Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac (see-rah-NOH deh behr-zheh-RAHK), a historical poet, playwright, and soldier who, as a contemporary of the three famous musketeers, creates an image of romance considerably heightened by his lines in the play. Although the possessor of an enormous nose, which its owner declared was a symbol of generosity and independence, Cyrano has a romantic heart and a gifted tongue as well as a spirit of fierce independence. He chooses as his symbol a white plume of unsullied integrity, never lowered for expediency’s sake. Although he appears boastful in the braggart warrior tradition, he actually is shy and diffident, especially when confronting beauty in any form. As the accomplice in a love plot, he never speaks for himself until wounded mortally. His name stands not only for an ugly handicap for which compensation must be made but also for all that is good, true, loyal, and fine in human nature. Such integrity is in the great tradition of Don Quixote, whom Cyrano admires because tilting at the windmills of pomposity and philistinism, although it may throw the challenger down, more often elevates.
Christian de Neuvillette
Christian de Neuvillette (krees-TYAHN deh new-vee-YEHT), Cyrano’s protégé in love, who never learns the language of sentiment. Often mistaken for a...
(The entire section is 594 words.)
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