The Peripeteia of Don Juan

The story of the infamous Don Juan has been recanted in various forms and settings over the years. However the event that interests me most is the subtle peripeteia of regarding Don Juan, and the brother of Elvira. Peripeteia is defined as the moment or realization, where ignorance is transformed into a shocking truth. The moment where Oedipus realizes he is married to his mother being the most famous of these discoveries.

After abandoning his love, Elvira, Don Juan seeked a new relationship. However, her brothers’ wrath encouraged them to kill Don Juan for his actions. The play goes on and Don Juan saves a stranger from bandits. The Stranger, who is ironically Elvira’s Brother, admits that he owes his life to Don Juan. It is only when they realize who the other is, is the shocking truth revealed. The brother chooses to forgive Don Juan of his actions.

Ironic occurrences such as this are riddled through the literature of the world, notably in the works of Wilde, Shakespeare, and Sophocles. Moliere’s adaptation of the story, puts him at this high level of literature.