Cyrano de bergerac. An Introduction. Edmond rostand. Born in France in 1868, as the country was transitioning from a monarchy to a republican government.
Born in France in 1868, as the country was transitioning from a monarchy to a republican government.
Raised in Marseilles in an artistic family (father a poet, uncle a composer) but pressured by his father to study law in Paris, where he also began to write plays and poems.
Visited French troupes fighting in WWI, and died six weeks after the war ended, at the age of fifty.
First produced in 1896.
Although Rostand was a popular playwright, Cyrano de Bergerac was expected to fail.
He used a form popular with French playwrights one hundred years earlier; modern Parisians were expected to be bored.
Contrary to expectation, a full hour after the final curtain fell, the audience was still applauding thunderously.
Realism and Naturalism
A literary movement from before Rostand’s time
A revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature
Validates strong emotion as an authentic source of aestheticexperience
Emphasis on idealism and heroism
Prevalence of romantic heroes, beautiful maidens, sword fights, and the power of poetry and art
Colorful swordfighter; heroic and idealistic, he rescues damsels in distress, fights dastardly villains, displays outstanding courage, resourcefulness, chivalry and a distinctive sense of honor and justice
Flair, individual sense of style, verve, or pizzazz
Centered on a noble character who undergoes a test involving a romantic relationship
French line of poetic meter; each line has 12 syllables, divided into two parts by a caesura (audible pause)
Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619 – 1655)
Accomplished swordsman and member of the French Guards
Wrote plays, pamphlets and other works
Had an unusually large nose
Injured in the battle of Arras
Severely injured at age 35 when a plank fell on his head
Died at age 36 (either from the plank injury or syphillus)
The real Cyrano was born and died in Paris, while the fictional Cyrano is from Gascony, a region with Basque influence and the cultural stereotype of passion
The Thirty Years’ War (1618 – 1648)