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LETTERS FROM CYRANO LOVERS!

Below are the letters I have received about the CYRANO page. I value feedback greatly, and it is good to see that those who love the play are passionate about expressing their opinions! All letters and e-mail addresses (where applicable) have been published with consent of the owner. If, for any reason, you wish me to remove your letter, please let me know.

Letters like this are why this idea has grown into a site truly worthy of the name CYRANO DE BERGERAC. I want to personally thank everyone who sent me e-mail, encouraging me to add more information, get my facts straight, and thanked me for my efforts. Thank you my friends! Salut!

From: Annie Yam
11/19/96

Good Day, there:

I saw "Cyrano" in an International Film Festive. I did not know anything about this movie before it started. However, before it finished, I found myself deeply touched. I would like to know whether there is any book written on this story? or any drama? Well, basically, anything I can review this story at all??

I appreciate your help.
Annie.

This was the very first piece of feedback I received on the site, and I was very pleased to read that someone out there had actually found my site, since I hadn't even indexed it heavily yet. It also made me think about adding to the site, because Annie and I continued to e-mail back and forth for a while, and she asked about an on-line version of the entire play. I'm working on it Annie!


From: Gabriel Ferrer
11/25/96

I enjoyed your website very much. The comments about cyrano were insightful...

The only thing I would argue with would be the meaning of his "white plume"...

I don't think that it's synonymous with freedom...

The word that Rostand used was the word 'panache'... it has come to mean 'an assertively or flamboyantly confident style or manner'.

At the death scene, when he says that at his entrance into heaven his bow will sweep the stars from the sky... and he will come bearing only one thing...

thus I think it sums up the whole way that the character looks at life.

what do you think?

g

This was the first time I had really thought about the subtle nature of the white plume, and everything that it represented. I wonder if he's related to the best Cyrano of the movies, Jose Ferrer? ;-)


From: Mike Daymon
12/1/96

"Cyrano" is indeed a great love story, perhaps "the" great love story, but I believe often overlooked as a great "life story". I am impressed by the extraordinary amount of wisdom contained in such a small volume.

I think the majority of the important questions of life are addressed in this play. Most especially when Cyrano says to his friend Le Bret, "There are things in this world a man does well to take to extremes." In a society steeped in the belief of Aristotle's Golden Mean (Nothing in Excess) it seems that excess (or passion) is a bad thing.

I agree with Cyrano that some things should be taken to extremes. What good is "sort of honest" or "moderately committed"? Enjoyed your page. I am looking for information on "Cyrano as Philosophy" if you run across such a thing.

Well said Mike! I subscribe to the "hot or cold" theory; either be hot or cold, good or evil. It you are good, strive for goodness with every ounce of strength you have. Interestingly enough the "hot or cold" is quite Biblical in origin...


From: Onik Sevatzian
12/2/96

I don't usually do this, but I just had to say something: This page is the best page I have ever seen in all my years on the net.. Its wonderful!!! I love the play already, but for those who don't, after reading this page will surely love it too!! GREAT JOB!!!

Well, I was certainly blushing after reading this!


From: Zac Salwasser
12/3/96

When are they coming out with "Cyrano de Bergerac" the movie?

Hmm...evidently, someone didn't look at the whole site <grin>


From: Mike Daymon
12/7/96

[first portion of e-mail deleted]

Now...back to Cyrano! Have you noticed that he is always hungry? and not in a funny way. In each important scene, the author points out his plight: At the theatre, he tosses away his entire "fortune" to impress the audience (by paying them back their admission price) and has nothing left to eat on and apparently hasn't eaten that day either. Then, at the scene of the war, he and his comrades are literally starving to death...to which he comments that being hungry keeps him "looking young," and finally, at the convent, the Mother Superior points out that he often shows up having had nothing to eat for days (though he claims to have eaten meat just the day before to upset the Sister).

So I suppose there are any number of symbolic and literary interpretations concerning his hunger (not that I object to symbolic or literary interpretations), but the one I am going to propose is completely literal: he is simply hungry. Why do I find this to be important to the character? To me Cyrano is a person most of us could stand to be more of. Abraham Maslow points out that most Americans have never actually experienced " real hunger", but rather merely "appetite." I think Cyrano finds many things in this world more important than eating...so at times, he is hungry. He probably eats as little as necessary, but isn't free from feelings of hunger. He has a few interesting words to say to his comrades in battle concerning their giving in to their hunger, and concludes by saying, "Bah! You think of nothing but yourselves!" But in his conversation, he suggests to them how he deals with the problem of hunger.

I am impressed that Cyrano resembles Maslow's "healthy" human in so many ways, including that problem of not finding a mate that shares his "self-actualizing" nature. Roxane is not really of the same nature as Cyrano, and some have even suggested that she is shallow! More about her another time. I would not consider her shallow at all...but self-actualizing? We'll see.

I must end the refrain...good night!

Mr. Daymon certainly gave me a lot to think about. Superb!


From: Liz Daniell
12/10/96

Jason,

i just looked through your web page on Cyrano.Currently I am teaching it with a sophomore-level IIB class.

First of all, bravo for a very interesting, colorful page you have begun righting the wrong of a cyrano-less web as soon as i have the energy (and patience) my sophomores may be creating a web page for the literature as well

second

i thought it would be helpful to give you some corrections on the off chance you ever up-date your page

the play by Rostand was written and first performed in 1897 (the english translation was in 1898) however, the play itself takes place in 1640

france and spain have been at war numerous times with each other (france has been at war numerous times with *everybody*) but check out the stage directions for act I, scene I (page 1) this is towards the end of the Thirty Year War, right at the siege of Arras (A city in southern france that had been held by Spain for many years) Act IV takes place at the siege of Arras

Cyrano was a real person who fought at Arras

he died, fifteen years later in 1665

there was a falling log though it is doubtful that he was "murdered" as is the suggestion in the play (also the falling log happened a year prior to his death)

a gascon is a person from Gascony, southern France Christian is a northerner--a Norman--and there is intense rivalry between the two regions (equal to the rivalry within the United States circa 1860)

gascon also means a boastful person
Cyrano, Christian, the Carbon, and de Guiche are all members of the Guards or Army

think: three musketeers-ish
though, precisely, the musketeers were the king's guards

anyways, nice page
i agree with your review of "Cats and Dogs"

might i ask when you picked up your interest in Cyrano?
my sophomore class is becoming dentistry 101--pulling teeth to get them to read
i think it has something to do with the emotion of the play

ps, a nice balance to "Cyrano" is the musical "Man of La Mancha" a much easier read than "Don Quixote" both express similar themes of romanticism and idealism as expressed in Cyrano, plus it'll make that Windmill quote a lot more comprehensible!

sincerely,

liz daniell, english
milpitas high school

Ah! The first of many letters giving me the correct information needed to revamp the page for accuracy. Thank you Liz! I hope that your students fall in love with the play...


From: Howard Burkett
1/7/96

I'm sure you've been told this already, but the action of the play is set during the 1600's - as the costume and music in the Depardieu film ought to have told you. France and Spain were at war then, too, over the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium - then under Spanish control). This is roughly the same period as The Three Musketeers (late in the reign of Louis XIII-early Louis XIV). In fact, one of the nifty touches in the play is having Cyrano's "duel in verse" complimented by and old coot who is identified as being D'Artagnan!

I must add, Cyrano has long been my favorite play (more like my personal myth, if you prefer). I never studied it in school, but I first encountered it by reading an early edition of the Brian Hooker translation (made for the US premiere of the play, I think in the 1920's). I soon found a copy of the old Caedmon records sound version, with Sir Ralph Richardson in the title role - wow.

There's supposed to be an old French TV film of the play - I think with Jose Ferrer (! - NOT the 1950 film version, by the way). There may be a video available of Jean-Claude Belmondo's stage version from the late 80's (it was running even as Depardieu's was being filmed - if so, I'd like to see it. I have the original cast album of a musical version made of Anthony Burgess' translation (with Christopher Plummer) - save your money. I know of two major Operatic versions of the play (Walter Damrosch 1913, and Franco Alfano from the 20's) and have the score of Victor Herbert's satirical operetta "Cyrano".

BTW - 1997 marks the centenary of the premiere of the play (December 28?, 1897), with Coquelin as Cyrano and Sarah Bernhardt (!)as Roxanne.

(Rostand was Mlle. Bernhardt's lover for a time, I believe, but who wasn't.)

Thanks for the page!

Wow! Lots of new information here. Howard seems to be quite a collector of Cyrano items. Excellent! And to think that I'm still trying to find a copy of the play to read again!


From: Thomas Sertillanges
1/10/97

hello my name is thomas sertillanges i'am from paris, france.

I am on writing a book about cyrano ans i am looking for documents, pictures... to include them in that book.

Could you help me ?

So long...

I was unable to help him with this, but I bet that some of my other visitors could. Please e-mail him if you think you might be able to help!


From: Elliott Whisman
1/16/97

I liked your essay. You seem like an old-fashioned romantic. Anyway,Cyrano takes place during the 30-years War between France/Spain/ and Flanders in the 1500's. And a "gascon" is someone from Gascony(orGascogne in French) which is a French Province. Just a little nugget of information I thought you might like to know.

take care!

I seem to have varying information on the exact date of the play, but I do believe that 1640 is correct. And, yes, I am most certainly an old fashioned romantic. The purity of purpose that Cyrano has always impressed me; his devotion to his own ideals, and his devotion to Roxanne, inspire me (even if I *do* think Roxanne was a bit of a bubble-head...but that's the subject for another essay!)


From: Jackie L. Fletcher-Vansuch
1/18/97

Jason,

Just found your web page while looking for a French language version of Rostand's wonderful play. (Hint: if you know of one, please tell me.) I am writing to say how nice it was to find your web page AND to correct a few misconceptions you seem to have.

1.) Cyrano was a Gascon... a person from Gascogne <sp?>, France. Known for being brave, arrogant and aggressive. D'Artagnan was also a Gascon. :-}

2) Cyrano was NOT a captain. The unit commander of the Cadets of Gascogne was one Carbon Castel-Jaloux, and in the recent French movie asked Cyrano to introduce the cadets to Comte De Guiche, which he refused to do, since he was tired, disheartened by his meeting with Roxane, and wounded from his defense of Lignere to boot. Le Bret *tried* to do it, but muffed it severely, and Cyrano finished it for his friend. NOTE: All the Cadets were nobleman, most were poor.

3) The story takes place in 1640 and 1655, not the 1800s. (I am a teacher, and we just studied this play in Literature. I loved it!!)

4) The phrase translated "white plume" started out panache, which indicates all the noble qualities of his character. Cyrano valued his freedom, yes, but wanted "eyes to see things as they are" so he could then share the truth with others. When he strove to be the best, one translation runs thusly: "To make myself in all things admirable." I think this pretty well sums up his goals from that point on. He is tempted over and over to abandon his high ideals, but his discipline and dedication to his goal wins out in the end.

For a better understanding of the character, you might buy a copy of the French video (I own one) and watch it until you can start to hear the French versions of some English words. For example, Cyrano wanted to cure the theater of an AFFLICTION (not inflammation) and it goes on from there.

I have had the time recently to immerse myself in the film... which leads to my wanting to read it in French (with the help of some translation software and a growing knowledge of the language). Brave or stupid? <chuckle> I don't know.

Best Regards,

Jackie Fletcher-Vansuch

Well, this was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back! I had been putting off the updates for nearly two months, and this is the letter that finally spurred me to changed the page. Congratulations Jackie! ;-)


From: Dana Simmons
1/19/97

I would just like to say that you give Cyrano the credit he deserves. I first read the play in high school volunteering to read the part of Cyrano because my nose is a little bigger than usual.  After the first day, I went home and read the whole play and then practiced the next part that we were going to read for the next day because I didn't want anyone to miss what I had enjoyed. The one thing that I see in  Cyrano and hope that I can one day be - is his complete sense of values.  In the bakery, when the townspeople come to congradulate him he is not boastful.  When they want his favor, he is proud.  When he is receiving praise, he is humble.  As a swordsman, he is courageous.  I could go on and on. I am glad that you have taken the time to do such a nice page, as Cyrano would have writing a letter to Roxanne.

Darin Simmons

That last line really got me. Very well put. I'm flattered (yet humble...<g>)


From: Holly M. Jamesen
1/20/97

Hi there!  Great site!  I am a French teacher and am creating an interdisciplinary unit centering on Rostand's Cyrano for my students. I once saw a shortened version of the play for beginning French students but I have no idea where.  Do you have any idea where I could find something like this???  Any info. would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Holly M. Jamesen

I'm afraid that I have no clue...(let me know if any of you can help Holly)


From: Mark Renault
1/22/97

Hi!

I've read the play "Cyrano de Bergerac" and seen the Depardu version many times... and well you said "Gascon" was a soldier known for their ferocity, but actually a "Gascon" is a person from a certain part of France... kind of like a Canadian or an American... and not all Gascons were soldiers =)  just a little point... that is why Roxanne asks Cyrano to protect Christian because he isn't a Gascon and the rest of the Gascons would gang up on him. 

Marc Renault (don't mean to be too picky!)

Thanks Mark! I'll correct that!


From: Elena Caudle
1/22/97

I just read Cyrano for my English class, and I must say that I absolutely loved it...It's really the bast play I've ever read.  Thanks for the website...It's been a tremendous help during my study of this play.

Elena Caudle

Aha! The reason I made this site in the first place! It's nice to hear from students that have discovered the beauty of the play.


From: Edwin Young
2/2/97

Looking at your page, I just thought I should speak up for Jean-Paul Rappeneau's film version, which you give pretty short shrift. I haven't seen Jose Ferrer's version, so I can't compare the two, but I thought Depardieu was much better than you claim. Your main complaint seems to be that the film was too naturalistic, which I don't see as a problem, so this is just a matter of taste. But to any Cyrano fans who have a look at this site, don't be put off! Depardieu's film really is terrific; it's certainly an awful lot better than Roxanne. One more point- I'm pretty sure Depardieu _does_ have a false nose on in the film; I've seen him in plenty of other films and his real nose isn't that big! It's just that his false nose isn't quite as ridiculous as the ones in the other films. Cheers,

-Edwin Young

Hmm. I'll have to take another look at the Depardieu version. I remember not being overly impressed with it, but perhaps I was merely young and foolish at the time...thanks for the information though!


From: Brock Cornell
2/5/97

Hey, I love the sight.  Just wanted to say that.

CYA

Brock Cornell

Simple praise. Thank you! But wait! There's more from Mr. Cornell in another letter...

I think the sight is very detailed, and dicriptive [sic], but for a sight about Cyrano de Bergerac, it doesn't say an awful lot about the real person, not just the one Rostand brought out in his play, I really would like to know more about Cyrano's life.  Anyhow, I found this sight while in search for some info. I could derive a introduction from for a speech I'm giving, I hope you don't mind too much if I use some of your wording.  And again I love the sight, I'll be sure to make a link to it when I recreate my page, I'll tell it's URL once it's remade.

10 rating

CYA

Brock Cornell

Hmm. That's an interesting point. I think that gives me an idea of how to grow the site in the future.


From: Rick Burkett
2/5/97

Mr. Dunn,

Your site is very nicely done with an assorted selection of resources on the play (not to mention one of a very small number of sites on the WWW dealing with Cyrano). I have included your link on my web page which I created for my students, particularly my tenth graders who are now engaged in the study of the play. Your site brings to life some of the passion and spirit of Cyrano, and I think they will be richer for having visited your site.

Sincerely,

Rick Burkett

The first of many message from Rick...keep reading.


From: Atakan Cinar
2/24/97

dear sir,

I'm a fan of CYrano [sic] from turkey. I've read the book several times. And also wathced [sic] the both movies (J.ferrer and G. depardieu) also the one acted by S.martin named roxanne. As a result, I wanted to ask you if I can find an english version of the book? is it possible to get it from there and how? thank you for your help and information.

-atakan  cinar

I think this is my most unique message in terms of originating location. Great! This was also the message that prompted me to search more actively for the Cyrano text. For some odd reason, no book store I went to had it in any format. I've since ordered it from AMAZON.COM and hope to start scanning it soon (well, as soon as I get it!)


From: Rick Burkett
2/25/97

Jason,

I have a great English class of tenth graders who want to know if you will consider publishing their compositions/essays on Cyrano DeBergerac at your website. These students are exceptionally bright and insightful, and I believe they would provide some interesting material on Cyrano for your readers. Are you interested?

Sincerely,

R. Burkett

I jumped at this chance! Rick is currently preparing the essays, and I hope to have them up by the end of May. It should be great! A quick follow-up letter from Rick:

Absolutely Cool!

My class really got into the play and they're a pretty good group of writers. We've checked out your site a few times (and if you remember, I have a link on my page to your site), and the kids wanted to add to it. It's great motivation for writing, and Cyrano himself would love it!


From: Melissa
2/27/97

My name is Melissa and I am currently reading Cyrano in English class.  We were asked to find out if the scenes were actual or made up.  I have found out that the Hotel de Bourgogne really did exist, however I haven't been able to find out if The streets Saint-Honoré and Arbre-Sec. exist or not.  I was wondering if you knew.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

This question was a stumper for me, so I passed it on to my fellow Cyrano-lover with one of the most stunning intellects I've known, Mr. Mike Daymon. Check out this response:

Melissa, I am so glad that you are reading Cyrano!  As it turns out, the streets Saint-Honoré and Arbre-Sec are real streets. Notably, the Rue Royale is flanked on either side by two majestic-looking buildings which date back to louis XV. Their classical façades were so admired by Thomas Jefferson, that he suggested that L'Efant use them as models for what would become the White House in Washington, D.C. The building to the east is the French ministry of the environment--the one to the west is the building in which Benjamin Franklin signed the treaty ending the American Revolution in 1783. It is now the very luxurious Crillon hotel; but as to your question: extending westward from the hotel is the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the first two block of which house the U.S. Embassy, the residence of the ambassador of Japan, the British Embassy, and the Elysée palace (the French White House), as well as several fashion houses such as Eves-Saint-Laurent.

Another interesting aspect of this locale is that if you stand outside the ministry of the environment facing away from the river, you are at the edge of the old Paris of Louis XIV (i.e. of 1700) with the city proper to your right and what used to be called the suburbs (in those days, "fauxbourgs", literally "false towns") to your left. The street which to the west of the intersection is called Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré becomes plain Rue Saint-Honoré to the east of the intersection. There are other street name changes which denote the boundries of the Paris of 1700 A.D.

Additionally, Lebret and Monsieur de Cuigy were real people. de Cuigy was one of the witnesses of Cyrano's battle with the hundred ruffians and possessed an estate near Paris. The war was real, and of course, Cyrano was real. However, it seems that Roxanne was invented. Cyrano did, perhaps have a large nose (at least prominent) as he spoke so fondly of the fine personal qualities associated with that physical characteristic.

Another interesting bit of information: Cyrano may be credited with anticipating the idea of the parachute in his "Comical History of the States and Empires of the World of the Moon," circulated in manuscript between 1649 and 1655.  It is in this publication that transporting oneself to the moon by mechanical means (a steel contraption in the shape of a giant grasshopper which was impelled by successive explosions of saltpetre) is one of our earliest examples of the genre known as "Science Fiction." Cyrano did die from injuries sustained in some sort of acident, but it is not assumed that the accident was a planned attack upon him.

I hope you enjoy your reading and join the ranks of those of us who treasure this magnificent book. If you run out of reading material, may I suggest that you look for a copy of Mark Twain's "The Innocents Abroad"...if you like Cyrano's iconoclastic irreverence and wit, you'll love Twain's!

I think you'll agree that Mr. Daymon is the REAL holder of the torch in the world of Cyrano. Amazing! I've corresponded with him several times, and he's also very nice. If you have questions about Cyrano that I can't answer, you can rest assured that I will likely pass them along to Mike Daymon.


From: Benoit Flippen
3/3/97

very kool page, i found it through the cyrano page (my primary interst) i will be formulating a big ol' message for that page sometime or other if i have the time to take out from school... anyways i am going to link to the cyrano page from our page, if you visit our site and think it is kool we would appreciate a link to it from your site, it is somewhat along the lines of your main page, w/ a page on music poetry and all kinds of stuff....

http://www.geocities.com/athens/5724/

-Been

Check out his page! Some funny stuff there. An odd plug-in on the site though...


From: Kristen
3/12/97

I learned that the Cyrano, the real person was the author of the first science fiction story.  Do you know the name of that story?  Do you know
where I could find it? Please e-mail me if you have answers to my questions at

Thank-you.

Sincerely,
Kristin

P.S. I love your page!

I was actually able to answer this question! Well, sort of...


From: Sveta
3/12/97

hello,

I'm reading Cyrano, in highschool right now, and I was looking for some information on this play and its author when I found your page.  it was interesting to realize that someone else've herd of this play except my teacher. I loved this play, but guess what I found in one of the encyclopedias in the library! they say it wasn't a deep play...

I did not agree with them
thank you for running this page
Sveta

Bah! Who needs encyclopedias! <grin> Actually, I think Cyrano is one of the most profound plays I've read; it speaks truths on many levels, which I think qualifies it as being "deep". If you can't look beyond the obvious comic elements, then why read it...!


From: Jan Menzerah
3/13/97

as far as i´m concerned many women seem to have no problems with big noses ... How lucky we are !!

Jan from Germany

Haha! Good to hear! I'm going to have to shield your email address from all the lonely men with big noses out there....<grin>


From: Anne
3/15/97

Hi! My name is Anne ... i'm looking for information regarding a 1983 presentation of Cyrano de Bergerac by Jerome Savary played at Mogador
Theater in Paris... Jacques Weber was Cyrano de Bergerac's interpret. if you have any info in this regard please e-mail it to me ASAP... my e-mail address is [email protected]

Thank you very much!

Anne :)

A very unique request that neither Mike nor myself were able to fulfill. I've left ger email address on here in case somebody else might know...


From: Regina Rees
3/18/97

hi! i'm delighted to have found your page! cyrano de bergerac is one of my absolute favorite plays. the character of cyrano himself is simply wonderful-who cares what he looks like-i'd like to meet someone like that sometime! in my opinion, roxanne didn't deserve him. but then again, i haven't really  looked into her character much. i fell so much in love with the play (and the film) that i haven't bothered to look really deeply into it - yet. your page is really great! thank you for spreading a love of cyrano de bergerac to the www!

j

One of the nicer letters of thanks I've received...and trust me Regina, men like Cyrano ARE out there. They're just....hiding <wink>


From: Diana R. Cobbledick
3/30/97

Jason,

I am glad I found your site! I am a student teacher and will begin teaching Cyrano de Bergerac soon. Is there any way you could get me in toch with Liz Daniell who wrote to you earlier? I also will be teaching this work to Sophomore's and I could use all the help I can get.

Thanks,

Diana

That's me. Bringing friends and family together. Who am I, AT&T? <grin>. They got in touch quite quickly, much to my delight. I'm quite happy to have this site used as a resource by teachers and students.


From: Leah Riley
3/30/97

Hi,

I am a high school student and I am doing a research paper that basically follows the general thesis that in the fight of love vs. pride/honour, that love will eventually win, and I'm including Cyrano de Bergerac as one of my sources of this.  I have to have a novel, a play, and a poem that support this thesis, and i have yet to find a poem (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is the novel to be used) If you know of a poem I can use or think that Cyrano de Bergerac has nothing to do with this theme please e-mail me back. Thank you very much.

Leah

An interesting approach on an essay. I hope it went well!


From: Leah Riley
3/30/97

Thank you for your site.  Do you know of any location (URL) on the internet where the entire play is posted?

Thanks for your attention.

Ray

As of right now, the answer is "no". One month from now, the answer will be "right here!"


From: Steve Pageau
4/12/97

(here's the correspondence between Steven and myself)

Hi Jason,

I'm doing an essay on Cyrano right now and need your help on finding some information.  Do you know who is the owner of the Cyrano page?  I would like to get some additional information on this subject.  Here is my essay question....maybe you could help me out.

Is Cyrano de Bergerac a comedy or a tragedy?  Prove.

Well I'm putting it as a tragedy because.... well that's where I'm stuck.  Do you think you could give me some ideas or give me Jason Dunn's email address? Thank you in advance for your help..

ps-can you get back to me ASAP.....it's due in two days. thanks

Steve

That would be me (Jason at Kensai = Jason Dunn). Those are all pages I've designed based on personal interests. Can you give me more in the way of your thinking as to why it is a tragedy? I think I can help you out.

thank you so much for helping me!!!  I believe it's a tragedy because Rostan puts more of the emphasis on all the tragic moments throughout the lives of Roxan, Christian and Cyrano.  Because of all there tragedies, the play is with out a doubt in my head a tragedy.  Sure it could be comical at times, but that's just comic relief from the pain and anguish Cyrano, Christian and Roxan feel throughout the play.  I'm doing my essay in french (that explains all my english spelling and grammar errors).  Well, if you could give me some tragic moments in the life of Roxane, of Christian and of Cyrano...that would be of great help towards me.  Please get back to me asap.

thank you ever so much.

a friend
Steve

Hi Steve. I've been really busy today, so I hope this isn't too late.

>> thank you so much for helping me!!!  I believe it's a
>> tragedy because Rostan puts more of the emphasis >> on all the tragic moments throughout the lives of
>> Roxan, Christian and Cyrano.

I'd agree with you. I think that Rostand sort of tries to "conceal" the tragic elements by coating them with humor. I think Cyrano shields himself from the ridicule and debasement that is inflicted upon him through the use of humor. From the opening scene, we all are made aware of his "grotesque protuberance" (that big nose!) and we all can't help but feel pity for him.

And in one of the first scenes (the theater), he uses humor to draw even MORE attention to his nose, attempting to make it so obvious that people
would instead be amused or impressed by his sheer brashness.

>>Well, it you could give me some tragic moments in >>the life of Roxane, of Christian and of Cyrano...

Hmm. Tough one. For Christian, I don't think there really are any tragic moments. The only exception to this might have been when Christian sees Roxanne, instantly falls for her, but then realizes how useless his is around women that want an intelligent man. But that's not really what I would call tragic.

For Roxanne, I think her most tragic moment occurs at the end of the play when she realizes all along that Cyrano was the prince who REALLY won her heart with his words. I think the sheer weight of this knowledge bore down upon her in the last scene. She realizes that she could have spent all
these years in love rather than in grieving.

And Cyrano? Hmm...it's tragic all the way through for him. Still, even at the end when death comes to take him, it's not really tragic. There's a sort of strange heroism to the whole thing....

Hope some of this helped!

Thank you so much Jason...It's nice to talk to someone who's on the same brain wave as me!  Well, I'm so busy now, so I'm going to have to talk to you later. Your pal

Steve
email me sometime!

And here's something interesting I received from one of Steve's friends names Nadia...(I seem to only have this one quote - not sure where the rest went)

>>It depicts the loss of hearts` desires and the torturous >>effects of unknown lust.

Ohhh...that has a nice ring to it. "Unkown lust". Are you single Nadia? Haha! Just kidding. You're analysis is right on though. The real passion was flowing from Cyrano, though. I sometimes think that maybe Roxanne was just a bit too....dense for Cyrano? Perhaps Roxanne was the "perfect woman" of that time period, but that's not what I think of when I imagine my perfect woman! Cyrano had so much passion and wit, and Roxanne merely...looked good. I don't know...perhaps I'm overreacting? I hope you found my page entertaining!

I sure did!  SO are you single?  W/B
Nadia

<blush> And that's all for this letter...<grin>


From: Setiawati Lubis
4/19/97

Dear Jason,

I have your page bookmarked and go there from time to time to see if youhave added more to it.  It is the best site on Cyrano de Bergerac that I
have visited. Thank you. I have also looked far and wide for the text of the actual play and wondered if it existed. If it is available, would you direct to me it? You have captured the essence....the passion, the beauty and the tragedy... some sites are not as deep... Best regards from a faraway land,

Setiawati Lubis
Indonesia

Amazing! I'm constantly amazed at the power of the internet. This makes me even more eager to put the entire text of the play up. Look for it soon!


From: Bob Arens

Cyrano cannot be said to be a tragedy. A tragedy is defined by a main character who is fundamentally flawed, and brings himself to his own misery due to this flaw, but in the end, the main character learns something and is a better person for the fall.

First, Cyrano has no fundamental flaws, as he is in touch with every part of himself. One could say that his love of enemies is a flaw, but as he both acknowledges this tendency and revels in it, it cannot be called a fundamental flaw. Characters such as Macbeth and Oedipus had fundamental flaws that could be called tragic because they did not realize the flaw until it was too late.

Second, Cyrano does not bring about his own fall. Though one could argue that his highly critical nature and affinity for enemies led to his murder, he did not cause it himself. Going again to Oedipus, the hubris he had inside himself led him to overlook himself as the cause of his kingdom's pain, and curses himself because of it. That is the kind of direct fall neccessary for
a tragedy. There is no dramatic irony for the audience and reader to draw upon for tension, the tension is woven from the story itself.

Third, Cyrano gains nothing in the end that he did not have before. Though his love is finally returned by Roxanne, he was a complete man when his love went through Christian alone. He says himself that he was complete when he was the soul of a pretty face. Also, as he dies, we see him as a man who fought in a quixotic quest against all the evils of the world throughout his
life; he needed no fall to make him a better person.

So, though the great Bergerac's story is a tragic one, it is not a dramatic tragedy. It could not be called a comedy either; let it be called, instead, a play that defies definition, like the legendary Cyrano himself.

Yours,
Bob Arens


So there ends the letters I have received so far. It's always makes me somewhat happier to know that not everyone in this world is an apathetic lump! (grin) I'd like to encourage everyone to keep writing, and if you see a web page out there that should be on my list of links, let me know! As well, feel free to pass out this address to anyone who might want to link to it.

I've added a message board to the web site, but I'm finding that people don't really want to use it. This saddens me, because I don't have the time to update the letters page anymore. Please continue to write me though! It won't get posted here, but I will respond privately.

I'd like to especially thank the teachers who wrote in about the play. I have a profound respect for all teachers and they role they perform. I'd also like to encourage any of the teachers reading this to let their students know about this. Perhaps reading about the play in a more "hip" medium would make your job of teaching it a bit easier. And now that the historical errors have been corrected, they might even learn something! ;-)

Good-bye my friends, and thank you for visiting!

And as I end this refrain, thrust home!