Byronís exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, beginning with his illicit love affair at the age of sixteen in his native Spain and his subsequent exile to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Gree......more
Byronís exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, beginning with his illicit love affair at the age of sixteen in his native Spain and his subsequent exile to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Greece, where he is sold as a slave, and to Russia, where he becomes a favorite of the Empress Catherine who sends him on to England. Written in ottava rima stanza form, Byronís Don Juan blends high drama with earthy humor, outrageous satire of his contemporaries, and sharp mockery of Western societies, with England coming under particular attack.
Byronís contemporary popularity was based first on Childe Harold and the ĎTalesí, and then on Don Juan (1819-24), his most sophisticated and accomplished writing. He was one of the strongest exemplars of the Romantic movement, and the Byronic hero was a prototype widely imitated in European and American literature.
Susan J. Wolfson is professor of English at Princeton University.
Peter J. Manning is chair and professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook.
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