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Themes

Cyrano de Bergerac takes a negative view of revenge. The one villainous character becomes the symbol of obsessive vengeance even for the pettiest of offenses. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is a female trait, as embodied by the play’s leading lady. The story also draws a distinction between getting revenge and avenging; the former is petty, while the latter noble. One is driven by pure spite, whereas the other follows a sense of justice.

Questions About Revenge

  1. In what ways does Cyrano offend Comte de Guiche? Is he justified in his response?
  2. Is Cyrano’s vow to avenge Christian’s life more honorable than de Guiche’s revenge on Cyrano?
  3. Why does Roxane forgive Comte de Guiche for getting Christian killed? Does her generous behavior change de Guiche’s?
  4. Is de Guiche’s comment to Le Bret about Cyrano’s "accident" a veiled death threat, or a legitimate warning?

Chew on This

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

Using their wits, Cyrano, Roxane, and de Guiche all take various forms of revenge in the play; de Guiche should not be seen as the only villain.

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