Short summary - Dom Juan - Molière - Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Dom Juan
Molière - Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

Having left his young wife, dona Elvira, Don Juan rushed in pursuit of yet another beauty that captivated him. He was not at all embarrassed that in the city where he arrived in her footsteps and where he intended to kidnap her, the commander had been killed six months earlier - and why worry if Don Juan killed him in a fair fight and was fully acquitted by justice. This circumstance was embarrassing to his servant Sganarelle, and not only because the deceased had relatives and friends here - it was somehow not good to return to where, if not human, then the divine law was definitely violated by you. However, Don Juan had nothing to do with the law - be it heavenly or earthly.
Sganarelle served his master not for conscience, but for fear, in the depths of his soul he considered him the most disgusting of the atheists, leading a life befitting rather cattle, some Epicurean pig than a good Christian. Just how badly he dealt with women was worthy of the highest punishment. Take at least the same dona Elvira, whom he kidnapped from the walls of the monastery, forced her to break her monastic vows, and soon abandoned her, disgraced. She was called his wife, but that meant absolutely nothing to Don Juan, because he got married almost once a month - each time insolently mocking the sacred sacrament.
At times Sganarelle found the courage to reproach the gentleman for an inappropriate way of life, to remind that jokes with the sky are bad, but in such a case, Don Juan had many folding tirades about the diversity of beauty and the decisive impossibility of forever associating himself with one its manifestation, about the sweetness of striving for the goal and the longing of calm possession of what has been achieved. When Don Juan was not disposed to grovel in front of the servant, in response to reproaches and warnings, he simply threatened to nail him.
Dona Elvira did not know her treacherous husband well and therefore went after him, and when she found it, she demanded an explanation. He did not explain anything to her, but only advised her to return back to the monastery. Doña Elvira did not reproach or curse Don Juan, but at parting she predicted imminent punishment from above.
The beauty, after whom he rushed this time, Don Juan intended to kidnap during a boat trip, but his plans were thwarted by an unexpected squall that overturned the boat with Sganarelle. The owner and the servant were pulled out of the water by the peasants who spent time on the shore.
Don Juan took the endured mortal danger as lightly as he treated everything in this world lightly: barely having time to dry himself, he was already courting a young peasant woman. Then another, the girlfriend of the very Pierrot, who saved his life, caught his eye, and he set to work on her, showered with unwise compliments, assuring him of the honesty and seriousness of his intentions, promising to marry without fail. Even when both passions were in front of him at the same time, Don Juan managed to conduct the matter in such a way that both were satisfied. Sganarelle tried to seize the moment and reveal to the simpletons the whole truth about his master, but the truth did not seem to interest them too much.
During such a pastime, our hero was found by a familiar robber, who warned him that twelve horsemen were prowling around in search of Don Juan. The forces were too unequal and Don Juan decided to go for a trick: he invited Sganarelle to change his dress, which did not at all delight the servant.
Don Juan and Sganarelle nevertheless changed their clothes, but not in the way the master had first suggested: he himself was now dressed as a peasant, and the servant as a doctor. The new outfit gave Sganarelle a reason to talk about the merits of various doctors and the drugs they prescribed, and then gradually move on to questions of faith. Here Don Juan laconically formulated his credo, amazed even the well-worn Sganarelle: the only thing that can be believed, he said, is that twice two is four, and twice four is eight.
In the forest, the master and the servant came across a beggar who promised to pray to God for them all his life if they would give him even a copper penny. Don Juan offered him a golden louis, but on condition that the beggar would change his rules and blaspheme. The beggar flatly refused. Despite this, Don Juan gave him a coin and immediately, with his sword bald, rushed to rescue the stranger, who was attacked by three robbers.
Together, they quickly dealt with the attackers. From the ensuing conversation Don Juan learned that before him was Donna Elvira's brother, Don Carlos. In the forest, he lagged behind his brother, Don Alonso, with whom they searched everywhere for Don Juan, in order to avenge his sister's outraged honor. Don Carlos did not know Don Giovanni by sight, but Don Alonso was well aware of his appearance. Don Alonso soon drove up with his small retinue and wanted to put an end to the offender at once, but Don Carlos asked his brother to postpone the reprisal - as gratitude for saving him from the robbers.
Continuing their way along the forest road, the master and the servant suddenly caught sight of a magnificent marble building, on closer inspection, it turned out to be the tomb of the commander killed by Don Juan. The tomb was decorated with a statue of striking work. In a mockery of the memory of the deceased, Don Juan ordered Sganarelle to ask the statue of the commander if he would like to dine with him today. Overcoming his shyness, Sganarelle asked this audacious question, and the statue nodded affirmatively in response. Don Juan did not believe in miracles, but when he repeated the invitation himself, the statue nodded to him too.
Don Juan spent the evening of that day in his apartment. Sganarelle was deeply impressed by the communication with the stone statue and kept trying to convince the owner that this miracle must have been shown as a warning to him that it was time to change his mind ... Don Juan asked the servant to shut up.
Throughout the evening, Don Juan was pestered by various visitors, who supposedly conspired not to let him have a quiet supper. At first, the supplier showed up (Don Juan owed him a lot), but, resorting to gross flattery, he made it so that the merchant soon left - unwillingly, but extremely pleased that such an important gentleman accepted him as a friend. The next was old Don Luis, Don Juan's father, driven to the extreme by his son's debauchery. He again, for the umpteenth time, spoke about the glory of the ancestors, stained by the unworthy acts of the descendant, about the noble virtues, which only made Don Juan bored and strengthened his conviction that it would be good for fathers to die early, instead of annoying their sons all their lives ...
As soon as the door was closed behind Don Luis, the servants reported that some lady under a veil wanted to see Don Giovanni. It was dona Elvira. She firmly decided to retire from the world and came to him for the last time, moved by love, to beg for the sake of all that is holy to change her life, for it was revealed to her that Don Juan's sins had exhausted the supply of heavenly mercy, that perhaps he had only one day to repent and ward off a terrible punishment. Dona Elvira's words made Sganarelle burst into tears, while Don Juan, thanks to her unusual appearance, caused only a very specific desire.
When Don Juan and Sganarelle had finally sat down to dinner, the only guest who had been invited to-day appeared - the statue of the Commander. The owner did not fall out and calmly dined with the stone guest. leaving, the commander invited Don Juan to pay a return visit the next day. He accepted the invitation.
The next day, old Don Luis was happier than ever: first, the news reached him that his son had decided to reform and break with the vicious past, and then he met Don Juan himself, and he confirmed that yes, he repented and from now on he was starting a new life. ...
The master's words spilled like a balm on Sganarelle's soul, but as soon as the old man left, Don Juan explained to the servant that all his repentance and correction was nothing more than a trick. Hypocrisy and pretense is a fashionable vice that easily passes for virtue, and therefore it is a sin not to surrender to it.
Very soon Sganarelle became convinced of how useful hypocrisy is in life - when Don Carlos met him with the owner and menacingly asked if Don Giovanni intends to publicly call dona Elvira his wife. Referring to the will of heaven, which was revealed to him now, when he had embarked on the path of righteousness, the pretender argued that for the salvation of his and her soul, they should not renew the marriage union. Don Carlos listened to him and even let him go in peace, leaving, however, the right to somehow achieve final clarity on this issue in a fair fight. For a short time, however, Don Giovanni had to blaspheme with impunity, referring to the alleged voice from above. Heaven really showed him a sign - a ghost in the form of a woman under a veil, who ominously said that Don Juan had one moment left to appeal to heavenly mercy. Don Juan was not afraid this time either, and arrogantly declared that he was not used to such treatment. Then the ghost transformed into a figure of Time with a scythe in his hand, and then disappeared.
When the statue of the commander appeared in front of Don Juan and held out his hand to shake it, he boldly held out his. Feeling the shaking of the stone hand and hearing from the statue the words about the terrible death awaiting the one who rejected heavenly mercy, Don Juan felt that an invisible flame was burning him. The earth opened up and swallowed him, and from the place where he disappeared, flames burst out.
The death of Don Juan played into the hands of very many, except, perhaps, the long-suffering Sganarelle - who will now pay him his salary?