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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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OTHER ELEMENTS

Style

The original play in French is a poetic drama written in hexametric rhymed couplets, a popular form of dramatic verse in the time of Rostand. His language is rich and filled with allusions, especially to the classics, with references to Venus, Diana, Penelope, Cleopatra, Don Quixote, and others. The play is also filled with vibrant sensory images, especially when Cyrano is speaking, for his words are the true poetry of love.

Irony and contrast

Irony and contrast are the key ingredients of successful dramatic art. Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with contrasts, dramatic irony, and comic and pathetic reversals. The central irony of the play is that Cyrano, whose valor and gift of speech have won him the heart of the woman he loves, cannot find the courage to seize his own happiness. Another underlying irony through the play is that Cyrano, who declares war on impostures and hypocrisies in society, is himself carrying out a deception on Roxane, which he does not expose for fifteen years. Roxane's love is also ironic. She first loves Christian because of his looks, but then falls truly in love with him because of the depth and beauty of his soul, as expressed in his words, thoughts, and letters; of course, these are really the words, thoughts, and letters of Cyrano, which means she is loving the wrong man. Even the baker Ragueneau's plight is ironic. He cannot bear to part with third rate examples of love poetry despite his wife's exasperation; then he has to part with everything, including his wife.


The contrasts in the play are many and varied. The most obvious contrast is between Cyrano, a physically ugly man with a keen mind and tender soul, and Christian, a physically gorgeous man with a shallow soul. The noble and heroic Cyrano is also contrasted with De Guiche, who normally acts in a vengeful and cowardly manner. Cyrano, who is a master of words and wit, is further contrasted with Ragueneau, who attempts to write poetry that is laughable in its quality. In every aspect, the play is a masterpiece of lyrical writing and dramatic craftsmanship.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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