Don Juan by Byron
This long, digressive satiric poem is a loose narrative held together only by the hero, Don Juan, and the narrator, Byron himself, who maintains a mocking, ironic relationship with the story. Byron claimed that he had no plot in mind as he wrote the poem, and he continued to add episodes as long as he lived. The poem, which was never completed, is considered to be Byron’s masterpiece.
The Stanza form is ottava rima,
an eight-line iambic pentameter stanza
with the rhyme scheme AB AB AB CC.
The final two lines of each stanza form a couplet which Byron frequently uses for a punch line or comic wind-up.
The poem's light tone suggests that Byron does not take the characters and events seriously; the language is colloquial, conversational, and slangy.
HUMOUR: EXAMPLE I
A recurring joke throughout the poem is that most of the Spanish words and names are rhymed in a way which indicates that the names are being pronounced incorrectly:
Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
The age discovers he is not the true one;…
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