de Bergerac is one of the greatest love stories ever told. Cyrano himself is a passionate
man whose great white plume, his panache, was to make himself in all things admirable. It
is his cape, his coat, his shield.
For many, Cyrano's purity of purpose and unyielding honour serves as a reminder to us that, perhaps, there once was a time when a person was judged by more than the weight of their gold purse.
Cyrano de Bergerac is a wondrous play that never fails to stir even the hardest of hearts. Dealing with love, passion, anger, freedom, and pride, this play seems to capture the essence of what it is to be human, and to feel.
I hope you enjoy learning more about this superb story. Better yet, I hope you go out and read it if you haven't already!
I don't know nearly enough about the play as I would like to, so if you have any input on this page, please let me know. Any little facts or ideas would be great! Please look at the HELPFUL PEOPLE page to see the letters of some great Cyrano fans who not only helped me to correct the dates and details of the story, but also spurred me to create the best CYRANO page on the web! Thank you my friends! Without you, I'd still be some 200 years off on the setting of the play...
Jason Dunn January 20th, 1997
ABOUT THIS SITE
(some news has been cut)
This small page is borne out of a desire to fill a void in the world of web pages; to right a great wrong, and to avenge a great injustice. What might this be, you ask? A personal vendetta? A response to a challenge? Nay, merely a "lack of Cyrano" in the wonderful world of web pages. While I have found a few new pages, none of them have been specifically devoted to Cyrano.
This is the second version of the CYRANO web site. The very first version was created with MS Publisher 97, which is quite a remarkable little program. Based on the phenomenal feedback I've received on this site, I decided to re-design it from the ground up using the two most powerful web tools I have: FrontPage 97 and PhotoShop 4.0. I hope that you enjoy this site! Having now spent a concentrated effort to create it, I can see how scattered my thoughts were in the previous version. Creating pages at 2 am will have that effect!
I've long held a great love for the play Cyrano de Bergerac. The first time I heard the name "Cyrano" was during the early 1990's, when Gerard Depardieu starred in the latest film version. Around the same time I remember hearing "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" by the Spin Doctors, in which they had a line that went "...she want one man made of Hercules and Cyrano". I thought to myself "Who's Cyrano?". Little did I know that I would be captured by the brilliance of the play soon enough.
I studied the play in a high school English class, and it was a Mr. Valleau who helped the class understand the complexities of the play. In a way, this page is dedicated to him; his dedicated teaching and love for literature would make Cyrano proud! During these classes, I grew more and more interested in the play, and after seeing the Ferrer version (discussed later), I was truly impressed. And thus this web page is born!
Cyrano de Bergerac was written by Edmond Rostand (1868-1918), a French playwright known for his light and entertaining style. By far his most popular piece was Cyrano. What most people do not know what that the Cyrano of Rostand's play was, in fact, based on a real person. Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619 - 1655), a French duelist and satirist , was quoted as having said:
"A large nose is the mark
of a witty, courteous, affable, generous, and liberal man."
The real Cyrano fought at Arras, who was also hit by a "falling log", although he died a year later (dates range from 1655 to 1665 on this). Was he murdered as Rostand's play would suggest? Who knows...
Thanks to Bob Arens for the following information on the real Cyrano!
Cyrano was born in 1619 in Perigord. He was truly reviled by most children his own age, as he did have the legendary nose. This fuled his hot temper, and he joined the army because of it. He left the military in 1642 to study science and literature in Paris. His literary works are the comedy The Ridiculous Pendant (1653), the tragedy Death of Agrippina (1654), and two books of science-fiction, The Other World, or the States and Empires of the Moon (1657) and The States and Empires of the Sun (1662). These last two works were published posthumously, thereby placing Cyrano's death in 1655, not a decade later.
Voyage dans la Lune & Histoire comique des etats et empires du Soleil - the complete text!
Below is a bit more on Rostand, as taken from a web page of whose address I have no recollection (it's a failing of mine!)
Edmond Rostand was born in Marseilles in 1868 and died in 1918. His thirty year literary career is marked primarily by one astronomical success and a number of plays of lesser note. His father had groomed Edmond for a career as a lawyer. Early on, however, he displayed an interest in marionette theatre and poetry. While attending the College Stanislas in Paris, Rostand studied French literature, history and philosophy. He followed his own inclinations and deviated from the course designed for him, although he did finally earn a legal degree and gain admission to the bar.
Rostand's fame peaked on December 28th, 1897, with the first production of Cyrano de Bergerac, at Theater de la Porte St Martin in Paris.
After his next success L'Aiglon (The Eaglet) in 1900, ten years followed before Rostand completed another play. Chantecler, an allegorical, experimental drama, opened in 1910 and was quickly judged a failure.
Rostand was refused entrance into the French Army in 1914 because of failing health. He spent the remaining years of his life in semi-retirement.
Extracts from publishers note in "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Edmond Rostand, published in English in 1981 by Bantam Books:
"This is an immortal play by Edmond Rostand in which chivalry and wit, bravery and love are forever captured in the timeless spirit of romance. Set in Louis XIII's reign, it is the moving and exciting drama of one of the best swordsmen in France, gallant soldier, brilliant wit, tragic poet-lover with the face of a clown.
The play was first performed in 1898 and consists of five acts:
ACT I: A performance at the Hotel de
The play was important to the drama of its time for its romantic nature, a departure from the realistic conventions then in vogue. It was an enormous success."
"...Love, I love beyond breath, beyond reason, beyond Love's own power of loving!"
Little bits of info...
Rachel Stigge found a great deal of information and links about Cyrano in her web-travels, and here's are some interesting things she shared with me (a potpourri of Cyrano!)
And from Diane, here is some information on international versions of Cyrano!
France, 1997: Jérôme Savary (Pierre Santini as
Cyrano de Bergerac is set in 1640 during one of the many times France was at war with Spain (it seems France liked to fight everyone, n'est-ce pas?). Our friend Cyrano is a "Gascon", a soldier from Gascony, known for their aggressive nature, bravery, and sheer arrogance. The captain of his particular unit was one Carbon Castel-Jaloux, although most would acknowledge Cyrano as the leader through sheer charisma.
Cyrano is poor in coin but rich in spirit; something we might consider to be a cliché today, but powerfully true in Rostand's play.
Among those who have seen Cyrano, he is most remembered for his nose. This nose isn't a normal nose; it is truly an enormous nose. In Cyrano's own words, "...one could launch ships from that peninsula!" (paraphrased somewhat). Cyrano is deeply in love with his cousin Roxanne, a lovely and intelligent woman.
Cyrano soon discovers that she is in love
with Christian, a young man recently put in Cyrano's command. The wonderful story that
ensues involves Cyrano and Christian becoming partners to create
Cyrano provides the beautiful poetry to woo the heart of Roxanne, while Christian provides the handsome face. Christian actually possesses a wit, but it seems to fail him around women of great beauty. Cyrano, on the other hand, is inspired to new heights of poetic glory by Roxanne.
The result is worthy of reading, studying, and loving by anyone of any age or background. The play is profound and humorous, and deserving of the accolades it has received!
Cyrano possesses a passion for his poetry, his life, and his love for Roxanne. Some of the most inspired speeches I've ever read have come from this play. In the face of so many obstacles, Cyrano never relents his passion for honour and freedom.
Cyrano's love for Roxanne creates some of the most awful tension I've ever read, but also some of the most wondrous expressions of love ever to have been penned.
On the following pages you'll see excerpts from the play, information on the "contemporary Cyrano", letters, and more!
Please e-mail me if you have any input or comments!
Please feel free to stroll through my other sites!