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Cyrano de Bergerac

Edmond Rostand

Character List

Plot Overview

Analysis of Major Characters

Cyrano de Bergerac -  A poet, swordsman, scientist, playwright, musician, and member of the Cadets of Gascoyne, a company of guards from Southern France. For all his prodigious talents, Cyrano is unattractive, cursed with a ridiculously long nose that makes him insecure and keeps him from revealing his love for his cousin Roxane.
Roxane -  Cyrano’s cousin, a beautiful and intellectual heiress. She has a soft spot for romance and a love for poetry and wit.

Read an in-depth analysis of Roxane.

Baron Christian de Neuvillette -  Perhaps the opposite of Cyrano, Christian a handsome but simple young nobleman who lacks wit and intelligence. New to Paris and to the cadets, he falls in love with Roxane and joins Cyrano’s company of cadets early in the play. His good looks are matched only by Roxane’s.
Comte de Guiche -  A powerful, married nobleman in love with Roxane and not fond of Cyrano. Deceitful and always angry, he attempts several times to have Cyrano killed, once by a hundred men.
Ragueneau -  Cyrano’s friend, a pastry chef with a deep love for poetry. Ragueneau gives away pastries in return for poems, and, therefore, innumerable poets visit him frequently. He reflects the theme that poetry is food for the soul, and underlines the division between the physical and spiritual aspects of the world. After his business fails, he becomes Roxane’s porter.
Le Bret  -  Cyrano’s friend and closest confidant. He is a fellow soldier and guardsman. Le Bret worries that Cyrano’s principles will ruin his career, but Cyrano ignores Le Bret’s concerns.
Ligniere -  Christian’s friend, a satirist and drunkard with many powerful enemies. Cyrano protects him from the hundred men hired by de Guiche to ambush him.
The duenna -  Roxane’s companion and chaperone,who tries to keep Roxane out of trouble. She is a character reminiscent of Juliet’s nurse in Romeo and Juliet.
Vicomte de Valvert -  An insolent young nobleman lauded by de Guiche as a possible husband for Roxane, a scheme that would give de Guiche access to Roxane. After he insults Cyrano’s nose, he is defeated in an ensuing duel.
Montfleury -  A fat, untalented actor whom Cyrano bans from the stage.
Carbon de Castel-Jaloux -  Cyrano’s friend and the captain of his company. He is a strong-willed and successful leader.
Bellerose -  The man in charge of the theater at the Hotel de Bourgogne.
Lise -  Ragueneau’s sharp-tongued wife. She does not approve of her husband’s patronage of the local poets. An altogether unhappy woman, she leaves Ragueneau for a musketeer after Act II.
Capuchin -  A modest and well-meaning monk. De Guiche employs him to carry a message to Roxane. He is diverted at first by Cyrano when they are outside Roxane’s residence. He later presides over Roxane and Christian’s hasty wedding.
Mother Marguerite de Jesus, Sister Claire, Sister Marthe -  Nuns of Roxane’s convent. They are compassionate women who admire and respect Cyrano and therefore allow him to visit whenever he wishes.
Cardinal Richelieu -  Not a character, but a historical figure referenced in the play as de Guiche’s uncle. Perhaps the most powerful man in France, he is a skilled political manipulator whose authority rivals and probably exceeds that of the king.

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Error in Sparknotes.

by GaryB123, July 28, 2013

Sparknotes erroneously states in its Analysis — Act I, scenes i-iii (2nd Paragraph), “In Act I, scene iv, after Cyrano fights in a dramatic duel, his friend Cuigy wittily claims that Cyrano’s name is Dartagnan,” of The Three Musketeers fame.
What actually happens in Rostand’s play is this: an appreciative Musketeer, thoroughly entertained by the duel, commends Cyrano on his swordsmanship and then quickly leaves.
Cyrano asks Cuigy, “What was that gentleman’s name?”
Cuigy answers, “Oh…D’Artangnan.”
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Error in Quotations Analysis

by mel69849, November 04, 2013

Sparknotes says in regards to the following quote "VALVERT: Your nose is . . . very big. CYRANO: Yes, very. VALVERT: Ha! CYRANO: Is that all?" that "Remembering the promise he made to Roxane to keep Christian safe, Cyrano responds to Valvert’s ridiculing of his nose with biting, ironic criticism instead of violence." At this point in time, Roxane has said nothing to Cyrano about Christian, and indeed, Cyrano kills Valvert upon the final line of his balade.

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Context Section Error

by devinrichard97, May 04, 2014

According to the Context Article, Edmond Rostand's first play was "Le Gant Rouge", but this conflicts with Wikipedia, because it states that Edmond Rostand's first play as "Les romanesques". This should be fixed immediately, because I can't decide which source is true.

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