Cyrano de Bergerac: A Heroic Comedy in Five Acts

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Oxford University Press, Sep 1, 1998 - Drama - 154 pages
21 Reviews
`Tonight When I make my sweeping bow at heaven's gate, One thing I shall still possess, at any rate, Unscathed, something outlasting mortal flesh, And that is ... My panache.' The first English translation of Cyrano de Bergerac, in 1898, introduced the word panache into the English language. This single word summed up Rostand's rejection of the social realism which dominated late nineteenth-century theatre. He wrote his `heroic comedy', unfashionably, in verse, and set it in the reignof Louis XIII and the Three Musketeers. Based on the life of a little known writer, Rostand's hero has become a figure of theatrical legend: Cyrano, with the nose of a clown and the soul of a poet, is by turns comic and sad, as reckless in love as in war, and never at a loss for words. Audiences immediately took him to their hearts, and since the triumphant opening night in December 1897 - at the height of the Dreyfus Affair - the play has never lost its appeal. The text is accompanied by notes and a full introduction which sets the play in its literary and historical context. Christopher Fry's acclaimed translation into `chiming couplets' represents the homage of one verse dramatist to another.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

I love this play beyond the telling. It's one of the few single plays I own. The plays I keep on my shelves are complete plays of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Oscar Wilde, some Moliere, a collection of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quaintlittlehead - LibraryThing

Most people know the basic premise of "Cyrano de Bergerac," even if they do not remember the story's ending. Yet what happens in Acts IV and V of the play is just as poignant and moving as the more ... Read full review

References to this book

About the author (1998)


Nicholas Cronk is a Fellow and Tutor in French at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Christopher Fry is a verse playwright. He is the author of many well-known plays including The Lady's not for Burning.

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