Cyrano de Bergerac Questions and Answers
by Edmond Rostand

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What are three examples of Cyrano's development as a chivalric character in Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac?

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This is actually a very tricky question, in part because chivalry itself is such a complex and debated topic. The chivalric code evolved over the course of the Middle Ages; the emphasis on courtly manners, for instance, was a relatively late development. Furthermore, certain values or practices associated with chivalry arguably come into conflict with one another. An obvious example is the implicit tension between courtly love—a romantic (though ideally unconsummated) devotion to an often married woman—and Christian views on fidelity and chastity. All in all, the idea of chivalry as a consistent code of honorable conduct was probably more prevalent at the time Rostand was writing (the late nineteenth century) than it ever was during the Middle Ages.

Then, of course, there's the question of whether Cyrano himself is a chivalric figure or a subversion of one. Although he displays many qualities associated with chivalry—bravery, loyalty, personal integrity, etc.—he also departs...

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