16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Magnificently written, hilarious and still relevant today,
This review is from: Don Juan (Riverside editions) (Paperback)
Basically i am writing this to contradict another review, the one called 'universal?' and dated january 1999. ive just finished studying this poem for my a levels, and i can safely say that absolutely everything in this poem is a parody or analogy about something or someone else, which is what makes it the masterpeice that it is. Juan's mother Inez is used by Byron to satirise both his own mother and his wife Annabella Milbanke. Juan's lover Haidee's father Lambro is used as a device to demonstrate the stifling effect society has on love etc etc. EVERYTHING in it is meant to mock something else. Byron writes little snippets in the style of Wordsworth then scoffs as at them to show how easy it is (for him anyway) to write that sort of poetry, and also lays into other contempories of his such as Coleridge and Southey. Byron says 'fools are my theme, let satire be my song.' which fools? the fools he knew from his life, who he wrote about in this poem. in order to get the most from this poem, it is probably best to read a biography of Byron in order to understand all of the reference he makes (most of which are extremely funny). i read Maurois and McCarthy, and i'd recomend the latter, 'Byron, life and legend,' by Fiona McCarthy as the best companion to Don Juan.
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Initial post: 15 Jan 2013 22:26:43 GMT
Little Bobs says:
An A-level student?! His feelings and enthusiasm do him credit, but his slovenly writng of English does not.
Posted on 6 Sep 2013 13:58:45 BDT
Agreed. McCarthy is a great companion read to Don Juan. Canto 1 is utterly hilarious; no finer comic verse in the language. Such a shame he dies on us in Canto 17...come back, Byron, we need you now! What would he make, I wonder, of our divided world?
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