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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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Count De Guiche (later Duke of Grammot)

De Guiche serves as a foil to Cyrano. He is a sly and calculating opportunist. He organizes one hundred men to hide and wait to attack Ligniere, the poet, who has dared to satirize him. He has won himself a position of influence and power by marrying Cardinal Richelieu's niece. Despite his marital status, he has designs on the beautiful Roxane. Since he cannot woo and marry her himself, he plans to make the weak Valvert her husband. Hoping to make Roxane his mistress, De Guiche knows that he can easily push Valvert out of the way. He is infuriated when his plans are destroyed by Roxane's marriage to Christian. He blames Cyrano for helping to arrange the match and Roxane for outwitting him.

Since De Guiche does not get his way, he is thirsty for vengeance. Before Christian and Roxane can consummate their marriage, he sends him, along with Cyrano and the rest of the regiment, to fight in the battle of Arras. On the battlefront, De Guiche appears in a better light. Although he complains about the Cadets' contempt for him, he proves himself to be a leader and strategist for them. When Roxane arrives, he softens even further. He promises to protect her, no matter the cost, and bravely cost off to battle on her behalf. When Christian is killed, it is ironically De Guiche who is chosen to escort Roxane back to safety.

At the end of the play, De Guiche is seen again, and the audience learns he has become a Duke, a reward for his bravery at Arras. Like Cyrano, he comes to the convent to visit Roxane. Although he still seems interested in her after fifteen years, he has resigned himself to the fact that he has lost her to Christian forever. De Guiche seems to have mellowed in other ways as well. He asks Roxane to forgive him for his treachery when he intentionally sent Christian to war and place his regiment in a very vulnerable spot. He also admits that he regrets the things he has missed on his way to success.


Christian de Neuvillette

Christian de Neuvillette, a totally flat character, serves as another foil to Cyrano. His blond handsomeness is a complete contrast to the ugliness of Cyrano; however, he is totally lacking in wit and the ability to express himself in words. Although he attracts the attention of Roxane, he cannot win her love without the help of Cyrano.

Christian, whose historical name was Christophe de Champagne, comes from the north of France and joins the Gascon Cadets. The moment that he spies the beautiful Roxane in the theater, he falls in love with her; but he knows he will never be able to win her love, for he has no way with words. He also proves that he is a weak man, filled with insecurity and nervousness. He dares to criticize Cyrano's nose, in spite of being warned against it, for he feels a need to prove himself. When he tries to woo Roxane with his own words and thoughts, he seems ridiculous, to the point that she shuts the window in his face.

Christian succeeds in winning Roxane as his wife only after Cyrano supplies him with all of the correct things to say to her. De Guiche is so jealous that Christian has married her that he immediately sends cadet away, along with the rest of his regiment, to fight in the battle of Arras. While Cyrano and Christian wait at the front for the fighting to begin, Cyrano takes it upon himself to write daily letters to Roxane, which he signs as Christian. Each day he sneaks through enemy territory in order to mail the letters to her.

When Roxane arrives at the battlefront, Cyrano must tell Christian the truth about the letters. Christian is incensed to learn that his friend has acted behind his back and forged his signature without his knowledge. He realizes that Roxane is really in love with Cyrano, the author of the letters, and not him. He insists that Roxane be told the truth, which will allow her to choose between Christian and Cyrano. Before the disclosure can be accomplished, the battle begins. Christian is killed with the first shot fired by the enemy.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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