Cyrano de Bergerac Art and Culture Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Line)
The Hall or the Hôtel de Bourgogne in 1640. A sort of Tennis Court, arranged and decorated for Theatrical productions. (I.stage directions)
Rostand opens his play in a real historical place known for running stage plays.
Farther along, toward the centre of our stage is the Entrance to the Hall; a great Double door which opens only slightly to admit the Audience. On one of the panels of this door, as also in other places about the Hall, and in particular just over the Sideboard, are Playbills in red, upon which we may read the title LA CLORISE. (I.stage directions)
Rostand provides readers with an accurate portrait of the theater, right down to the color of the playbills on the wall. La Clorise by Baro was a popular play several years before 1640 (the time Cyrano takes place).
The play begins at two. Plenty of time—
And here’s the whole floor empty. Shall we try
(They fence with the foils which they have brought.) (I.4-6)
Swordplay and dueling were common practices in the culture of 17th-century France. They were deemed a blatant show of courage from a man. So the fact that the two cavaliers bring their foils to a play and practice fighting beforehand shows their eagerness to develop a brave façade, a trait valued in this culture.