Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand
Cyrano de Bergerac Theme of Identity
Identity is closely related to voice in Rostand’s play; one’s voice or words are the expression of the soul and are thus linked to one’s true self. Appearances get in the way, since judgments are made on a surface level without any deeper understanding of a given individual’s identity. Mixed identities play a big part as well, as characters often pretend to be others to further their own ends.
Questions About Identity
- Besides Roxane’s confusion over her lover’s identity, how does Rostand mix Cyrano and Christian’s identities? What parallels does he draw between them in speech or act? What traits do they actually share?
- What is the relationship between one’s voice and one’s identity in this play?
- In what ways do Cyrano and Christian envy each other? How do each of them live vicariously through the exploits of the other?
- With whom is Roxane really in love when she thinks she loves Christian? Can we even answer such a question?
Chew on This
Together, Christian and Cyrano create a third character – the perfect suitor for Roxane. It is this fictional man with whom she falls in love, therefore, she never loves either Christian or Cyrano.