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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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Notes

The purpose of the second scene is to introduce the main characters of the play. Rostand's dramatic skill in presenting them is masterful. The characters do not all appear at once, but drift into the theater in ones, twos, and groups. Ligniere, the drunken poet, comes in with the extremely handsome Christian de Neuvillette. Christian confesses that he has fallen in love with a beautiful women, later identified as Cyrano's cousin Roxane; however, he is too shy to approach her, feeling he has no wit or elegance of expression, and begs Ligniere to help him. Before Roxane actually appears, Christian talks about her beauty, preparing the audience for her loveliness.

Although the protagonist of the play, Cyrano de Bergerac, does not physically appear in this second scene, his character and appearance are introduced through conversation. It is clear that he is a colorful person - proud, brash, impetuous, and outlandish. His appearance is also striking, for he has a huge nose and normally wears a feathered hat and cape. In addition, he always wears a sword, which he can use it very well. Ragueneau describes him in terms of a strutting cock. This is precisely the first impression that Cyrano makes in the next scene. His voice rises from the middle of the theater to order Montfleury off the stage. What follows is not far from a cockfight, for Cyrano takes center stage as he chases away all his rivals.


The mood of excitement is also intensified in this second scene to a level of suspense. The agitated Ragueneau, a baker who caters to poets and actors, arrives at the theater and announces that he expects trouble. Cyrano has forbidden Montfleury to act for three weeks, but he is cast as the star of the upcoming performance. When Cyrano arrives at the theater, he is certain to be upset at the news. The mood is further intensified when Christian wants to have a duel with Valvert, a married count who admires Roxane, in order to defend her honor. Ligniere literally has to hold him back.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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