Cyrano de Bergerac
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. Compare and contrast Cyrano and Christian. Do they have any similarities besides their love for Roxane? Why is Cyrano so sad when Christian dies, apart from his realization that he himself will never be able to tell Roxane he loves her? Is there any other reason?
2. How does the play’s comedic style change in Act III? Why do you think Rostand changes his tactics at this point? After Act III, is it still fair to call the play a comedy?
3. Is Roxane worthy of the love that Cyrano feels for her, or is she simply a romantic ideal of womanhood to him?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. What values does Cyrano live by? How does he put his values into practice? How does his ridiculous nose affect his life?
2. What makes Cyrano de Bergerac a historical romance rather than a realistic evocation of a time and place? What are some of the ways in which Rostand works The Three Musketeers into his story line?
3. Discuss the development of de Guiche from a scheming politician into a valiant Gascon soldier. What enables him to accomplish his transformation? Does he sustain it until the end of the play?
4. Does Cyrano de Bergerac have a happy ending? Why or why not?
5. What would Cyrano’s life be like if he did not have such an outstanding nose? Would he have the same personality, feelings, or outlook on the world? Discuss.
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