The Myth of Sisyphus

by

Albert Camus

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Don Juan Character Analysis

Don Juan is Albert Camus’ first example of an “absurd man” (found in the chapter of the same name), by which he means someone who successfully lives with the absurd in full view (though any notion of success is ultimately meaningless because of the inevitability of death). Don Juan is a character that appears in numerous works of literature and art (e.g. opera) and is best known for his unrivalled powers of seduction. He moves from woman to woman without hesitation, living a “quantitative” life that Camus sees as befitting someone who is aware of the absurd.

Don Juan Quotes in The Myth of Sisyphus

The The Myth of Sisyphus quotes below are all either spoken by Don Juan or refer to Don Juan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Myth of Sisyphus published in 1991.
6. Don Juanism Quotes

If it were sufficient to love, things would be too easy. The more one loves, the stronger the absurd grows. It is not through lack of love that Don Juan goes from woman to woman. It is ridiculous to represent him as a mystic in quest of total love. But it is indeed because he loves them with the same passion and each time with his whole self that he must repeat his gift and his profound quest. Whence each woman hopes to give him what no one has ever given him. Each time they are utterly wrong and merely manage to make him feel the need of that repetition. “At last,” exclaims one of them, “I have given you love.” Can we be surprised that Don Juan laughs at this? “At last? No,” he says, “but once more.” Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?

Related Characters: Albert Camus (speaker), Don Juan (speaker)
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
8. Conquest Quotes

Let me repeat that these images do not propose moral codes and involve no judgments: they are sketches. They merely represent a style of life. The lover, the actor, or the adventurer plays the absurd. But equally well, if he wishes, the chaste man, the civil servant, or the president of the Republic. It is enough to know and to mask nothing.

Related Characters: Albert Camus (speaker), Don Juan, The Actor, The Conqueror
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:
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Don Juan Character Timeline in The Myth of Sisyphus

The timeline below shows where the character Don Juan appears in The Myth of Sisyphus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
6. The Absurd Man: Don Juanism
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Camus’ first example of the absurd man is Don Juan , an infamous seducer of women. For Camus, Don Juan rejects any notion of “total... (full context)
Masculinity Theme Icon
Some people think Don Juan is a melancholy character, but Camus disagrees. There are two reasons people are melancholy: “they... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Camus dismisses criticisms of Don Juan that he uses the same “speeches” on “all women.” What matters for anyone seeking “quantity... (full context)
Masculinity Theme Icon
Camus admits that there is something “selfish” about Don Juan , but rejects that this is a problem. He claims that Don Juan can actually... (full context)
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Though there are people that would like to punish Don Juan for his behavior, Camus insists that Don Juan simply lives outside of society’s normal moral... (full context)
8. The Absurd Man: Conquest
Absurdism and Meaning Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Camus concludes this section by reminding the reader that Don Juan , the actor and the conqueror are just sketches of a “style of life” that... (full context)