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