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How does an idea or concept or characteristic from Cyrano show itself in our world...

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cubby1 | Student | eNoter

Posted January 10, 2012 at 6:53 AM via web

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How does an idea or concept or characteristic from Cyrano show itself in our world today?

Main ones are love, loyalty, sacrifice, friendship, independence. Specific parallels between then and now needed.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 28, 2012 at 8:11 PM (Answer #1)

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Edmund Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac is the story of a remarkable man who demonstrates all of the characteristics you list above: love, loyalty, sacrifice, friendship and independence. Of all of these, it is his selfless and sacrificial love for Roxane which is most remarkable; however, it is the most difficult to emulate and therefore has few great parallels in modern times. The closest is probably the sacrifices that firemen and other rescue workers make every day when they risk their own lives to save others, but that is not the same as Cyrano's selfless, sacrificial romantic love. 

Two other characteristics can be found more easily in today's world: the loyalty of a true friend and a truly independent spirit. While it may seem easy to be an independent man or woman of action today, it is actually a very difficult thing to achieve. Cyrano sacrificed his month's living expenses to close down a play which he found deplorable and to uphold his high standards for the theater. Cyrano gladly fought a hundred men because it was not right to let his drunken friend be attacked (and at such overwhelming odds) for speaking his mind. Cyrano challenged a man to a duel because a lecherous Cardinal needed to be stopped. Each of these acts were done to uphold principles.

Men and women of today who do such things in a public arena are rare. Nelson Mandela is one who is willing to stand (or sit behind bars) because some principles are worth fighting for, and there are others like him who have done the same. On a smaller scale, we all know people who stand up to bullies on behalf of others or otherwise speak up for the principles which are bigger than just one person. These are the people who most reflect the principles for which Cyrano lived--and eventually died.

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Lori Steinbach

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