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Edmond Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac tells the story of a Gascon soldier who is what is known as a "Renaissance man." He is fierce in battle, he is a poet and writer, he is an expert swordsman, and he is a romantic lover, among other things. Cyrano is a man who holds strong opinions and is not afraid to back them with the force of his sword. He stands for what is right and has a strong sense of justice.
As a result, Cyrano is often the target of serious and determined enemies. One such incident happens early in the play, you'll recall, when DeGuiche goads Valvert into a duel with Cyrano so he (DeGuiche) can be with Roxane. The same thing happens when he is duped by Cyrano while Roxane and Christian get married--he sends the Gascons to the front line of battle hoping Cyrano will be killed. While there, DeGuiche also turns traitor and marks Cyrano and his troops as targets in battle. None of these attempts at killing Cyrano are successful.
Fifteen years later, Cyrano is still making enemies. He denounces falsehoods and pretenders--those who appear to be noble but are actually base and degenerate. And he does so quite publicly, unconcerned about the potential repercussions to his own well being. His friends are concerned for his safety and beg him to stop these public denunciations, but he does not. One of those false nobles, a pretender, hires someone to kill Cyrano. The hired killer tries to make his attempted murder look like an accident, so he drops a huge log out of a window, hitting Cyrano on the head. It is a mortal wound, though Cyrano is able to be with the woman he has loved from afar (Roxane) one last time before he dies.
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