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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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Notes

In these two scenes, Cyrano is clearly frustrated and out of sorts. The audience realizes that the frustration is a result of his disappointing meeting with Roxane. When the poets, the reporter, the Cadets, and the Parisian crowd want to applaud and honor Cyrano for his heroic feat at the Porte de Nesle, he has no interest. The only thing on his mind is Roxane.

Cyrano's description of the Gascon Cadets, which is not totally positive, is really a description of himself. Although he says the Gascons are noble, Cyrano also claims that they are very ruthless, boastful, and bold. Their other qualities, like grace and ferocity, are compared to animals. Even their sexual virility and prowess, which is discussed in direct terms, seems animalistic.

When the Cadets talk about Cyrano's heroic defeat of one hundred men, who were to attack Ligniere, De Guiche admits that he was responsible for planning it. He wanted to be rid of Ligniere. Obviously impressed that Cyrano single-handedly stopped the attack, De Guiche makes an offer of patronage to him. Cyrano's pride is clearly seen in his rejection of De Guiche's offer. He does not want anyone changing that which he has written, and he does not want to be beholden to another human being, even one as powerful and influential as Cardinal Richelieu.

After rejecting De Guiche's offer, Cyrano proceeds to insult the man. He asks him whether he wants the hats of his defeated followers. De Guiche responds by comparing Cyrano to Don Quixote, tilting at windmills and trying to fight giants. Cyrano says the windmills are only De Guiche's men, who change with the wind. De Guiche warns that the windmills can destroy Cyrano, and Le Bret and the audience believe him. The proud Cyrano, however, has faith in himself and answers that the windmills can only sweep him upward. Like Don Quixote, he is a positive idealist, devoted to what he believes is right even when it is impractical.


Feeling totally insulted, De Guiche leaves in a huff. Le Bret scolds his friend for insulting such a powerful man and for refusing to accept him and Richelieu as his patrons. He believes that Cyrano is throwing away another fortune, just like the bag of gold he tossed away earlier in the play. Le Bret hints that Cyrano's bitter behavior has been brought on by his sexual frustration and his rejection by Roxane. Cyrano, however, refuses to talk about Roxane.

During Scene 8, Cyrano becomes the mouthpiece of Rostand as he severely criticizes literary men who try to win over journalists and old ladies in order to promote themselves. He talks about their necks "bending in all directions." In contrast, Cyrano sees his neck as stiff, causing his head to be held high. The honest and independent Cyrano does not believe in hypocrisy and refuses to bow to anyone.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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