Don Juan

Don Juan  (don jū´an ; Sp. pron. dōn Hö-än ´).—Typifies in literature a profligate. He gives himself up so entirely to the gratification of sense, especially to the most powerful of all the impulses, that of love, that he acknowledges no higher consideration, and proceeds to murder the man that stands between him and his wish, fancying that in so doing he had annihilated his very existence. He then defies that Spirit to prove to his senses his existence. The Spirit returns and compels Don Juan to acknowledge the supremacy of spirit, and the worthlessness of a merely sensuous existence. The traditions concerning Don Juan have been dramatized by Tirso de Molina. Glück has a musical ballet, Don Juan, and Mozart has immortalized the character in his opera Don Giovanni ; and Byron in a half-finished poem.