The Trickster of Seville

by Gabriel Téllez
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Characters

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 173

The principal characters of Tirso de Molina's (Gabriel Tellez') El Burlador de Sevilla (The Trickster of Seville) are as follows:

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Don Juan Tenorio, a young nobleman, a "libertine" who today would probably be considered a sex addict.

Duchess Isabel, a noblewoman who is betrothed to Duke Octavio but seduced by Don Juan at the opening of the story.

Ripio, Octavio's servant.

Catalinon, Don Juan's servant.

Don Pedro, Don Juan's uncle, an ambassador.

King Alfonso XI of Spain.

Thisbe, A young fisherwoman, another of Juan's victims.

Anfriso and Coridon, fishermen.

Don Gonzalo, the king's Lord Commander, who after death is resurrected as the Stone Guest.

Don Diego, Don Juan's father, and the King's High Chamberlain.

Doña Anna, daughter of Don Gonzalo. Don Juan in disguise makes an attempt on her but apparently is stopped.

the Marquis de la Mota, Anna's betrothed.

Aminta, a peasant girl into whose wedding Don Juan intrudes and whom he tricks into having a relationship with him.

Patricio, Aminta's betrothed.

Gaseno, Aminta's father.

Various other servants, musicians and singers.

Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 658

Don Juan Tenorio

Don Juan Tenorio (WAHN teh-NOH-ree-oh), the protagonist, the typical depiction of the legendary Don Juan figure, whose main mission in life is to seduce as many women as possible. He achieves this end through trickery and sweet talk. In Naples, he steals into Isabela’s room under cover of darkness, disguised as Duke Octavio, her lover. When Isabela calls for light after their sexual encounter, his true identity is revealed. He is immediately arrested, only to be permitted to escape through the connivance of his uncle, Don Pedro Tenorio, the Spanish ambassador to Italy. Don Juan next seduces Tisbea, a fisherman’s daughter. Upon arriving in Seville, Don Juan discovers that the king has arranged his marriage to Doña Ana, who is in love with her cousin, the Marqués de la Mota. Don Juan, using trickery, insinuates himself into one of their nightly trysts, but when Doña Ana screams, her father, Don Gonzalo de Ulloa, enters the room and engages in a duel with Don Juan, who kills the old man. Don Juan makes hasty tracks from Seville to a small village where Aminta is planning to marry Batricio, but Don Juan steals into Aminta’s bed before the nuptials. Meanwhile Duke Octavio, having learned of Don Juan’s defiling of Isabela, presses Don Juan to marry her, to make her an “honest woman.” Don Juan comes to the tomb of Don Gonzalo and reads the inscription: “Here the most loyal knight waits for the Lord to wreak vengeance upon a traitor.” Affronted by the inscription, Don Juan completely forgets that in seducing Aminta, he had promised that if he did not marry her, God would kill him, by means of a dead man, for treachery and deceit. After two bizarre dinners with the statue of Don Gonzalo, Don Juan meets his end and all the other principals marry save for Tisbea, who never finds a husband.

Catalinón

Catalinón (kah-TAH-lee-NOHN), Don Juan’s servant, who always has horses at the ready for his master’s escapes. Catalinón continually warns his master about the possible consequences of his profligacy, but Don Juan brushes his admonitions aside by repeating, “That is a long way off.”

Isabela

Isabela (ee-sah-BEHL-ah), an aristocratic young woman of Naples, in love with Duke Octavio, whom she eventually marries. She is tricked into having sex with Don Juan, who appears in her bed under cover of darkness and whom she mistakes for Duke Octavio.

Don Pedro Tenorio

Don Pedro Tenorio (PEH-droh), Don Juan’s uncle, Spanish ambassador to Italy, who arranges for his nephew’s escape after his arrest for seducing Isabela.

Marqués de la Mota

Marqués de la Mota (MOH-tah), Doña Ana’s lover and cousin. Don Juan intercepts a letter from him to Doña Ana and, changing the time of their meeting, impersonates the Marqués in order to seduce Doña Ana.

Don Gonzalo de Ulloa

Don Gonzalo de Ulloa (gohn-ZAH-loh deh ew-LYOH-ah), Doña Ana’s father, who catches Don Juan in his daughter’s bed and challenges him to a duel, in which Don Gonzalo is killed. The statue of this nobleman at his tomb then brings about Don Juan’s downfall.

Tisbea

Tisbea (TIHS-bay-ah), a simple fisherman’s daughter, who rescues Don Juan after he is shipwrecked on the Spanish coast following his escape from Naples. Don Juan seduces her by promising marriage, but at his master’s command, Catalinón already has horses standing by to assure Don Juan’s escape as soon as he has had his way with Tisbea. In the end, Tisbea is the only one of Don Juan’s seductees who does not marry.

Aminta

Aminta (ah-MIHN-tah), betrothed to Batricio when Don Juan, escaping from his deadly encounter with Don Gonzalo, arrives in her small town and insinuates himself upon the unsuspecting woman, who awaits her lover’s arrival in her bed.

Bibliography

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 167

Conlon, Raymond. “The Burlador and the Burlados: A Sinister Connection.” Bulletin of the Comediantes 42, no. 1 (Summer, 1990): 5-22. Discusses the symbolic connection between Don Juan and Duke Octavio, examining and comparing their treatment of women.

McClelland, I. L. Tirso de Molina: Studies in Dramatic Realism. Liverpool: Institute of Hispanic Studies, 1948. Discusses how Tirso’s drama prefigures the dramatic ideals of the eighteenth century. Defines realism in the Trickster of Seville; gives Tirso’s concept of the supernatural.

Weinstein, Leo. The Metamorphoses of Don Juan. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1959. Traces the origin of the Don Juan legend to Tirso’s The Trickster of Seville and explains Don Juan as a practical joker. Shows how various authors have modified the original story.

Wilson, Maragret. Spanish Drama of the Golden Age. New York: Pergamon Press, 1969. An excellent summary of the characteristics of the new comedia created by Vega Carpio. Compares Tirso’s comedias with those of Vega Carpio; chapters and 7 and 8 contain a helpful explanation of The Trickster of Seville.

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