Don G Paper

Don G Paper - Leporello's Bridge The stage opens to...

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Leporello’s Bridge The stage opens to Leporello standing alone on the stage wishing to be a gentleman, namely his own master, Don Giovanni. Like every man, he is unhappy with his station in life and wishes to be something better. Don Giovanni seems to be a good option because he has all the enjoyments that Leporello himself loves without the pain of emotions. However, without those emotions Don Giovanni is not human. Although Leporello appears at first glance to be very moral and a doubtful bridge, like other servants in opera, Leporello makes that bridge between two aspects of the opera, in this case, Don Giovanni and humanity. Don Giovanni is often said to have no soul. Is a man still a man without a soul? Many religions believe that a soul is what is the divine spark in living being,especially human beings. Therefore, with his lack of a soul, Don Giovanni is without an essential attribute. He is “all appetite; that is to say, all phallus” (Lipking 38) and, although a penis is a human organ, it is not itself a human and neither is Don Giovanni. In terms of music, Don Giovanni is the only character in the opera without his own musical elements. He is so musically heterogeneous that “we hardly recognize him as an individual” (Noske 169). He adopts the tone of whoever he is trying to seduce at the time because of this void. For example, while talking to the peasants during the ballroom scene, he “cleverly adopts the peasant idiom” (Noske 189) that appears in the wedding scene. At the beginning of Act II, Don Giovanni is trying to convince Leporello to stay, and thus he adopts Leporello’s buffo tone (Noske 173). It would be incorrect to call Don Giovanni immoral because of his attitude toward women. Instead, he is amoral because he is missing a soul. He does not consider himself 3
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to be human. For the most part, he considers himself a sexual object. If he were to remain
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course FS 101 taught by Professor Hutchinson during the Spring '08 term at Simons Rock.

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Don G Paper - Leporello's Bridge The stage opens to...

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