Study Guide

Don Juan Youth

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On several occasions in Don Juan, Byron makes a point of reminding us that DJ is just a young and inexperienced man. He does this to make Don Juan come across as an innocent observer in a world that Byron is dead-set on ridiculing at every turn. Wherever we look, we find older people who are hypocrites, murderers, and cheats. But Don Juan always seems to rise above this stuff because he's so young and removed from all the corruption of the nineteenth-century world.

Questions About Youth

  1. What's our first impression of Don Juan when he's just a little kid? How does Byron change this view as the poem goes on?
  2. How much does Don Juan's youth and inexperience lead him to have a sexual affair with Julia? Could he have acted differently if he knew more about the world?
  3. Do you think Donna Inez's attempts to shield Don Juan from sexual knowledge backfire? Why or why not?

Chew on This

In Don Juan, we find that youth is often a person's only defense against an adult world of total hypocrisy.

Don Juan shows us that young people tend to be irresponsible because they have just about no idea how the real world works.

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