Cyrano de Bergerac - Mrs. BairdEnglish Language ArtsRocky

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Transcript Cyrano de Bergerac - Mrs. BairdEnglish Language ArtsRocky

Cyrano de
By Edmond
Introduction to Cyrano:
• Historical Background
– France and the Real
– Edmond Rostand
– Realism and Romanticism
• Vocabulary
– General
– Period
– Drama
• The Play
Romantic Comedy
Key Concepts
History of
Century Paris
• 1610 – Louis XIII becomes King of
• 1618 – The Thirty Years War begins
– Austria and Spain go to war with a
group of German Princes.
• 1624 – Cardinal Richelieu becomes
first minister of France.
• 1634 – Spanish troops invade
central and northern Europe.
• 1635 – France declares war on
Austria and Spain.
History of 17th Century Paris
 1639 - The real Cyrano is wounded in
 1641 – Cyrano leaves the army and takes
up literature.
 1643 – Louis XIII dies, Louis the XIV
becomes king and rules from 1643-1714.
• 1645 – Cyrano dies from head injuries
from a log dropped on his head.
• 1645-1789—Over 11 different wars 
France during the 1700s and
• French Revolution- 17891799
• France shifts from a
Monarchy to a Republican
• Napoleon declares himself
Emperor in 1804 and rules
until 1815.
• From 1801-1871, there were
21 wars or battles 
• After all the war and death,
do you think people are
ready for literature that is
less realistic and more
romantic or idyllic?
Edmond Rostand
• born in Marseilles, France in 1868
• as a college student in Paris, he fell in love with
French literature and theater.
• first play, Le Gant Rouge, was produced when he was
only 20 years old
• Each new play proved more successful than the
previous one, and Rostand’s name lured prominent
actors and actresses to star in his productions.
Drama in the 1800s…
• Late 19th century theater dominated by grim, realistic
stories and unsentimental characters
• In theater, a movement towards greater fidelity to real life
• Rostand felt that the French people had forgotten the
values and ideals that made them a proud and virtuous
people, the qualities and character that made them
honorable and specifically French.
• Industrialization taking place
across Europe, and with it
came a more scientific way of
looking at things
• Realism places an emphasis
on the objective
documentation of everyday life,
usually working-class life, and
rejects idealization or glamour.
• French Realism develops into
Naturalism- shares the same
goals as Realism, but also
stresses the governing of
human life by natural laws.
Naturalists argued that the
theater should explain the
scientific laws of human
• Romanticism places an emphasis on
idealism and heroism.
• A reaction against the scientific
rationalization of nature
• Stressed strong emotions & the
aesthetic experience
Cyrano de Bergerac as Romanticism
• Romantic period in
Europe vaguely began
in the late 18th century
and ended in middle of
the 19th century.
• Imagination, emotion,
and freedom are
certainly the focal
points of romanticism.
• Characteristics of Romantic
an emphasis on individualism;
freedom from rules;
solitary life rather than life in society;
the beliefs that imagination is
superior to reason and devotion to
– love of and worship of nature;
– and fascination with the past,
especially the myths and mysticism
of the middle ages.
The Romantic Hero
Characteristics of the romantic hero:
1. Usually protagonist
2. focus on character's thoughts rather than actions.
3. placed outside the structure of civilization; represents the
force of physical nature, yet with a sense of power and often
leadership, that society has impoverished itself by rejecting.
4. introspection, the triumph of the individual over the restraints
of theological and social conventions, wanderlust,
melancholy, misanthropy, alienation, and isolation.
5. However, another common trait of the Romantic hero is
regret for his actions, and self-criticism, often leading to
philanthropy, which stops the character from ending tragically.
Cyrano de Bergerac as Romanticism
• Romantic treatments are sometimes sentimental,
idealistic rather than realistic
• A reaction to the restrained neoclassical attitude of
reason, order and balance
• The Romantics freed the French drama from the two
unities of time and place.
• Written in 1897, many believed Cyrano to be the
revival of Romanticism
• Cyrano is celebrated for its idealism
1. affable : adj. warm and friendly
2. bellicose : adj. hostile; aggressive
3. Cynosure : n. something that attracts
4. droll : adj. humorous; clownish
5. dubious : adj. doubtful
6. enmity : n. hatred
7. lambast : v. to criticize harshly
8. obsequious : adj. fawning; servile
Period Vocab
A Marquis:
• A nobleman ranking below a
duke and above an earl or a
• Used as a title for such a
• A military man serving on horse.
• One of the court party in the
time of King Charles I, as
contrasted with a Roundhead or
an adherent of Parliament.
• A well mannered man; a
Period Vocab
• a uniformed manservant
A Cutpurse:
• a thief
A Page
• Below a Knight; serves him.
A Duenna:
• A chaperone (or occasionally chaperon)
• an adult who accompanies or supervises one or more
young, unmarried men or women during social
occasions, usually with the specific intent of
preventing inappropriate interactions or illegal
Period Vocab
• a person employed to carry luggage and supplies
• doorkeeper: someone who guards an entrance
Drama Vocab
• Comic Relief – a witty exchange, skit, or
soliloquy that the author inserts to ease tensions
within a serious work.
• Melodrama – a romantic or sensational plot
carried to the extremes of emotion in weeping,
or dismay. The final act of Cyrano has been
labeled melodrama
Symbols (We will discuss these more)
Cyrano’s nose
The love letters
The plume
Cyrano’s Themes
Values and Virtue
Inner and Outer Beauty
The Danger in Deception
Appearance versus Reality
Honor Loyalty Sacrifice
Key Concepts
• Chivalry
• Courtly Love
• ACT 1: Hotel de Bourgongne, the lobby or
auditorium, 1640
• ACT 2: Raguaneau’s pastry shop, the next
• ACT 3: the garden of Roxane’s house, the
Marais quarter of Paris, a few weeks later
• ACT 4: the siege of Arras, a month later
• ACT 5: Convent of Ladies of the Cross, 15
years later
Three Main Characters:
• Cyrano de Bergerac: He is a long-nosed,
fencing, poetry writing, fighting, loving, man
convinced that no one will ever love him
because of his ugly features
• Christian: dumb as a rock, Gascon (soldier) of
Cyrano’s, handsome, loves Roxane and wishes
to win her, but fears he can’t because of his lack
of expression.
• Roxane: “Madeline Robin” She is the most
beautiful woman around. She is also the smart
and cousin to Cyrano. She is loved by Cyrano,
Christian, and many others.
Friends of Cyrano
• Ligniere: mischievous poet, angers DeGuiche
with poem ridiculing him
• Raguenueu: poet and pastry cook, later works
for Roxane
• Lise: wife of Raguenuau, leaves him after Act II
• Le Bret: officer in Cyrano’s regiment, Cyrano’s
confidant, first learns of Cyrano’s love for
• Carbon de Castel Jaloux: captain of Cyrano’s
Opponents of Cyrano:
• Count de Guiche: ambitious nobleman and
military commander, in love with Roxane, hates
Cyrano, experiences a change during the play,
known as the Duke in Act 5
• Viscount de Valvert: follower of DeGuiche,
wooer of Roxane, gets insulted by Cyrano
• Montfleury: fat, untalented actor, insulted by
Assignment 1: Pre-Reading Reflection
1. Would you rather have inner beauty or outer beauty? You may
only choose one and if you choose inner beauty, then you are
pretty ugly and if you choose outer beauty, you are gorgeous,
but a pretty, mean and nasty person. Discuss the reasons for
your choice.
2. Do you have 1 physical quality or trait that you are selfconscious about? What is it and why are you self-conscious
about it? How does this affect you and have you ever felt
alienated because of this difference?
3. What does our society value more highly-inner beauty or outer
4. How does a boy win the heart of a girl? List all of the ways a
guy can impress a girl and win her over, include what his
personality has to have.
5. What are the elements of your ideal mate?
Assignment 2: ACT 1 Questions
1. What does Captain Le Bret say happens to anyone who
makes fun of Cyrano’s nose? What do you learn about
Cyrano from this information?
2. How does Valvert insult Cyrano just before their duel
begins? How does Cyrano gain revenge for this insult?
3. What is Le Bret’s advice to Cyrano regarding his love for
his cousin? What is Cyrano’s reaction to the advice? Why
do you suppose he reacts the way he does?
4. How does Rostand prepare the audience for Cyrano’s first
entrance on stage? Do you feel this is an effective
technique? Why or why not?
5. In response to the question about where his life will lead,
Cyrano tells Le Bret, “I’ve decided to excel in everything.”
Do you think such an attitude is realistic in everyday life?
Why or why not?
Assignment 3: Act I Indirect Characterization
What it tells us about Cyrano
He stands on his chair and forces Montfleury from the
He is brave, aggressive, and follows
through on his threat to remove the actor.
He challenges members of the audience to fight him
He criticizes Montfleury’s acting style
He throws the bag of money on the stage
He bullies the citizen who stares at his nose
He “teaches” the viscount how to properly insult his
He composes a ballad while defeating the viscount
He takes very little food from the foodseller
He becomes moody and subdued when the crowd has
He refuses to take Le Bret’s advice about Roxane
He instantly decides to defend Ligniare from the 100
Assignment 4: Compare/Contrast
Cyrano and Christian
Cyrano and Christian are two of the main characters in
Cyrano de Bergerac. Write a paragraph comparing and
contrasting them, citing lines from Act I to support your
analysis. What can you infer from each character’s
words and actions in this scene? In what ways are
Cyrano and Christian different? How are they similar?
Assignment 5: ACT II
1. At what exact moment in the pastry shop does Cyrano learn that Roxane
is talking about someone else? What does this say about Cyrano?
2. In your opinion, why does Christian insult Cyrano’s nose? What is
Cyrano’s reaction when he finds out that Christian is the one making the
rude comments about his nose? What does Cyrano’s reaction tell you
about him?
3. What arrangement does Cyrano make with Christian regarding Roxane?
Why do you suppose Cyrano suggests this arrangement?
4. Cyrano agrees to help another man who is in love with the same woman
as himself. Are Cyrano’s actions believable? Does he behave as you feel
most people would in a similar situation? Explain.
5. Do you think Cyrano is boastful? Why or why not? Give evidence from
the text to support your answer.
Assignment 6: Images from
Cyrano’s speech to Le Bret (p.91), in which he
explains why he does not want a protector,
contains numerous natural images that enrich
his speech and clarify his explanation. Write a
short essay in which you evaluate Rostand’s
use of imagery in this speech. Analyze how
images such as the ivy, the spine of an eel, and
the oak tree add richness to the speech and
magnify his reasons for wanting to remain free.
Assignment 7: ACT III
Why is Roxane so concerned when she learns that de Guiche is
about to order the soldiers to depart for war? What trick does she play
as a result of her concern?
Having read the conversation between Roxane and de Guiche, how
would you describe Roxane’s attitude toward him? How does
Rostand communicate Roxane’s true feelings to the audience without
making them clear to de Guiche?
How would you describe Cyrano’s emotions as he speaks for
Christian to Roxane? Why might he have mixed feelings about what
he is doing?
How does Cyrano keep de Guiche from interrupting the wedding?
What do you learn about Cyrano from the method he chooses?
Assignment 8: Act IV
What is the military significance of de Guiche’s white scarf?
What happens to it? What does Cyrano think about the white
scarf, and what does he do for it?
What realization does Roxane finally come to about Christian?
How does this realization affect Christian?
What does Christian urge Cyrano to do? In your opinion, what
are his reasons?
What do you think would be Roxane’s reaction if she were to
learn the truth about Christian and Cyrano and her relationship
with them?
Describe Roxane’s character so far. Do you feel that she is
worthy of Cyrano’s love? of Christian’s? Why or why not?
Assignment 9: Act V
What do you learn about Cyrano from the conversation of the
nuns, de Guiche, and Le Bret before he comes on stage? Why
is this information necessary?
What information does de Guiche give to Le Bret about
Cyrano? Why do you suppose Cyrano’s old enemy has told Le
Bret about the danger?
How does Roxane finally learn that it was Cyrano who wrote
the letters and has loved her all along? Do you think she is
surprised? Explain your answer.
How does Rostand use natural imagery to create the mood in
the last scene? Evaluate the success of this technique.
What are Cyrano’s accomplishments? For what will he be
most known? In your opinion, what kinds of accomplishments
in life are the most meaningful?
Project: Faux File
Visit and create a sign in
(use real name). Create a “faux file” for
one of the characters in the play. When
you are finished, email it to me. To
receive full credit, you should use the play
to really analyze your character and be as
accurate, yet creative as possible for this
Example of things to include: favorite quotes,
work place, family relationships, personality traits, etc.
Remakes of Cyrano
• Sesame Street:
• Wishbone:
• Live performance on Stage:
• Cyrano (1950) film: h
(complete As. 11 for this film)
Assignment 11: Film
Viewing Guide
Acting; Voice
patterns; Speech
How does this affect
you (the audience)?
Need a study guide? Not sure
what just happened in a