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Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac

by Edmond Rostand

Versions of Reality Theme

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 the play grows more serious in tone and content. Conveying this sense of frivolity, the characters often revert to the language of the stage to describe events, and all the supposedly "spontaneous" dialogue is metered, measured, and rhyming, making events seem scripted and somewhat fake. Numerous references to fairy tales contribute to this feeling of artifice.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Cyrano de Bergerac starts off lightheartedly and becomes increasingly serious. How do the settings of each act contribute to this change?
  2. In his passionate speech to Roxane in Act III, Cyrano considers language as a mere "game of words." If language is indeed a game, what consequence does this have for Cyrano? For the play itself? For the audience watching?
  3. What is the effect of Rostand starting Cyrano de Bergerac with the presentation of a play?

Chew on This

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Cyrano de Bergerac ultimately views language as artificial, rendering the play itself a mockery of theater.

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