Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand
Much of Cyrano de Bergerac is driven by the fact that everyone wants to get Roxane. So what’s so great about this chick? Well, she’s beautiful, she’s rich, and she’s a virgin. As far as we can tell, that makes her a hot commodity in seventeenth century France.
But besides being the object of everyone’s sexual desires, Roxane is a strong woman for her time. She knows what she wants and she is staunch in pursuing it. She does not give in to immorality (like the questionable advances of de Guiche). Nor does she associate with the shallow or proud, as seen by her rejection of Vicomte de Valvert.
She’s also, as far as we can tell, not dumb. She can think quickly on her feet and make up stories to achieve her ends. She deceives de Guiche to finagle her eventual marriage to Christian, and she makes it past enemy lines to bring food to the starving soldiers (although her motivation may have been more about seeing her new husband than saving everyone’s lives).
But, like all people, she is not without flaws. For one, she’s completely blind to the fact that she’s being wooed by Cyrano, not Christian. Two, she is (admittedly) a shallow chick for most of the play (though she later repents), loving Christian only for his good looks. Lastly, she is one demanding woman. Picture the scene, ladies: you’re standing on a balcony being serenaded by a gorgeous man below, who is calling up to you in desperate, pleading tones that he absolutely loves you with all of his soul. And you response is: "Seriously? ‘I love you’? Is THAT the best you can come up with?" Granted, we’ve got a bit of a cultural barrier here, but still. If Roxane wasn’t so obsessed with being told of her beauty 24/7, she could have been happy with Christian sans Cyrano’s help.