Don Juan Tenorio

Zorrilla, José (1817-1893), translated by Mayberry, N. K. & Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Don Juan Tenorio, a play in two parts by José Zorrilla, was first staged in Madrid in 1844. It offers a romanticised interpretation of the Don Juan legend, differing from the earlier 1630 work El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (“The Trickster of Seville and the Guest of Stone”), attributed to Tirso de Molina. Nevertheless, Zorrilla’s rendition was greatly influenced by de Molina’s work: as he himself acknowledged in his 1880 memoirs, Recuerdos del tiempo viejo (“Memories of the Old Times”).

Zorrilla’s version, which also incorporated elements from Mérimée’s Les Âmes du Purgatoire (1834) and Dumas’s Don Juan de Marana, ou la Chute d'un ange (1836), achieved wide acclaim in Spanish literature. The play became a staple performance in Spanish-speaking regions, particularly for the Feast of the Dead.

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Mayberry, N. K. & Kline, A. S.

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