© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac


by Edmond Rostand

Cyrano de Bergerac Theme of Courage

Courage is one of the most important characteristics of Cyrano de Bergerac’s worthy hero. Cyrano’s courage is almost reckless tomfoolery and his showy bravery often invites the jealousy of others. Conversely, cowardice is a mark of an unworthy man in this playoften one of the antagonists. In keeping with the chivalric traditions of the time period (17th-century France), duels are fought and lives are lost all in the name of courage.

Questions About Courage

  1. How does Christian show both physical and emotional bravery?
  2. Cyrano’s concept of courage is complex. What does he consider true courage? Does he fight only to win? How does this idea affect his lifestyle?
  3. Why do the Gascoyne cadets despise Comte de Guiche even though he is a Gascon? Why do they consider him a coward? How do their opinions of him change?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Christian shows more courage than Cyrano by wearing his heart on his sleeve and never trying to deny or fake his feelings.

Cyrano de Bergerac presents courage in an exclusively masculine realm; only the play’s male characters show courage.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...