengeance will be his, and, indeed, it is. His abiding love for his wronged daughter and anger at his unfair death led to his resurrection as the Stone Guest. From beyond the grave, Don Gonzalo proves his deadly dedication, murdering the man responsible for his family’s suffering. 

Doña Ana

Doña Ana is Don Gonzalo’s daughter. She is the object of the Marquis de la Mota’s affection but becomes yet another victim of Don Juan’s. 

Thisbe

Thisbe is a peasant girl living on the seashore of Tarragona, Spain. She is a kind soul who immediately jumps to action upon discovering two unconscious men near her home and attempts to resuscitate them. After they awaken, she opens her home to them, offering food and aid. Don Juan rewards her...

(This entire section contains 843 words.)

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kindness with betrayal, abandoning her to shame and sorrow. Despite her simple lifestyle, she is a proud and determined young woman.

Don Diego 

Don Juan’s father, Don Diego, is a man of honesty and integrity. When he learns of his son’s misdeeds, he abandons his family allegiance to right his son’s transgressions. In so doing, he exonerates the innocent Duke Octavio and incriminates his own son to the king. His actions are difficult but respectable, and he shows himself to be a respectful and law-abiding citizen. Don Diego holds the position of High Chamberlain. 

Marquis de la Mota

Similar to Don Juan, Marquis de la Mota is a womanizer; however, unlike Don Juan, he has his sights set on one woman, to whom he feels entitled. His affections for Doña Ana have disastrous consequences. While his lust ultimately results in their union, it also results in the death of her father.

Aminta 

Aminta is another peasant woman seduced by Don Juan. However, her seduction is far more insidious; on her wedding day, Don Juan arrives. Taken by her beauty, he claims that her marriage is null, as he took her virginity. As such, she is his wife, and he aims to treat her as such. At the end of the play, she returns to her village home and her peasant husband, Patricio. 

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