Chapter: English Literature During The Romantic Period
Don Juan is a poem about Don Juan that rambles on forever about nothing in particular while sounding pretty. I realize that this is generally the point of poetry, but Byron is also trying to tell a story, and in this he's something of a failure. I mean, it's a good story, but his narrative is bogged down with endless digressions. The actual plot in this epic poem takes up maybe 20% of each canto, leaving the rest for flowery padding. Again, that's not necessarily a bad thing, if you're into long, pretty poetry. It just rubs me the wrong way as a guy trying to read a story.
Anyway, the Norton only prints the first four (of seventeen) absurdly long cantos, so don't expect much in the way of comicry. To start with, our hero - the legendary Don Juan, who seems to be a magnet for both trouble and lusty women - is caught in bed with another man's wife. Shoes are involved in some way. Also, Don Juan is only sixteen at this point, but since this was two hundred years ago, and since the age of consent varies wildly around the world, I guess we can't judge these folks too harshly.
I mean, we can - and I will - but... y'know, I think this commentary is starting to spiral out of control.
Author: Lord Byron •
Year: 1819 to 1824 •