Readings: Weeks 5-6

Readings Week 5-6 PDF


"'Tis Not So Above"  (from Hamlet 1.3, 1.3, 3.3)                                                             

[Having murdered his brother (“the primal eldest curse”) and married Gertrude, Claudius tries to repent. This is going to be difficult, however, because it means giving up 1) the kingship, and 2) Gertrude. Later, in Hamlet 4.7, Claudius says about Gertrude: “She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul, / That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, / I could not but by her.”]

Claudius: O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murder. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will:
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this two-fold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardoned being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? 'Forgive me my foul murder'?
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.
May one be pardoned and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law: but 'tis not so above;
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compelled,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it when one can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe!
All may be well.  

[Retires and kneels. Enter Hamlet.]    

Hamlet: Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven;
And so am I revenged. That would be scanned:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven.
O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him: and am I then revenged,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
No! Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent:
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damned and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.  

[Hamlet exits]

Claudius: [Rising] My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.  


The Girl From Ermita   (Goh Poh Seng)

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 The Mirror Up to Nature

[from Hamlet 2.2]

Hamlet (to Polonius): Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.

Polonius: My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

Hamlet: God’s bodykins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who should escape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.


Hamlet (to himself):  I have heard
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;
I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play 's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

[from Hamlet 3.2]

Hamlet (to actors): Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.

[…] Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others.

Sonnet. Written Upon The Top Of Ben Nevis (Keats)

(you can abbreviate this title to “Ben Nevis” — which is the highest mountain in Scotland and the British Isles)

Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist!
I look into the chasms, and a shroud
Vaporous doth hide them, — just so much I wist*
Mankind do know of hell; I look o'erhead,
And there is sullen mist, — even so much
Mankind can tell of heaven; mist is spread
Before the earth, beneath me, — even such,
Even so vague is man's sight of himself!
Here are the craggy stones beneath my feet, —
Thus much I know that, a poor witless elf,
I tread on them, — that all my eye doth meet
Is mist and crag, not only on this height,
But in the world of thought and mental might!

 * wist - archaic for thought, but probably means think or imagine here, given the pervasive present tense

Anecdote of the Jar (Wallace Stevens, 1918)

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Each and All (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1846)

Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown,
Of thee from the hill-top looking down;
The heifer that lows in the upland farm,
Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton, tolling his bell at noon,
Deems not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.
All are needed by each one;
Nothing is fair or good alone.
I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home, in his nest, at even;
He sings the song, but it pleases not now,
For I did not bring home the river and sky;—
He sang to my ear,—they sang to my eye.
The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore,
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar.
The lover watched his graceful maid,
As 'mid the virgin train she strayed,
Nor knew her beauty's best attire
Was woven still by the snow-white choir.
At last she came to his hermitage,
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage;—
The gay enchantment was undone,
A gentle wife, but fairy none.
Then I said, 'I covet truth;
Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat;
I leave it behind with the games of youth.'—
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs;
I inhaled the violet's breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground,
Over me soared the eternal sky,
Full of light and of deity;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird;—
Beauty through my senses stole;
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.


Don Juan

1630 - Tirso de Molina: El burlador de Sevilla (play)

1787 - Mozart: Don Giovanni (opera)

1819-24 - Byron: Don Juan (poem)

1995 - Byron/Levon: Don Juan de Marcos (film) 

Byron's Don Juan (pronounced "Don Jewan" — unlike the Spanish pronunciation) is a very long poem that follows the adventures of a young Spaniard. While the original character of Don Juan — created by by De Molina and borrowed by Mozart — seduces women without caring about them, Byron’s Don Juan is a decent, innocent young man who tends to be seduced by women.

The narrator is a Spanish gentleman, yet he also serves as a mouthpiece for Byron at times. He is at times serious yet most often comic and ironic.

In what ways does Byron replace idealism with realism? How does he use the final rhyme of his stanzas to subvert their seriousness or idealism? Where do we see a deeper, serious, Romantic sensibility in Byron despite his humorous skepticism?

Canto 5, Stanza 1

    When amatory poets sing their loves  
    In liquid lines mellifluously bland,
    And pair their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves,
    They little think what mischief is in hand;
    The greater their success the worse it proves,
    As Ovid's verse* may give to understand;          
    Even Petrarch’s self,* if judged with due severity,        
    Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity.                        

*Ovid = Classical Roman poet known for racy poetry about the gods  *Petrarch = 14th C. Italian poet known for sensuous, abstruse love poetry about the unattainable Laura

In the following excerpt (from Don Juan, Canto One), we find the beautiful twenty-three year-old Donna Julia married to Don Alfonso, a man of fifty. She's in love with Juan, who is sixteen years old. At the end of the following excerpts, Julia and Juan are sitting together under the moonlight, trying to be platonic and chaste.


From Canto 1


Juan she saw, and, as a pretty child,
Caressed him often — such a thing might be
Quite innocently done, and harmless styled,
When she had twenty years, and thirteen he;
But I am not so sure I should have smiled
When he was sixteen, Julia twenty-three;
These few short years make wondrous alterations,
Particularly amongst sun-burnt nations.


Whate'er the cause might be, they had become
Changed; for the dame grew distant, the youth shy,
Their looks cast down, their greetings almost dumb,
And much embarrassment in either eye;
There surely will be little doubt with some
That Donna Julia knew the reason why,
But as for Juan, he had no more notion
Than he who never saw the sea of Ocean.


Yet Julia's very coldness still was kind,
And tremulously gentle her small hand
Withdrew itself from his, but left behind
A little pressure, thrilling, and so bland
And slight, so very slight, that to the mind
'T was but a doubt; but ne'er magician's wand
Wrought change with all Armida's fairy art*   
Like what this light touch left on Juan's heart.              

[*Armida = sorceress & temptress in Tasso, a 16th C. Italian poet]


And if she met him, though she smiled no more,
She looked a sadness sweeter than her smile,
As if her heart had deeper thoughts in store
She must not own, but cherished more the while
For that compression in its burning core;
Even Innocence itself has many a wile,
And will not dare to trust itself with truth,
And Love is taught hypocrisy from youth.


But Passion most dissembles, yet betrays
Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky
Foretells the heaviest tempest, it displays
Its workings through the vainly guarded eye,
And in whatever aspect it arrays
Itself, 'tis still the same hypocrisy;
Coldness or Anger, even Disdain or Hate,
Are masks it often wears, and still too late.


Then there were sighs, the deeper for suppression,
And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft,
And burning blushes, though for no transgression,
Tremblings when met, and restlessness when left;
All these are little preludes to possession,
Of which young Passion cannot be bereft,
And merely tend to show how greatly Love is
Embarrassed at first starting with a novice.


Poor Julia's heart was in an awkward state;
She felt it going, and resolved to make
The noblest efforts for herself and mate,
For Honour's, Pride's, Religion's, Virtue's sake:
Her resolutions were most truly great,
And almost might have made a Tarquin* quake:
She prayed the Virgin Mary for her grace,
As being the best judge of a lady's case.

[Tarquin = early Roman king]


She vowed she never would see Juan more,
And next day paid a visit to his mother,
And looked extremely at the opening door,
Which, by the Virgin's grace, let in another;
Grateful she was, and yet a little sore —
Again it opens, it can be no other,
'Tis surely Juan now — No! I'm afraid
That night the Virgin was no further prayed.


She now determined that a virtuous woman
Should rather face and overcome temptation,
That flight was base and dastardly, and no man
Should ever give her heart the least sensation,
That is to say, a thought beyond the common
Preference, that we must feel, upon occasion,
For people who are pleasanter than others,
But then they only seem so many brothers.


And even if by chance — and who can tell?
The Devil's so very sly — she should discover
That all within was not so very well,
And, if still free, that such or such a lover
Might please perhaps, a virtuous wife can quell
Such thoughts, and be the better when they're over;
And if the man should ask, 'tis but denial:
I recommend young ladies to make trial.


And, then, there are such things as Love divine,
Bright and immaculate, unmixed and pure,
Such as the angels think so very fine,
And matrons, who would be no less secure,
Platonic, perfect, "just such love as mine;"
Thus Julia said — and thought so, to be sure;
And so I'd have her think, were I the man
On whom her reveries celestial ran.


Such love is innocent, and may exist
Between young persons without any danger.
A hand may first, and then a lip be kissed;
For my part, to such doings I'm a stranger,
But hear these freedoms form the utmost list
Of all o'er which such love may be a ranger:
If people go beyond, 'tis quite a crime,
But not my fault — I tell them all in time.


Love, then, but Love within its proper limits,
Was Julia's innocent determination
In young Don Juan's favour, and to him its
Exertion might be useful on occasion;
And, lighted at too pure a shrine to dim its
Ethereal lustre, with what sweet persuasion
He might be taught, by Love and her together —
I really don't know what, nor Julia either.


Fraught with this fine intention, and well fenced
In mail of proof — her purity of soul —
She, for the future, of her strength convinced,
And that her honour was a rock, or mole,
Exceeding sagely from that hour dispensed
With any kind of troublesome control;
But whether Julia to the task was equal
Is that which must be mentioned in the sequel.


Her plan she deemed both innocent and feasible,
And, surely, with a stripling of sixteen
Not Scandal's fangs could fix on much that's seizable,
Or if they did so, satisfied to mean
Nothing but what was good, her breast was peaceable —
A quiet conscience makes one so serene!
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
That all the Apostles would have done as they did.


And if in the mean time her husband died,
But Heaven forbid that such a thought should cross
Her brain, though in a dream! (and then she sighed)
Never could she survive that common loss;
But just suppose that moment should betide,
I only say suppose it — inter nos:*      * [between us]
(This should be entre nous,* for Julia thought
In French, but then the rhyme would go for nought.)


I only say, suppose this supposition:
Juan being then grown up to man's estate
Would fully suit a widow of condition,
Even seven years hence it would not be too late;
And in the interim (to pursue this vision)
The mischief, after all, could not be great,
For he would learn the rudiments of Love,
I mean the seraph* way of those above.

[* highest rank of angel]


So much for Julia! Now we'll turn to Juan.
Poor little fellow! he had no idea
Of his own case, and never hit the true one;
In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea,*   
He puzzled over what he found a new one,
But not as yet imagined it could be a
Thing quite in course, and not at all alarming,
Which, with a little patience, might grow charming.

* [The Roman writer Ovid revisits the Greek tragic heroine Medea in his Art of Love (2 A.D.). Byron may be suggesting that underneath good intentions and morality is a dangerous current of uncontrollable emotion. In Medea's case, the emotions are extreme and she wreaks a terrible revenge on her husband Jason.

In the following stanzas Byron makes fun of two first generation Romantic poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Wordsworth is known for his common style and his nature mysticism. Coleridge is the author of the famous poems "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." His writing are strongly influenced by German idealistic philosophy.]


Young Juan wandered by the glassy brooks,
Thinking unutterable things; he threw
Himself at length within the leafy nooks
Where the wild branch of the cork forest grew;
There poets find materials for their books,
And every now and then we read them through,
So that their plan and prosody are eligible,
Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible.


He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursued
His self-communion with his own high soul,
Until his mighty heart, in its great mood,
Had mitigated part, though not the whole
Of its disease; he did the best he could
With things not very subject to control,
And turned, without perceiving his condition,
Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician.


He thought about himself, and the whole earth,
Of man the wonderful, and of the stars,
And how the deuce they ever could have birth:
And then he thought of earthquakes, and of wars,
How many miles the moon might have in girth,
Of air-balloons, and of the many bars
To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies; —
And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes.


In thoughts like these true Wisdom may discern
Longings sublime, and aspirations high,
Which some are born with, but the most part learn
To plague themselves withal, they know not why:
'Twas strange that one so young should thus concern
His brain about the action of the sky;
If you think 'twas Philosophy that this did,
I can't help thinking puberty assisted.


He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers,
And heard a voice in all the winds; and then
He thought of wood-nymphs and immortal bowers,
And how the goddesses came down to men:
He missed the pathway, he forgot the hours,
And when he looked upon his watch again,
He found how much old Time had been a winner —
He also found that he had lost his dinner.


Sometimes he turned to gaze upon his book,
Boscan,* or Garcilasso*; — by the wind   *[Spanish poets]
Even as the page is rustled while we look,
So by the poesy of his own mind
Over the mystic leaf his soul was shook,
As if 'twere one whereon magicians bind
Their spells, and give them to the passing gale,
According to some good old woman's tale.


Thus would he while his lonely hours away
Dissatisfied, not knowing what he wanted;
Nor glowing reverie, nor poet's lay,
Could yield his spirit that for which it panted,
A bosom whereon he his head might lay,
And hear the heart beat with the love it granted,
With — several other things, which I forget,
Or which, at least, I need not mention yet.    [...]


'Twas on a summer's day — the sixth of June:
I like to be particular in dates,
Not only of the age, and year, but moon;
They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates
Change horses, making History change its tune,
Then spur away o'er empires and o'er states,
Leaving at last not much besides chronology,
Excepting the post-obits* of theology.              

[post-obits = legal responsibilities or bonds after death]


'Twas on the sixth of June, about the hour
Of half-past six — perhaps still nearer seven —
When Julia sate within as pretty a bower
As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven
Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore,
To whom the lyre and laurels have been given,
With all the trophies of triumphant song —
He won them well, and may he wear them long!


She sate, but not alone; I know not well
How this same interview had taken place,
And even if I knew, I should not tell —
People should hold their tongues in any case;
No matter how or why the thing befell,
But there were she and Juan, face to face —
When two such faces are so, 'twould be wise,
But very difficult, to shut their eyes.


How beautiful she looked! her conscious heart
Glowed in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong:
Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art,
Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong!
How self-deceitful is the sagest part
Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along! —
The precipice she stood on was immense,
So was her creed in her own innocence.


She thought of her own strength, and Juan's youth,
And of the folly of all prudish fears,
Victorious Virtue, and domestic Truth,
And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years:
I wish these last had not occurred, in sooth,
Because that number rarely much endears,
And through all climes, the snowy and the sunny,
Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money.


When people say, "I've told you fifty times,"
They mean to scold, and very often do;
When poets say, "I've written fifty rhymes,"
They make you dread that they'll recite them too;
In gangs of fifty, thieves commit their crimes;
At fifty love for love is rare, 'tis true,
But then, no doubt, it equally as true is,
A good deal may be bought for fifty Louis.*  *[French coin]


Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love
For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore,
By all the vows below to Powers above,
She never would disgrace the ring she wore,
Nor leave a wish which wisdom might reprove;
And while she pondered this, besides much more,
One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown,
Quite by mistake — she thought it was her own;


Unconsciously she leaned upon the other,
Which played within the tangles of her hair;
And to contend with thoughts she could not smother
She seemed by the distraction of her air.
'Twas surely very wrong in Juan's mother
To leave together this imprudent pair,
She who for many years had watched her son so —
I'm very certain mine would not have done so.


The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees
Gently, but palpably confirmed its grasp,
As if it said, "Detain me, if you please;"
Yet there's no doubt she only meant to clasp
His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze;
She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp,
Had she imagined such a thing could rouse
A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse.


I cannot know what Juan thought of this,
But what he did, is much what you would do;
His young lip thanked it with a grateful kiss,
And then, abashed at its own joy, withdrew
In deep despair, lest he had done amiss, —
Love is so very timid when 'tis new:
She blushed, and frowned not, but she strove to speak,
And held her tongue, her voice was grown so weak.


The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon:
The Devil's in the moon for mischief; they
Who called her CHASTE, methinks, began too soon
Their nomenclature; there is not a day,
The longest, not the twenty-first of June,
Sees half the business in a wicked way,
On which three single hours of moonshine smile —
And then she looks so modest all the while!


There is a dangerous silence in that hour,
A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul
To open all itself, without the power
Of calling wholly back its self-control;
The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower,
Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole,
Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws
A loving languor, which is not repose.


And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced
And half retiring from the glowing arm,
Which trembled like the bosom where 'twas placed;
Yet still she must have thought there was no harm,
Or else 't were easy to withdraw her waist;
But then the situation had its charm,
And then — God knows what next — I can't go on;
I'm almost sorry that I e'er begun.


Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way,
With your confounded fantasies, to more
Immoral conduct by the fancied sway
Your system feigns o'er the controlless core
Of human hearts, than all the long array
Of poets and romancers: —You're a bore,
A charlatan, a coxcomb* — and have been,  *[vain person]
At best, no better than a go-between.


And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs,
Until too late for useful conversation;
The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes,
I wish, indeed, they had not had occasion;
But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?
Not that Remorse did not oppose Temptation;
A little still she strove, and much repented,
And whispering "I will ne'er consent"— consented.

Don Juan de Marco script excerpts — from this site

[You can bring in some or all of these excerpts, or you can bring in your own selection of excerpts.]

DJ [played by Johhny Depp]: I am the world's greatest lover. I have made love to over a thousand women. I was 21 last Tuesday.

DJ: I am Don Juan. - Woman at restaurant: That's very funny. Is there a costume party at the hotel? DJ: No, I am Don Juan directly descended from the noble Spanish family. - Woman: And you seduce women. DJ: No, I never take advantage of a woman. I give women pleasure if they desire it. It is of course the greatest pleasure they will ever experience.

Dr Mickler [played by Marlon Brando]: I have some pills here, and I'd like you to take them. DJ: Pills to stop delusions? Well, then I am afraid we must take these pills together because you are severely deluded. Dr M: What delusions have I got? DJ: This fantasy that you are some Dr. Mickler. I am very disappointed in you, Don Octavio. Very disappointed. Dr M: Here's the drill. They can make you take the medication. That's state law. You're on what they call a 10-day paper and for those 10 days they can do whatever they think is appropriate. DJ: I am not deluded. I am Don Juan, and if you will not medicate me for these 10 days I will prove it to you. Dr M: What if I don't believe you're Don Juan? DJ: Then I will take your medication and you may commit me for as long as you like.

Dr M: What would you say to someone that said to you, "This is a psychiatric hospital."? And that you're a patient here and that I am your psychiatrist? DJ: I would say that he has a rather limited and uncreative way of looking at the situation. Look, you want to know if I understand that this is a mental hospital. Yes, I understand that. But then how can I say that you are Don Octavio and I am a guest at your villa, correct? [...] By seeing beyond what is visible to the eye. Now, there are those who do not share my perceptions, it's true. When I say that all my women are dazzling beauties, they object. The nose of this one is too large. The hips of another, they are too wide perhaps. The breasts of a third, they are too small. But I see these women for how they truly are: glorious, radiant, spectacular, and perfect because I am not limited by my eyesight. Women react to me the way that they do, Don Octavio because they sense I search out|the beauty within them until it overwhelms everything else and then they cannot avoid their desire to release that beauty and envelop me in it. So to answer your question, I see as clear as day that this great edifice in which we find ourselves is your villa. It is your home. And as for you, Don Octavio del Flores you are a great lover like myself even though you may have lost your way and your accent.

DJ: I sensed that Donna Julia was having a struggle within her and my own situation was becoming no less difficult. I could only think of Donna Julia. To keep myself from going mad I turned into a metaphysician. I considered the meaning of truth of being and God. I thought of the timetable for the sun's demise and then I thought of Doa Julia's eyes. Donna Julia: I never will consent. I never will consent. I never will cons— Dr M: But somehow, she consented. DJ: She did.

DJ: There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? And what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.

Dr M: I just feel as though we surrendered our lives to the momentum of mediocrity. I mean, what happened to all the celestial fire that used to light our way? Marilyn Mickler [played by Faye Dunaway]: Oh, Jack, no. Listen, honey. You know all those fires are a lot of trouble. They caused a lot of trouble. I mean, fires are really hard to control. They flare up. They burn a lot of energy and then they suddenly die. [...] A good, steady, warm glow you know, that does the trick over the long run. Dr M: No fire, no heat. No heat, no life. That's the equation. Marilyn: May I assume that the upshot of all this is that you will not be easing gracefully into retirement? Dr M: Goddamn right, baby. What am I going to retire from, life?

DJ: My mother was not having an affair. Dr M: Do you understand why it's necessary... DJ: Shut up! You think I don't know what's going on with you, Don Octavio, but I do. You need me for a transfusion because your own blood has turned to dust and clogged your heart. Your need for reality... Your need for a world where love is flawed will continue to choke your veins until all the life is gone. My perfect world is no less real than yours, Don Octavio. It is only in my world that you can breathe, isn't it? Isn't it? Dr M: Yeah. You're right. My world is not perfect. DJ: What is this thing that happens with age? Why does everyone want to pervert love and suck it bone-dry of all its glory? Why do you bother to call it love anymore?

DJ: She was 17 and Nature's bride, fresh and fair, and unacquainted with the miracle of physical love. Her beauty was not made|of shapes and forms but shined from within like a star. There are those who do not believe that a single soul, born in Heaven can split into twin spirits and shoot like falling stars to Earth where over oceans and continents their magnetic forces will finally unite them back into one. But how else to explain love at first sight?

Donna Ana: Very well, my love. I will accept that I am not the first if you will tell me with the same honesty how many others there have been. DJ: This would have been a very good time for me to lie... ...but truth is a terrible habit. Including you... ...there have been... ...exactly... One... ...thousand five hundred and two. I could see that this was a sum substantially greater... ...than the one she had in mind... ...and not easy for her to assimilate, try as she might.

DJ: Who am I? Dr M: Sit down. You are Don Juan DeMarco, the greatest lover the world has ever known. DJ: And you, my friend, who are you? Dr M: Who am I? I am Don Octavio del Flores, married to the beautiful Donna Lucita, the light of my life. And you, my friend, you have seen through all of my masks. Nurse: Here's your water, Doctor. Dr M: Thank you. DJ: You said that you believed, Don Octavio. Dr M: I believe that you are Don Juan, but there are a lot of people that don't. DJ: Then I will do as you ask, my friend.

Dr M: We need to be a flight of eagles. Marilyn: I don't see myself in that picture. Dr M: What's the matter with you? What are you talking about? Marilyn: I don't know. Dr M: I need to find out who you are. Marilyn: Jack, you know who I am. Who's brought you coffee for the last 32 years? Marilyn: Listen, I know a lot about dirty coffee cups and I know a lot of facts, but I need to know all about you. Marilyn: What do you want to know? Dr M: I want to know what your hopes and your dreams are that got lost along the way when I was thinking about myself. What's so funny? Marilyn: I thought you'd never ask.

Dr M: Sadly, I must report that the last patient I ever treated, the great lover, Don Juan DeMarco, suffered from a romanticism which was completely incurable and, even worse, highly contagious.


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Introduction - Contents - Outline

SCHEDULE: Week 1-7 - Week 8-14

Readings PDF: 2-4 - 5-6 - 8-10 - 11-13