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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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Heroism

Another unifying theme in the play is heroism, both active and passive, and Cyrano represents both aspects. Not only is he filled with bravery, chivalry, and integrity, he also has the courage to fight for his beliefs. He dares to take on one hundred opponents single handedly to protect Ligniere. He also is ready to fight Christian when he criticizes his nose, until he learns the young man's identity. To survive with such a grotesque and ugly nose, which his own mother found repulsive, is itself a sign of heroism; however, Cyrano's real heroism lies in his self-denial. He is willing to help Christian win Roxane, for he knows this is what she desires. He risks his life to send letters to Roxane, supposedly written from Christian, because he has promised her that he will see to it that her husband writes regularly from the battlefront. He refuses to tell Roxane the truth after Christian's death, even though Christian had wanted him to; he does not want to spoil Roxane's beliefs about her deceased husband. All the pain that Cyrano endures on account of the aesthetics of love, which cannot allow a beauty to marry a beast, as he himself points out in Act V, shows a genuine heroism rising above physical courage.


Throughout the play, Cyrano proves his bravery as a fighter. Not only did he defeat the one hundred men, he also threatens to fight the musketeer who is flirting with Lise, the wife of Rageuneau. When De Guiche sends him off to fight at Arras, he is excited about the thought of battle even though he hates to see Roxane left behind. Once the fighting begins, he is anxious to prove his bravery, to the point that he is willing to leave Roxane in the care of De Guiche in order to enter the battle. Twice in the play, he voices his desire to die fighting against a worthier opponent -- to die heroically vanquished by the sword. Sadly, he does not die in battle as he desired; instead, a log is surreptitiously dropped on his head by an enemy. Still, he turns his death into an act of heroism. Despite his serious injuries, he makes his planned visit to Roxane at the convent. Then after making her realize that he was the author of the letters, he stands to face death, heroically declaring that he has lived with integrity, always being true to himself and fighting for what he believes in.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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