Manfred: Byron's Other Don Juan

Manfred and Don Juan represent antitheses of Byron’s poetic style. However, their overt differences with respect to poetic manner, content, and sensibility obscure their shared thematic material. Observing how the ending of Manfred strikingly resembles the ending of the Don Juan source material leads to an awareness of gender issues underlying both works. Despite the apparent extreme contrast between the personalities and experiences of the poems’ protagonists, both their tales embed a two-part structure, the first part focusing on heterosexual transgression, the culmination, an all-male scene of reckoning.