Coming into Don Juan, I was reminded of the Old English poem Beowulf. I mainly thought of Beowulf because Don Juan is one of those poems that must have a long background before it gets to the character it is named after. I was surprised, then, that Don Juan himself did not appear to be an epic hero like Beowulf. Or, if he could be considered an epic hero, then he is a conquerer of women and not a conquerer of demons and dragons. At least the representation of women is better in this poem than in Beowulf. The various women in Don Juan are named whereas Beow’s daughter is referred to “Onela’s queen” and her legacy is that she was “a balm in the bed to the battle-scarred Swede” (62-62).
(Beowulf quote taken from Seamus Heaney translation)