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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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Act V Cyrano's Gazette (15 years later in 1655)

Scene 1 and 2 Summary

The scene abruptly switches to the Convent of the Ladies of the Cross, outside of Paris. As the autumn leaves fall, some of the nuns are seated around the Mother Superior (Mother Marguerite). In the course of their conversation, it is revealed that Cyrano is a regular visitor to the convent. He has come every Saturday for over ten years in order to visit his cousin Roxane, now known as Madame Magdalene. Even after ten years, Roxane is still wearing the veil of mourning for her dead husband, Christian. The nuns enjoy the visits of Cyrano because of his wit and humor. They also try to convert him into a good Catholic.

Roxane approaches with De Guiche, now known as the Duke of Grammont. He asks about her life of seclusion, her fidelity, and her black veil. She affirms her resolution to be faithful to Christian; she even states that she has Christian's last letter to her fastened close to her heart. When the Duke asks about Cyrano, she informs him that Cyrano comes regularly to give her all the news of the world outside. LeBret then enters. Roxane eagerly asks him about Cyrano. He states that Cyrano's condition is very bad. He remains poor, hungry, and friendless, while making enemies in every quarter. It is assumed that he will soon die of cold or anemia. De Guiche states that he still admires Cyrano for having lived without compromising his principles.

As he is leaving, De Guiche contrasts his success with the freedom of Cyrano. He admits that his own success has left him with a sense of uneasiness and a bad taste in his mouth. He has many dead illusions and vague regrets for the past. He also takes Le Bret aside and warns him that Cyrano should be careful of his enemies, for it is rumored that some of them are trying to kill him by some subterfuge. Just as De Guiche is finally leaving, Ragueneau is announced. Roxane declares that the old baker is sure to whine about his miseries since he left her service. In truth, Ragueneau has not faired well. He has tried his hand at a number of jobs, including acting and wigmaking.


Notes

The last act of the play is set fifteen years after the battle of Arras. The purpose of these opening scenes of the last act is to reveal to the audience what has happened to Cyrano, De Guiche, and Roxane for the last fifteen years. Roxane is still in mourning for her dead husband. She is living in a convent outside of Paris and still wearing a black veil. From her and the nuns, the audience learns that Cyrano comes to visit Roxane once a week. Although he is still filled with wit and humor, Roxane worries about him, for he is poor and friendless; he also has made many enemies. De Guiche has changed little. Having been made a Duke and the Marshall of France, he is as proud and arrogant as ever. He does admit, however, that he has some disillusionment about life and regrets about his past.

When Cyrano comes to the convent, the nuns try to make him a better Christian. The biographies about the real Cyrano de Bergerac state that the Mother Superior, Roxane, and Cyrano's aunt, who were really in this convent, all tried so hard to convert him that he had to run away from Paris.

Scene two ends on a note of suspense. De Guiche draws Le Bret, the good friend of Cyrano, aside. He warns Le Bret that Cyrano's life may be in danger, for his enemies are plotting against him.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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