Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. The name is sometimes used figuratively, as a synonym for "seducer". The story ends dramatically, with Don Juan's descent to Hell.
Most agree that Don Juan is based on a legendary 17th century Spanish nobleman Don Juan Tenorio.
The legends say that Don Juan seduced a young girl of noble family and killed her father. Later, he came across a statue of the father in a cemetery and invited it home to dine with him. The ghost of the father arrived for dinner as the harbinger of Don Juan's death and dragged him to hell.
Most authorities agree that the first recorded tale of Don Juan is "El burlador de Sevilla" by Tirso de Molina. Dates vary for the first publication of this, from 1620 to 1635, depending on the source.
Other works derived from the story of Don Juan:
- 1665: Molière's comic play Dom Juan (Molière)
- 1787: Mozart's opera Don Giovanni
- 1821: Byron's epic poem Don Juan (Byron)
- 1831: Alexandre Dumas, père's play Don Juan de Marana
- 1844: José Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio
- 1878: The Finding of Don Juan by Haidee, painting by Ford Madox Brown
- 1889: Richard Strauss' symphonic poem Don Juan (Strauss)
- 1903: George Bernard Shaws play Man and Superman
- Innumerable movies (IMDB link), perhaps the most famous of which is the 1995 film "Don Juan deMarco" starring Johnny Depp in the role of Don Juan, and also starring Marlon Brando.
- Max Frisch's Don Juan oder die Liebe zur Geometrie
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