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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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THEMES

Major

Love

Love is the key theme that unifies the entire play, and Roxane is the lady who inspires the love. Intelligent and beautiful, she easily wins the love of Cyrano, Christian, and De Guiche without even trying. Cyrano describes her as a "trap laid by nature," made to enchant all men.

Each of the men loves and desires Roxane for a very different reason. Cyrano is charmed by her determination, wit, and intellect; for him, she is not like the other "precieuse" women of the time. For Christian, Roxane is an object of great beauty, a match for his own handsomeness. De Guiche, on the other hand, sees Roxane as a sexual object and wants her to become his mistress. Each of them has a plan to win her. De Guiche wants to marry her to Valvert, for he knows that this weak man will not be an obstacle to his pursuit of Roxane as his mistress. Christian, who is unable to express himself, plans to use the words and thoughts of Cyrano to woo and win Roxane. Cyrano plans to hide behind the guise of Christian in order to express his true emotions to her. In fact, the happiest time of his life occurs at Arras, when his whole being is concentrated on the love letters he writes to Roxane.


The romantic plans of all three men fail in the end. De Guiche's desire to make Roxane his mistress is thwarted when she marries Christian instead of Valvert. Although Christian wins Roxane as a wife, he never gets to really love her, for he is sent off to fight at Arras, where he is killed by the first shot of the battle. Even though Cyrano is able to express his love for Roxane in the guise of Christian for a short while, Christian's death silences him forever. He must now keep his feelings of love to himself and be satisfied with regular friendly visits to Roxane in the convent. His thwarted love destroys him physically and emotionally, just as Christian's death takes the sparkle out of Roxane. The play, therefore, becomes a tale of true, but unsatisfied, love

In several ways, the play is similar to the romantic Romeo and Juliet. Both dramas are known for their balcony scenes, where the male lover, under cover of darkness, speaks to the object of his affection as she stands above him. Both plays are about young, handsome couples whose love is lost to death. Both plays are also filled with lines of beautiful love poetry, brought out by a beautiful woman.

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