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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Appearances

Cyrano de Bergerac tells the classic story of two men vying for one woman’s love: one of them is ugly but witty, the other attractive and not the sharpest tool in the shed. The play reminds u...

Lies and Deceit

Deception is at the heart of Cyrano de Bergerac and drives the action forward. From fake identities and hidden emotions to dastardly plots and clever plans, little is what it seems in this play. De...

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, sin...

Love

Love means conflict in Cyrano de Bergerac. Barriers seem to stand in the way of every potential couple, and competition is the name of the wooing game. Interestingly, two men who want the same woma...

Principles

Principle – or lack thereof – is a determining factor for many characters in Cyrano de Bergerac. It defines the difference between the protagonist and the villain. Principle in this pla...

Art and Culture

Cyrano de Bergerac is steeped in the history and culture of seventeenth century France. Though the playwright lived more than 200 years after this era, he goes to great pains to make it as faithful...

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...

Language and Communication

The ability to speak well is the hero’s primary quality in Cyrano de Bergerac. It is no coincidence that his other obvious talent is swordplay; although, it is noteworthy here that witty bant...

Versions of Reality

Cyrano de Bergerac is often dogged by a sense of artfulness, a sense that things are not as real or serious as they should be. This is especially true in the first half of the play and lessens as t...

Cunning and Cleverness

Wit is the name of the game in Cyrano de Bergerac. Characters are judged by their ability to soliloquize, rhyme, and compose at the drop of a hat. Our hero character, Cyrano himself, takes pride in...

Revenge

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 f...
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