Study Guide

Don Juan Education

By George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron

Education

Byron is concerned with the question of childhood education because he thinks it's the main reason why people become bad or good adults later in life. This is true for Don Juan, whose doting mother raises him to be selfish and conceited. Don Juan is a good guy deep down, but he carries the traces of his selfish pride straight into adulthood. For Byron, people often turn out well in spite of the poor educations they received as children. In his mind, children should be treated with all the respect of adults and given the freedom to draw their own conclusions about life. Otherwise, they're just going to recreate the problems of their parents' generation. And Byron thinks there are plenty of those to go around.

Questions About Education

  1. Do you think that Byron is right about giving children sexual education as early as possible? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think Byron is right when he suggests that education shapes human personality more than personal nature? Why or why not?
  3. Apart from Donna Inez, which characters try to "educate" Don Juan? How do they plan on doing so?
  4. Why does Byron recommend that parents send their children away to public school instead of teaching them at home?

Chew on This

In Don Juan, we find that human nature, not education, is the main force determining a person's personality.

Not so fast, there. In Don Juan, Byron shows us that a proper education can make a good person out of a bad one.

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