Abi's Reviews > Don Juan

Don Juan by George Gordon Byron
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's review
Jun 05, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: university-required-reading, 19th-century, england, poetry

So, one day before the exam and I've finally read one of the core texts (well, the first two Cantos - I haven't really read the whole poem yet). It was really funny! I wish I'd bothered earlier. After so much deadly serious, naval-gazing contemplation of nature and the human spirit, how refreshing to get around to this. It's not that Byron doesn't tackle serious issues, it's just that he does it with such wicked irreverence and wears his philosophising lightly rather than becoming bogged down in it. It's very rarely a poem manages to be both profound and genuinely comical.
Don't get me wrong, I sometimes enjoy the inspired-by-nature romantic poet thing, just in somewhat smaller doses. Byron goes into third place in my romantic poet rankings, behind Blake and Shelley (the political stuff). Also, as a closet Castlereagh fan, I loved the references to everyone's favourite suicidal Tory aristocrat.

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