Study Guide

Don Juan Canto IV

By George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron

Canto IV

  • Byron opens this canto by talking about how clever he thought he was as a boy. It's funny because he clearly still thinks he's pretty clever.
  • Once again, Byron feels compelled to talk about how many of his readers think he's immoral. That's great and all, but when is he going to get back to the plot?
  • We finally return to Don Juan and Haidée, who still haven't realized that Haidée's pirate father Lambro has returned home. Byron even changes the story a bit to say that Lambro has walked in on them sleeping next to each other with their cheeks pressed together.
  • Haidée is dreaming about being chained to a rock on a distant seashore, while the waves rise all around her. Then she's in some sort of cave.
  • She finally wakes up and shrieks to find her father staring at her and Don Juan. DJ wakes up and draws his sword. Lambro tells him to put the thing away, since he (Lambro) can call on twenty armed men with little effort. When DJ refuses, though, the man finally gets angry. He pulls out his pistol and repeats his order. But Haidée throws herself in front of DJ. Lambro puts away his gun and calls on his guards. He snatches his daughter away with a quick movement while his men grab DJ.
  • DJ takes out a few of Lambro's men before one of them cuts him in the side and he drops to the floor. The last thing Haidée sees is DJ falling. When her father pulls her from the room, she thinks her lover is dead.
  • Haidée is taken away unconscious, for she has fainted from the commotion. She eventually wakes up and half-forgets what happened. She never really regains her former strength. After twelve days, she gives up and dies. We then find out that she was pregnant with DJ's baby, which has also died with her.
  • Byron dwells a while on the sadness of Haidée's death before returning to Don Juan. Lambro has decided to sell him as a slave since that's what Lambro is good at.
  • DJ meets a group of Italian singers who have also been captured as slaves. They chat for a while about where they come from and where they might be going (gulp, as slaves). One by one, we learn that none of the Italian singers are very good at what they do.
  • We have a brief description of some of the people who get sold as slaves at an auction. But we're left hanging when it comes to Don Juan.

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