Tirso de Molina, El Burlador de Sevilla [The Trickster of Seville]

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It is a curious fact that Spanish Golden-Age plays seldom announce the name of the protagonist in their titles. Unlike contemporary drama in French (

Phèdre, Andromaque

) and English (

Hamlet, Othello, King Lear

), Spanish titles tend to highlight instead a profession or office (

The Mayor of Zalamea

), a salient characteristic (

The Trickster of Seville

), or a concept (

Life is a Dream


The Burlador of Tirso’s play is the original Don Juan Tenorio, who has been reincarnated, rehabilitated, and even ridiculed by subsequent writers, in more than six hundred variations. As suggested by the title, Tirso’s Don Juan is more trickster than lover. We are still a long way from the mille tre of Mozart and Da Ponte’s Don Giovanni. The main character’s motivation in his deceitful acts is to

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Citation: Parr, James A.. "El Burlador de Sevilla". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13224, accessed 15 June 2024.]

13224 El Burlador de Sevilla 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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