Cyrano de Bergerac

July 10, 2011
"She said, "If you were ugly, I'd only love you more..." act 4, Cyrano de Bergerac

Humorously honest and enjoyable, Cyrano de Bergerac is a charming tale of chivalry mainly told from the perspective of a lovelorn French 'Renaissance Man' with a ridiculously long nose and thousands of enemies. As a play, the text is quick and engaging but retains the comfort of a beloved novel long after the last page has been turned. Set in the exciting French theater scene during the 1600s, the play comically explores the well taught saying that beauty is only skin deep: Cyrano, the creative protagonist, is a talented actor, poet, philosopher, musician, and much more. However remarkable his life is, the only thing that literally gets in his face is his hideous nose.

Christian, Cyrano's comrade, loves the same woman that Cyrano has been thinking about for years--his cousin Roxane! Roxane and Cyrano are casual contacts due to their familial status but the timid, mumbling Christian has trouble connecting with the lively, demanding Roxane. Since Roxane is an intellectual, high-minded woman with a penchant for romantic poetry, Christian begs for Cyrano's help to find the right words to reach her. Although Christian is handsome and has unknowingly already hooked Roxane with his dashing looks, he lacks Cyrano's wit and ease of speech, which Roxane clearly appreciates. Cyrano and Christian partner up to create the ultimate literary hero by combining Cyrano's dramatic, heart stopping prose to be delivered by Christian's handsome profile underneath Roxane's balcony. Although Cyrano secretly envies Christian's fabulous looks, he delights in writing the love letters for Roxane because it allows him to vicariously enjoy a secret love. Roxane eventually falls in love according to Christian's plan but the truth slowly unravels when war with the Spanish breaks out, and Cyrano and Christian rush to the battle to defend France.

Humour and sarcasm soften Cyrano's rugged emotions, but the bare, delicate messages of the fragility of feelings and the importance of a true heart are honestly conveyed at the end. Written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand, this literary classic has been performed numerous times and created into movies, such as the 1987 comedy "Roxanne," starring Steve Martin. Easy to read without the constant accompaniment of SparkNotes, yet enriching enough to be considered of literary merit, readers will fall in love with Cyrano de Bergerac's sweet, tragic ending.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

StrangeJade This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm
I read this in 7th grade!! I love this book so very much. ^-^ The teacher let me read Cyrano's lines during his death scene. (...Even though I'm a girl.) But it was fun! :)
wordlover27 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm
It sounds like a really interesting read and I like how it's not a typical teenage choice...amid all the vampire novels nowadays it seems very fresh.
authorkid said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm
good! it's informative, and it's not lrepetative, nor is it too deep, where only an english professor would like it. it captiviates anyones interest
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm
This is very, very good!!! I really want to read this now!!! The writing flowed well, and you combined the perfect amount of opinion and plot of the story to make this sound very interesting. Five stars :)
CarrieAnn13 said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm
I remember reading this in the forum.  Good job with this polished version!
tealbird said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm
I totally meant to give you 5 stars but I only clicked on 4!
tealbird said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm
Let me just say that plays and I don't exactly have a good relationship. I haven't found one that I actually enjoy reading it, except for maybe 'Macbeth', which was at best only bearable. But you have made me want to read this! Not only was this piece well-written, but it was also well-informed and I'm seriously going to look for a copy to read!
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 12:00 am
i'm glad you've found a play you might possibly enjoy. i'll admit i sometimes needed sparknotes for it, but only in the beginning or during crucial points when i wasn't sure what someone had meant. this is actually a good read, too, b/c you can use it on the AP exam, i've heard. hope you enjoy it!
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