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How does Byron present the lovers in Canto 1 Stanzas 104-117 of "Don Juan"?

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How does Byron present the lovers in this passage? Canto 1 Stanzas 104-117 " 'T was on the sixth of June, about the hour Of half-past six - perhaps still nearer seven" Stanza 104 when the lovers, Juan and Julia, met in the leafy bower. They meet here as a result of Donna Inez's plot to engage Don Alfonso's wife in adultery with Juan because she is jealous of his choosing Julia over here hence: - Julia was - yet I could never see why - With Donna Inez quite a favored friend; .................................................. Some people whisper (but no doubt they lie, For malice still imputes some private end) That Inez had, ere Don Alfonso's marriage, Forgot with him her very prudent carriage," Stanza 66 Despite Donna Inez's wish not to have her son instructed in any way about love or lovemaking she seems happy to use him as a pawn in her games with Don Alfonso. Juan is shown by this stage in the poem to be a young man of 16 somewhat changed from the young wretch who, " For little Juan o'er me threw, down stairs, A pail of housemaid's water unawares" Stanza 24 although he remains in a state of complete sexual unawareness as his mother had always intended. "Was, that his breeding should be strictly moral; Much into all his studies she inquired" Stanza 39 He had matured into a "Young Juan now was sixteen years of age, Tall, handsome, ...read more.


Donna Inez has plotted this little tete a tete from the beginning as her revenge on Don Alfonso. Another idea for why she has engineered this is that she wants to complete her son's education with this act of lovemaking. She has turned to a married woman for this so her son is not taken away from her. "She had some other motive much more near For leaving Juan to this new temptation." (Stanza 101) Now we see the lover's once more alone within the leafy bower as Donna Inez has arranged. Julia is compared to a houri (beautiful female companion to the faithful in the Muslim paradise) "As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven" (Stanza 104) Both are so much in love with each other at this stage that "But there were she and Juan face to face. When two such faces are so, 'twould be wise, But very difficult, to shut their eyes." (Stanza 105) They both have eyes only for each other and although Julia knows what is happening at this stage she feels that she is doing no wrong. "How beautiful she looked! Her conscious heart Glowed in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong." (Stanza 106) Love is making her blind to the consequences of her actions. "How self deceitful is sagest part." (Stanza 106) And her naivety still shines through even though she is married. ...read more.


"Yet still she must have thought there was no harm, Or else 'twere easy to withdraw her waist." But she stops fooling around and agrees, "the situation had its charm," Now Byron comes in with one of his favourite phrases - "I can't go on;" This suggests a sexual encounter in progress as Byron repeatedly uses this phrase throughout the poem to suggest a situation where something rude or risqu� may be happening. (****I need to find another usage of I can't go on - in the book somewhere*****). Finally in Stanza 17 Julia gives in to the urges that had been plaguing her for along while like she always knew she would and surrenders to Juan's clumsy advances though claiming to have repentance that seems to be a little tongue in cheek. "Not that remorse did not oppose temptation; A little still she strove and much repented," The lovers are presented as young, innocents within the context of these stanzas although it is my own personal view (aided with numerous hints from the poem - such as "but then the situation had its charm") that Julia was intending to sleep with Juan all along and was just making him work for it. Both of them are na�ve in their own way - Julia in thinking that Juan's advances on her and her love for him were just a game and Juan for being ignorant of all things sexual with Julia being the first, attractive girl near his own age whom he'd ever met on a social, regular basis. M.Holland ...read more.

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