Don Juan By Lord Byron Study Help Essay Questions

1.     Don Juan has sometimes been called an epic. Look up some definitions of epic and decide whether Don Juan may properly be called an epic or not.

2. Read Tirso de Molina's play The Rogue of Seville and write an essay comparing and contrasting de Molina's play and Byron's poem about Don Juan.

3. What is the controlling idea of Byron's Don Juan?

4. Look up some definitions of picaresque novel and write an essay on Don Juan as picaresque novel.

5. Judging from Don Juan, what are Byron's views on man? Provide evidence.

6. Determine the kind and amount of realism in Don Juan.

7. Judging from what he says about himself in Don Juan, what is Byron's philosophy of life?

8. Read the chapters on the history of the realistic novel in a standard history of the novel and decide whether or not Don Juan can be considered a realistic novel in verse.

9. Is Don Juan an interesting main character for a narrative poem? Supply evidence in support of your opinion.

10. Is it true that Don Juan is merely a character to whom things happen?

11. Discuss Byron's use of digression in Don Juan. Is it a welcome addition to his narrative or does it weaken Don Juan as a poem? Compare Henry Fielding's use of digression in Tom Jones with Byron's use of digression in Don Juan.

12. Keeping in mind the total narrative content of Don Juan, sketch a suitable conclusion for the poem that will be consistent with the character of Don Juan.

13. Write an essay on the male characters in Don Juan. Decide which of them is the most interesting and give the reasons why.

14. Write an essay on the female characters in Don Juan. Decide which of them is the most interesting and give the reasons why.

15. In your opinion, is Byron more successful in creating female characters than he is in creating male characters? Supply evidence.

16. Read Henry Fielding's Tom Jones and compare it as narrative with Byron's Don Juan.

17. Would Byron's Don Juan be more interesting and entertaining if written in prose?

18. Read three other treatments of the Don Juan legend, including the one in George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, and compare them with Byron's Don Juan.

19. What is the best episode in Don Juan from every point of view? Supply evidence to support your opinion.

20. What image of Byron as an individual emerges from a reading of Don Juan? Is this image consistent with that to be found in any good biography of Byron?

21. Compare and contrast Byron's Don Juan with his Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

22. Discuss the part played by Donna Inez in the formation of Don Juan's character.

23. Read a reliable account of the life of Catherine the Great of Russia and decide whether Byron's characterization is historically accurate or not.

24. Read a reliable account of the life of Marshal Suvaroff (Suvorov) and decide whether Byron's characterization is historically accurate or not.

25. Compare and contrast Byron's Don Juan-Haidée episode with any earlier love story in verse.

26. What is the value of dialogue in narrative? How much dialogue does Byron use in Don Juan? Which canto contains the most dialogue? Compare that canto in literary quality with the others.

27. Make a list of the people satirized in Don Juan. For what faults does Byron satirize them?

28. Make a list of the subjects Byron makes digressive comments on in Don Juan. 29.Write a research paper on the long quarrel between Byron and Robert Southey. 30.Using Don Juan as your source of evidence, write an essay on Byron's theory of poetry.

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