Cyrano de Bergerac

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The play opens in a theater, where Cyrano has gone to prevent the leading actor from performing because he has made overtures to Cyrano’s beloved Roxanne. After Cyrano shuts down the play, a marquis challenges him. While they duel, Cyrano composes a ballade, and at the end of the refrain, thrusts home.

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Roxane, who has been watching, sends a message that asks Cyrano to meet her the next morning. He is encouraged to tell her of his love, but before he can do so, she confesses that she is in love with a handsome guardsman of his regiment and asks Cyrano to protect him. The guardsman, Christian de Neuvillette, is clever enough with men but hopelessly tongue-tied with women, and Roxane is an intellectual who must be wooed poetically. Cyrano persuades Christian to let him write speeches and love letters, which the latter will deliver. Thus Cyrano can make love by proxy.

When Christian insists on making love himself, he fumbles helplessly. Concealed by the dark, Cyrano then speaks in his own voice to Roxane. At his most eloquent, he wins her love, but it is Christian who weds her.

Though Cyrano has courage, wit, compassion, and integrity, he is undone by vanity; self-conscious about his appearance, he is afraid to woo Roxane on his own lest he be rejected. It is really Cyrano’s soul that she loves; Christian would bore her within a few hours. Unable to declare himself openly, Cyrano, in trying to make Roxane happy, brings tragedy to all three of them. Despite the tragedy, the play has much humor, verve, and panache. A variation on the Beauty and the Beast tale, Cyrano is irresistible theater, full of wit, swashbuckling, pathos, poetry, and romance.

Bibliography:

Chandler, Frank Wadleigh. The Contemporary Drama of France. Boston: Little, Brown, 1920. Rostand is depicted as “an idealist endowed with a sense of humor.” Ranks Chantecler, however, at a slightly higher level than Cyrano de Bergerac, for “the scintillating wit, the brilliant extemporization, the profusion of words and images that make us dizzy.” Good for comparing the tone of Cyrano de Bergerac with the rest of the canon.

Clark, Barrett Harper. Contemporary French Dramatists. Cincinnati: Stewart & Kidd, 1915. A short but informative essay on Edmond Rostand, his work habits, and his thin but excellent canon. Helps put Cyrano de Bergerac in perspective, and explains why subsequent dramas did not measure up to the masterpiece. Discusses the “nose” monologue in some detail.

Matthews, Brander. French Dramatists of the Nineteenth Century. 3d ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901. Unusual in criticizing Cyrano de Bergerac for lacking passions, real action, and realism. Questions Cyrano de Bergerac as a lasting piece of stagework—“at bottom too slight a thing to serve as the corner-stone of a new school.”

Rostand, Edmond. Cyrano de Bergerac: A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts. Translated and edited by Louis Untermeyer. New York: Heritage Press, 1954. This deluxe edition, with color illustrations by Pierre Brissard, features a foreword introducing the person on whom the stage figure is based. Brief biographical notes and a performance history to 1947.

Smith, Hugh Allison. Main Currents of Modern French Drama. New York: Henry Holt, 1925. Acknowledges Cyrano de Bergerac as definitive in evaluating the qualities and worth of Rostand’s poetic drama. Summarizes articles that appeared after the first production. Finds the play’s “freshness and salubrity” the main source of its popularity. Cyrano was not the beginning of a new school but rather an indication of “the survival and culmination of Romanticism.”

Form and Content

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Cyrano de Bergerac is a five-act play written in verse. Cyrano, the main character, is a master of all the manly arts, except one—romance. He is frightened of love because he has an enormous nose, which he believes makes his appearance grotesque.

The first act begins in a theater, before the debut of a new play. Cyrano has forbidden the actor Montfleury to appear on stage for a month because he “mouths” his lines. Cyrano evicts Montfleury, shutting the play down, which offends a foppish nobleman who has come to watch. In a memorable scene, Cyrano composes a poem while fighting the young fop, ending each verse with the line “And then I hit!” At the conclusion of the duel, Cyrano receives a message from Roxane, his great love, arranging to meet her the next day at Rageuneau’s bakery. Impassioned by the note, Cyrano fights a hundred assassins sent to attack him in the dark.

The second act takes place in Rageuneau’s bakery. Cyrano meets Roxane and is crushed to discover that she loves Christian de Neuvillette, a new cadet in the Gascon Guards, Cyrano’s regiment. She makes Cyrano promise to defend Christian from the baiting that a new cadet experiences upon joining the regiment. When they meet, Christian teases Cyrano about his nose in order to prove his bravery. Rather than fight, Cyrano befriends Christian and tells him of Roxane’s feelings. He agrees to help Christian woo Roxane by writing her love letters.

By act 3, Roxane and Christian are deeply in love, with Cyrano’s ardent letters the cause of this great passion. At night, standing beneath the balcony of Roxane’s home, Cyrano feeds Christian expressions of poetic love, while Roxane listens above. When Christian keeps flubbing his lines, Cyrano takes his place and stands in the shadows, actually speaking for himself, as Roxane listens and believes Cyrano to be Christian. Meanwhile, the Comte de Guiche, the nephew of Cardinal Richelieu, arrives on the scene; he also desires Roxane and has come to force her to marry him. In a scene of tremendous imagination and poetic fancy, Cyrano delays de Guiche by describing a fictitious series of trips to the moon while Christian and Roxane are married. The couple are wed, only to be parted immediately, as de Guiche announces the mobilization of their regiment. Roxane makes Christian promise to write; Cyrano ensures that he will.

The fourth act finds Cyrano and Christian fighting the Spanish army at the siege of Arras. The French are starving. A Spanish attack is expected, and the Gascon Guards do not believe that they will survive. Despite the encircling Spanish troops, Cyrano has slipped through the lines every day to post letters to Roxane. Suddenly, Roxane arrives with a wagonload of food. She confesses that the passionate letters made it impossible for her to stay away from Christian. Tired of the charade, Christian makes Cyrano promise to tell Roxane who actually wrote the letters. Just as Cyrano is about to speak, Christian is killed by a sniper. Cyrano keeps the secret of the letters to himself.

The fifth act takes place fifteen years after the battle of Arras. Roxane now lives in a nunnery. Cyrano, still her faithful friend, comes once a week to tell her gossip from the outside world. He is late to deliver his “gazette,” ignoring a mortal wound that he has just suffered in a cowardly ambush. After delivering his news, Cyrano recites “Christian’s” last letter from memory. Roxane realizes that Cyrano is the poetic genius whom she has loved these many years. Cyrano’s wound is very grave, and he dies from it, but not before knowing that Roxane truly loves him. Roxane cries out to the heavens that she has twice lost the man she loves.

Places Discussed

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Hôtel de Bourgogne

Hôtel de Bourgogne (oh-TEL deh Bur-GOIN). Parisian mansion whose main hall is normally used for tennis, but which on occasion is set up as a theater with a stage. Act 1 of Rostand’s play opens in this theater, where its play within a play focuses the audience’s attention on drama. Cyrano’s own lifelong pursuit of honor makes him seem like a combination actor and playwright, composing and delivering his lines for the applause of his peers.

Ragueneau’s pastry-shop

Ragueneau’s pastry-shop (rah-geh-NOH). Large Parisian kitchen that provides the location of act 2. The shop symbolizes the search of the pastry chef and would-be poet Ragueneau for honor as a poet and his inability to produce well. Overflowing with food, the room reflects his true talent—that of a chef.

Roxane’s house

Roxane’s house. The primary locale of act 3, Roxane’s house has a vine-covered wall and balcony that are meant to remind audiences of a similar setting in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1595-1596). The house stands in a conservative district of Paris that contrasts with the daring of the young lovers, Roxane and Christian de Neuvillette. The knocker on Roxane’s door “is bandaged with linen like a sore thumb,” as if the house, injured by too many suitors seeking Roxane, will irritably resist any future ones.

*Arras

*Arras (ah-RAS). Spanish-held city in northern France retaken by the French after a siege in 1640 that provides the setting for act 4 of Cyrano de Bergerac. There Christian and Cyrano risk their lives for king and honor and are visited by Roxane immediately before Christian is killed by a sniper. The scene in which Roxane brings a wagon of food to the starving soldiers of the Gascon Guards found a receptive audience in Paris, which had suffered through a horrifying siege and famine during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871.

Sisters of the Holy Cross convent

Sisters of the Holy Cross convent. Parisian nunnery in whose garden Cyrano and Roxane meet in act 5, fifteen years after the battle at Arras. Falling leaves accord with Cyrano’s advancing age, while the solitary, “enormous” tree in the middle of the stage stands apart, like Cyrano in its size and loneliness. Neither the tree nor Cyrano is on a straight path to the chapel, which symbolizes Heaven. It is here that Cyrano finally reveals to Roxane that he wrote the love letters she received from Christian many years earlier.

Historical Context

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Seventeenth Century: Thirty Years War
Rostand wrote Cyrano de Bergerac in the late 1890s but set it in the mid-1600s. While the late 1890s was a period of great industrial and technological advancement, the mid-1600s (the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV) was a time of political intrigue and artistic intellectualism. It is important to understand both periods to truly understand the effect on Rostand's Heroic Comedy.

France in the 1640s was still feeling the effects of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Fought mainly in Germany, the war saw the German Protestant Princes, France, Sweden, Denmark, and England fighting the Holy Roman Empire (including the Catholic Princes of Germany and the countries of Austria, Spain, Bohemia, and Italy). The war was fought primarily over trade, and control over the various trade routes to the east.

The war itself ended for most countries in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. Fighting went on between France and Spain, however, and in 1654 the Spanish laid siege to Arras in northwestern France. The real Cyrano de Bergerac fought in this siege, and Rostand uses this historical fact for the setting of Act II.

Seventeenth Century: Civil Unrest
French nobles, upset with the unreasonable taxation, high tarriffs, and road tolls engaged the aid of Spanish troops and staged a rebellion against Cardinal Mazarin in 1648. The Cardinal was running the government for the eight-year-old Louis XIV. The aristocracy allied with the rising middle class in France to put down the rebellion. The public was outraged that the nobles were allied with France's enemy Spain. The conflict provided the opportunity later on for Louis XIV to consolidate his power over France and become an absolute ruler.

Seventeenth Century: Literature
During the reign of Louis XIV (The Sun King), French literature, arts, and philosophy became the standard for all of Europe. The Academie Francaise, founded by Cardinal Richelieu in 1634, sought to protect the French language by guarding against slang and poor grammar in all art and literature. (Edmond Rostand would become its youngest member ever inducted in 1901.) With a strong monarchy, the French had more leisure time for artistic pursuits than ever before.

The audience for theater in the 1600s tended to be the small elite group of aristocrats who could afford to patronize the arts. The refined style of the time period reflected the lifestyle of the patrons, who could afford to "keep" artists in their circle. Writers were generally poor in the seventeenth century and persuaded nobles, landowners, and even Louis XIV to finance their works (an idea which has formed more organized roots in modern drama in the form of government subsidies and grants for the arts and the grants and fellowships awarded to artists by various private and public foundations). Authors often included extreme flattery of their patrons in their books. The real-life Cyrano de Bergerac was sickened by this flattery but eventually was forced to seek the patronage of the Duke of Arpajon. Rostand depicts de Bergerac's feelings in his play, having his fictional Cyrano state: "Dedicate my works to men of wealth?/Become a sedulous ape, a fool who waits/For some official's patronizing smile?/No, thank you, ... I prefer to sing, to dream, to play/To travel light, to be at liberty."

Seventeenth Century: Salons
Literary works in the seventeenth century were read and discussed in salons. These salons, or ruelles as they were called, were often hosted by a French noblewoman who entertained aristocrats, writers, and philosophers while sitting on her bed. Meeting in this situation brought a "much needed refining influence on both the manners and language" of the gentlemen in attendence, according to John Lough in his book An Introduction to Seventeenth-Century France. Madeleine Robineau, whom Rostand used as a model for Roxane, was an intellectual who was a fixture and frequent hostess of such events.

1890s: Politics
Rostand wrote Cyrano de Bergerac in the late 1890s. The year it debuted the French deposed Madagascar's Queen Ranavalona, ending the one hundred year Hova dynasty; a Franco-German agreement defined the boundary between Dahomey and Togoland; and Britain and France inched ever closer to a possible conflict over colonial territories. The United States annexed the Hawaiian Islands much to the dismay of the Japanese, who still had 25,000 nationals there. Also, England's Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee—seventy-five years of rule. Despite the threat of various conflicts, the world was at a time of relative peace.

1890s: Science
In 1897 English physicist Joseph John Thomson proved that an atom was made up of electrons orbiting a nucleus, and that each element had a different number of electrons, and a different weight. The discovery of the atom opened the door to numerous advances in science and, later in the twentieth century, made everything from space travel to nuclear power possible. The malaria parasite was found to be carried by the Amopheles mosquito—a discovery that would lead to the widespread use of insecticides and the draining of wetlands where the insects bred. Also in 1897, the cathode ray tube was invented, which would eventually lead to the development of television and wireless communication.

1890s: Literature
In literature and entertainment, the Library of Congress was completed in Washington D.C. in 1897. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, and Dracula by Bram Stoker were all published for the first time in 1897. Other plays that made their debut that year were John Gabriel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen, The Devil's Disciple by George Bernard Shaw, and The Liars by Henry Arthur Jones.

Edmond Rostand wrote Cyrano de Bergerac at a time when Naturalism was a major force in the literary world. His heroic comedy was a complete contrast to what most of his contemporaries were writing at the time. While Ibsen was focused on Naturalism and Maeterlinck on Symbolism, de Bergerac used the Romanticism of the 1640's to create a completely different theater experience for his audience. The 1890s was a time of great change in the world, a time of forged alliances, technological and industrial advances, and social, political, and artistic upheaval. By setting Cyrano in the seventeenth century and basing the hero on a real-life character, the playwright was free to explore a more exotic and romantic time. As Lionel Strachey wrote in a review of the play in Lippincott's, "Rostand is the preeminent verbalist and sentimentalist of the French drama. He has the perennial talent of the right word in the right place, and that without prejudice to rhyme." Rostand's talent was to create a heroic character in Cyrano who transcends time.

Literary Style

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Cyrano de Bergerac is the tale of a man with an abnormally large nose who is in love with his beautiful cousin Roxane. She is, however, in love with the handsome soldier Chnstian. Cyrano's words work with Christian's good looks to woo Roxane, and it is only upon Cyrano's death that Roxane learns the words she loved so much were Cyrano's. As both poet and swordsman, Cyrano lives out his days independent and free, "thumbing his nose'' at the conventions of the mid-1600s. The story is a very effective dramatic work, utilizing numerous techniques to convey the emotions and events of Cyrano's life.

Romanticism
Rostand idolized the writer Savinen de Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) and, in creating a fictional account of his life, embellished on one of France's most colorful literary figures. The real de Bergerac was indeed both a soldier and a writer, but Rostand added one distinguishing element: a very large nose. While Cyrano's nose is first seen as a comic prop, his romantic heart and heroic stature quickly change that perception. Those familiar with the play see Cyrano's nose as a symbol of his undying love and devotion.

Cyrano de Bergerac falls very easily into the genre of Romanticism. That term is generally defined as "any work or philosophy in which the exotic or dreamlike figure strongly, or that is devoted to individualistic expression, self-analysis, or a pursuit of a higher realm of knowledge than can be discovered by human reason." Cyrano is, beyond anything else, an individual. From his first appearance in the theater to taunt Montfleury, Cyrano's larger than life personality mirrors his unusually large nose. This physical challenge makes Cyrano an exotic character, one who is more than mere man.

Character
By basing the character of Cyrano on a real historical figure, Rostand was able to use the most interesting aspects of the real de Bergerac and then embellish by adding details such as the incredibly large nose. Rostand created a character that took on a life of his own. Cyrano strives for perfection, both in poetry and in love. The other characters in the play are marvelously written, but it is Cyrano who twists and turns words into tirades and roller coasters. Rostand uses the real de Bergerac's life as a source for some of the verbal virtuosity. Cyrano's speech delaying de Guiche in his late-night meeting with Roxane is based on the real Cyrano's Histoire comique des etats et empires de la lune etdu soleil, a comic exploration of the "States and Empires of the Moon and the Sun." It is however, the fictional Cyrano's "nose tirade" in Act I that serves to set the stage for his heroic endeavors. This is a man who refuses to lose and refuses to fail. Even in the end he triumphs as he dies. He wins the love of the beautiful Roxane by remaining true to his character.

Repartee
Cyrano engages in witty repartee many times during the play. Repartee is a "conversation featuring snappy retorts and witticisms'' (see DfS glossary). The repartee between Cyrano and the citizen in the theater leads to the infamous "nose tirade" in which the man is humiliated by Cyrano's rapid-fire wit. The comedy that results from this exchange and with his exchange with the Vicomte de Valvert later on in Act I is at the recipients' expense, but it serves to focus our attention on Cyrano and to make him a hero as he defeats his foes with means other than his sword.

Point of View
As with many dramas, Cyrano de Bergerac is told with a third-person point of view. This presents characters and events from outside any single character, but with no special insights into the thoughts or actions of the characters. We see events from a "spectator'' point of view, but we do not hear any of the characters thoughts and feelings other than what they tell each other. Shakespeare often relayed characters' thoughts and interior dialogues through a monologue called a soliloquy, which essentially allows a character to speak his mind out loud.

Rostand eschews this technique in favor of a straight dialogue method, one that places the burden of illustrating his character's feelings on the poetic words they speak to each other.

Heroic Comedy
G. K. Chesterton wrote in his book Varied Types that, "heroic comedy is, as it were, a paradise of lovers, in which it is not difficult to imagine that men could talk in poetry all day long." Rostand wrote Cyrano de Bergerac in Alexandrine verse: a rhymed verse used by French dramatists and poets. Anthony Burgess, in his English translation in 1971, turned it into Heroic couplets with a rhyming couplet scheme. By writing in verse, Rostand was consciously working against the naturalism and symbolism of his contemporaries Ibsen and Maeterlinck. For Rostand's heroic comedy, he uses poetry to convey the dreamlike, exotic quality of Romanticism. There is no equivalent to Heroic Comedy in English literature. In the English (and American) tradition, comedies should have a happy ending, yet Rostand's ends with the death of his hero. While the ending is sad and somewhat tragic, Cyrano does, in dying, gain his greatest wish: he is loved by the woman he has always worshipped.

Compare and Contrast

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1600s: The real Cyrano de Bergerac writes Histoire comique des etats et empires de la lune et du soleil, chronicling his "adventures" on the moon.

1890s: The atom is discovered to be composed of a nucleus orbited by bodies called electrons. This discovery leads to the advent of space flight and the nuclear age.

Today: The Space Shuttle makes routine visits to Earth orbit, and there is preparation for a future visit to Mars.

1640s: The Thirty Years War comes to an end for most countries with the Peace of Westphalia, but France and Spain continue to fight over territory until the end of the seventeenth century.

1890s: European countries continue to pursue colonization of the Third World in order to compete with each other for power. France deposes Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar, while Cuba demands independence from Spain.

Today: The European Union continues to evolve, making France and Spain member states of a new federation.

1600s: Great plays and books were discussed in the salons of Paris, among the aristocrats and nobles who could afford to spend their leisure time discussing and going to the theater. Most common people did not have this luxury.

1890s: Through the availability of newspapers and magazines, critics all over the world discussed the great works at the turn of the century. Most people have some access to the arts.

Today: People from all over the world and of all social classes can read and discuss art and literature over the internet. Information is more widely available than ever before, and it is accessible almost immediately.

1640s: Society was organized into a strict class structure: aristocrats and nobles, the merchant middle-class, and the rural peasants and fanners who worked the land. A great majority of people went uneducated.

1890s: The Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s drew more people into the cities to work in factories. Society becomes more urbanized, as people leave their jobs in the fields for work these new industries. More and more people are being educated, and there is new emphasis on staying in school.

Today: The Technological Revolution is producing more and more office jobs as workers are being "downsized" and laid off from their factory positions. As society and industry become more mechanized, there are fewer jobs for unskilled workers, and there is a great demand for those workers with a college education.

Media Adaptations

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The earliest film adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac is a silent film from 1925 with Pierre Magnier as Cyrano. Available from Kino on Video.

The most famous film version of Cyrano de Bergerac is the one in which Jose Ferrer reprised his famous stage role as the title character. The film was released in 1950 by United Artists and is available on Nostalgia Family Video.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's 1985 production of the play, with Derek Jacobi as Cyrano, is available on video from Turner Home Entertainment.

For a newer adaptation of the play, see Jean-Paul Rappeneau's 1990 version of Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Gerard Depardieu as Cyrano, a performance for which he won the 1990 Cannes Film Festival's Best Actor award. Available on Orion Home Video.

Steve Martin's comedy Roxanne (1987) tells the story of Cyrano de Bergerac in a modern American setting. Starring Steve Martin as C. D. Bales (Cyrano) and Daryl Hannah as Roxanne. Available on Columbia Home Video.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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FURTHER READING
Burgess, Anthony. Preface to Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, translation by Burgess, Knopf, 1971, pp. v-xiv.
While much of this essay is an explanation of Burgess's methods as a translator, he does offer some valuable insight into the issues of Rostand's play.

Chesterton, G. K. "Rostand" in his Varied Types, Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1903, pp. 73-82.
An excerpt from Chesterton's book that characterizes Rostand's work, focusing in particular on Cyrano de Bergerac and L'Aiglon and their status as heroic comedies.

Phelps, William Lyon. "Edmond Rostand'' in his Essays on Modern Dramatists, Macmillan, 1921, pp. 229-78.
An overview of Rostand's career which traces the theme of the "Triumphant Failure'' in several of his plays. This is a good source for information about Rostand's thematic concerns.

Spiers, A. G. H. "Rostand As Idealist" in Columbia University Quarterly, Vol. XX, No. 2, April, 1918, pp. 155-69.
Spiers discusses how several of Rostand's characters (including Cyrano) attempt to fulfill their idealistic goals despite the obstacles with which they are faced. The essay features several passages from Rostand's plays as well as his definition of "panache."

SOURCES
Beerbom, Max. "Cyrano de Bergerac" in his Around Theatres, revised edition, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1953, pp. 4-7.

Howarth, William D. "Cyrano de Bergerac" in Reference Guide to French Literature, St. Fame's Press, 1992, pp. 165-66.

James, Henry. "Edmond Rostand" in the Critic, Vol. 29, no. 5, November, 1901, pp. 437-50.

Lough, John An Introduction to Seventeenth-Century France, Longmans, 1960, p. 228.

Strachey, Lionel. Review of Cyrano de Bergerac in Lippincott's, February, 1899, pp. 264-69.

Bibliography

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Chandler, Frank Wadleigh. The Contemporary Drama of France. Boston: Little, Brown, 1920. Rostand is depicted as “an idealist endowed with a sense of humor.” Ranks Chantecler, however, at a slightly higher level than Cyrano de Bergerac, for “the scintillating wit, the brilliant extemporization, the profusion of words and images that make us dizzy.” Good for comparing the tone of Cyrano de Bergerac with the rest of the canon.

Clark, Barrett Harper. Contemporary French Dramatists. Cincinnati: Stewart & Kidd, 1915. A short but informative essay on Edmond Rostand, his work habits, and his thin but excellent canon. Helps put Cyrano de Bergerac in perspective, and explains why subsequent dramas did not measure up to the masterpiece. Discusses the “nose” monologue in some detail.

Matthews, Brander. French Dramatists of the Nineteenth Century. 3d ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901. Unusual in criticizing Cyrano de Bergerac for lacking passions, real action, and realism. Questions Cyrano de Bergerac as a lasting piece of stagework—“at bottom too slight a thing to serve as the corner-stone of a new school.”

Rostand, Edmond. Cyrano de Bergerac: A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts. Translated and edited by Louis Untermeyer. New York: Heritage Press, 1954. This deluxe edition, with color illustrations by Pierre Brissard, features a foreword introducing the person on whom the stage figure is based. Brief biographical notes and a performance history to 1947.

Smith, Hugh Allison. Main Currents of Modern French Drama. New York: Henry Holt, 1925. Acknowledges Cyrano de Bergerac as definitive in evaluating the qualities and worth of Rostand’s poetic drama. Summarizes articles that appeared after the first production. Finds the play’s “freshness and salubrity” the main source of its popularity. Cyrano was not the beginning of a new school but rather an indication of “the survival and culmination of Romanticism.”

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