Later writers have not simply gone back to some archetype of Don Juan, or taken Mozart’s opera merely as one previous embodiment of that character, but have in many cases been quite specially influenced by the opera. Indeed, nineteenth- and twentieth- century thoughts about Don Juan have been dominated by Mozart’s embodiment of him.
This is not merely because the opera is by far the greatest work given to this theme. It is also because the opera is in various ways problematical, and that it raises in a challenging way the question of what the figure of Giovanni means. Hence, not only is the opera the historical starting point of many modern thoughts on this subject, but some of those thoughts lead directly back to the problem of understanding the opera itself.