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Keywords:

  • Don Giovanni;
  • Oedipus complex;
  • opera;
  • phallic narcissism;
  • projective identification

The author tries to account for the disturbing impact of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Some writers idealize Don Giovanni’s power and vitality. The author view is that Mozart’s music depicts him as a much emptier character, using phallic narcissism as a way of surviving a psychic catastrophe by projecting his pain into others. The music shows how Giovanni lives in projective identification with many other objects and part-objects, masculine and feminine; and how he seduces them into complicity with his defensive system. This situation is contrasted musically with the world of the other characters, particularly the women, who are depicted as more ordinary, more complex and, in fact, more sensual.