Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell Page: 68
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
The Satiric Libertine
The Libertine satirizes libertines whose blatant misinterpretations of Hobbesian
philosophy result in their endorsement of their own versions of libertinism. Moreover, the play
satirizes the extreme, anti-Hobbesian libertinism Don John endorses. In other words, the
"exaggerated portraits" of libertinism Chernaik identifies applies to Don John's
(mis)interpretation of libertinism and not necessarily to conventional libertinism itself (Chernaik
Generically, critics categorize The Libertine as a tragedy; however, the play clearly
qualifies as a satiric tragicomedy that calls extreme, anarchic libertinism into question.
Additionally, the supernatural elements-i.e., the animation of the statue of Don Pedro (Don
John's father) and his appearance at the libertines' supper and the Devils that open the ground
that swallows Don John and his friends in the final scene-exemplify a burlesque quality that
lampoons conventional tragedy. During the banquet scene or the scene in which the ghost
appears to the libertines at supper, the libertines, unlike similar scenes in which ghosts appear to
the living and humans obey the ghosts' warnings, do not heed the warnings of the ghost and do
not take the paranormal or supernatural seriously. They ridicule the Ghost and refuse to listen to
his warnings because doing so would imply that they are powerless to change their fates. That is,
the Dons would have to admit to a lack of control over a situation and to powerlessness. In fact,
Esther Menasce refers to Don John as "a symbolic embodiment of evil, a paradigmatic figure
acting in a surrealistic nowhere" (Menasce 11). Though her identification of Don John as
personified evil is arguably an exaggerated assessment of him, Menasce makes a valid point
As not only the epitome of self-indulgence, selfishness, and "evil," but as a libertine
Here’s what’s next.
This dissertation can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Matching Search ResultsView 33 pages within this dissertation that match your search.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Dissertation.
Smith, Victoria. Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell, dissertation, May 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6051/m1/74/?q=rochester: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .