- Title Pages
- Series Editor’s Foreword
- Chapter One Evil, Unintelligibility, Radicality
- Chapter Two Kakology
- Chapter Three Evil in the Hebrew Bible
- Reflection The Early History of Satan
- Reflection Meat and Evil
- Chapter Four Explaining Evil in Plato, Euripides, and Seneca
- Chapter Five Explaining Evil in Late Antiquity
- Chapter Six Augustine on Evil
- Reflection Hell as a Problem of Evil in Medieval Women Mystics
- Chapter Seven . . . but draw not nigh this tree
- Chapter Eight Evil and Late Medieval Thought
- Reflection Dante on the Evil of Treachery
- Reflection Calvinism and the Demonic in the Divine
- Reflection Feminine Evil and Witchcraft
- Chapter Nine Evils, Privations, and the Early Moderns
- Reflection Is Don Giovanni Evil?
- Reflection Kant’s Journey on Evil
- Chapter Ten Evil in Classical German Philosophy
- Reflection Leopardi
- Chapter Eleven What Happened to Evil?
- Chapter Twelve Evil, Natural Science, and Animal Suffering
- Reflection Cinematic Evil
- Reflection The Banality of Evil
- Chapter Thirteen Evil After the Holocaust
- Reflection Satanically Great Instigators and Banal Compliers
- Reflection On Google and Not Being Evil
Is Don Giovanni Evil?
Is Don Giovanni Evil?
- (p.306) Reflection Is Don Giovanni Evil?
- Oxford University Press
Although Mozart’s librettist for Don Giovanni, Lorenzo Da Ponte, explicitly invoked Dante’s Inferno as a source of his inspiration, both text and music tell a much more ambivalent story. The parts of the action familiar to its first audiences (the night-time escape and duel, the country maid, the statue of the dead Commander coming to dinner) were complicated by Don Giovanni’s persuasive, even heroic music and the hyper-dramatic self-justifications by his would-be conquests. Chronicling the Don’s last day, the opera focuses on his behaviors both nonchalant and impassioned as well as the inability of patriarchal norms and punishments to contain him. The opening scene, the episodic introduction of the women, and the serenade in Act II are seen here as telling examples of Mozart and Da Ponte’s desire—as in their other two collaborations, Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte—to accommodate a serious moral tale to the poignant delights of comic opera. They reveal a vision of the Don beyond good and evil.
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