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Author –Edmond Rostand –Born 1868 in France while France was under the rule of Napoleon III –His father wanted him to be a lawyer, but Edmond preferred.

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Presentation on theme: "Author –Edmond Rostand –Born 1868 in France while France was under the rule of Napoleon III –His father wanted him to be a lawyer, but Edmond preferred."— Presentation transcript:


2 Author –Edmond Rostand –Born 1868 in France while France was under the rule of Napoleon III –His father wanted him to be a lawyer, but Edmond preferred French literature instead –He eventually did earn a law degree –Produced his first play, Le Gant Rouge (The Red Glove) at the age of 20 –Enjoyed early success with the play Les Romanesques This play became the inspiration for the more modern play The Fantasticks

3 Author Background Cont. –Edmond Rostand –He volunteered to fight with the French army, but was refused. –He was very upset about this and consoled himself by writing patriotic poetry. –During the time that Rostand wrote Cyrano de Bergerac, France was experimenting with scientific research –The country’s morale was very low. The occult flourished, while naturalism declined, and people were just plain sad. –Realism was the popular style of the time –Cyrano emerged as a hopeful character and the people of France were pleased with Rostand for giving them such a different character than the ones that they were used to with the problem plays

4 Author –Edmond Rostand –Great success came with the wildly popular Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano’s character was used as the inspiration for the film version Cyrano de Bergerac starring Gerard Depardieu It also served as the inspiration for Steve Martin’s popular film, Roxanne Legend has it that the first audience to watch the play applauded a full hour after its conclusion

5 Background Information

6 Background Theater during Rostand’s day was mostly grim and realistic Cyrano was groundbreaking because its hero was anything but realistic and was swashbuckling at its finest Its Romantic nature was a breath of fresh air

7 Background The play harkened back to an era in theatre when men were musketeers, women were there to be rescued, and wit was just as important to a hero as how he handled his sword Cyrano’s unique blend of honesty, courage, wit and passion brought back to the stage the type of protagonist that had been missing

8 Literary Focus

9 –Date of Publication –Genre –Setting (time) –Setting (place) –Foils –Dramatic Irony 1897 Play; heroic comedy and romance 1640 Paris Christian and Cyrano are opposites from one another. Both characters possess what the other lacks. The audience begins to understand that Roxane has fallen in love with Cyrano and his words. Although the audience recognizes this, Cyrano cannot see the truth past his nose.

10 Literary Focus –Symbols Cyrano is symbolic of the strength and importance of inner beauty Christian is symbolic of outer (physical) beauty The letters Cyrano writes are symbolic of Christian’s failure to express himself adequately and Cyrano’s failure to express himself in action

11 Literary Focus –Symbols Cyrano’s nose is the most prominent symbol in the play. –It is representative of society’s inability to look past outer beauty to see beauty within –It is representative of a barrier to his love Roxane: he doesn’t have the confidence to pursue her and he is reminded of his physical shortcoming every time he opens his eyes

12 Literary Focus –Themes and Conflicts –Inner vs. Outer Beauty –Moral code and principles –Honor and Integrity –Pursuit of Love –Bravery and Virtue –Loyalty and Sacrifice –Friendship –Search for Self-Confidence and Self-Acceptance

13 Overview: a love triangle

14 Overview The play centers around a swordsman named Cyrano de Bergerac who is as deadly with his tongue as he is with his sword Despite his great skill with words and metal, he is handicapped with a grotesquely large and ugly nose

15 Overview His nose is the main reason for Cyrano’s only real weakness: the lack of confidence he feels when it comes to matters of the heart Cyrano is deeply in love with a woman named Roxane, but because he is so ugly he thinks he is beneath her Roxane, in turn, tells Cyrano she is in love with one of Cyrano’s cadets, Baron Christian de Neuvillette

16 Overview Cyrano tells Christian of Roxane’s love, but Christian then become distraught because he feels he lacks the poetry and eloquence to woo a woman of Roxane’s caliber Cyrano’s bright idea is what spurs on the rest of the action: Cyrano will write letters to Roxane pretending to be Christian.

17 Main Characters to Know

18 Cyrano de Bergerac The protagonist Talented with words and his sword Member of the Cadets of Gascyne (royal guards) Confident in almost all things except for love because of his ugly, long nose

19 RoxaneBeautiful and Intellectual Appreciate Cyrano’s vast wit and loves poetry Initially falls in love with Christian because of his good looks

20 ChristianFalls in love with Roxane While he possesses the beauty Cyrano lacks, he does not have any of Cyrano’s inherent wit and charm He is an honorable person and wants Roxane to be happy

21 Comte de GuicheThe play’s antagonist In love with Roxane and strongly dislikes Cyrano Tries to have Cyrano killed on several occasions throughout the play

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