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Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Today we present to you a brief summary of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac along with a copy of the book in PDF format that you can download immediately.

Cyrano de Bergerac is a heroic tragicomedy, written in five acts by the French playwright Edmond Rostand. It premiered in 1897, having immediate great success.

This work is inspired by the life of the poet, philosopher, writer, controversial man of war, and libertine (ideology of those who believed in the freedom of physical pleasure and turned away from religion) Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac.

Although the story is not biographical, the protagonist retains some essential traits of the real Cyrano.

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Cyrano de Bergerac in PDF format

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Summary of Cyrano de Bergerac

In the first act, the play opens with an altercation. Cyrano interrupts a theatrical performance because he doesn’t like one of the actors. And it is that he is a bellicose, cultured and at the same time sentimental man, but with a physical detail: he had a big nose.

His physical “defect” made him insecure about love. Cyrano was deeply in love with his cousin, the beautiful Roxane. But, in view of his unattractive appearance, he feels that he doesn’t have a chance with her.

Roxane, to her misfortune, is in love with the young cadet Christian de Neuvilette who would be the antithesis of Cyrano. He is a very handsome soldier, but of low intellect, without any ability for words.

Knowing nothing about Cyrano’s feelings, Roxane asks him to protect Christian, fearing that his fellow Gascons will be too harsh and violent towards him due to his inexperience in battle.

Cyrano is a great swordsman and cannot refuse Roxane’s request, so he accepts. Christian will also ask for another favor. Due to his lack of intelligence to seduce the ladies, he seeks the advice of Cyrano, who soon, at the young man’s request, finds himself involved in a risky game.

This is how Cyrano becomes the intermediary of love between Roxane and Christian. He writes the letters that the young man must send to her beloved, plans the speeches that he must give in front of her, and even pretends to be him in a scene where there is total darkness.

Although in the first encounters with Christian, Roxane is a little disappointed because she doesn’t know how to make her fall in love with words, with Cyrano pretending to be him, her passion fully emerges and her love is complete.

Christian and Roxane marry, but he is sent, along with Cyrano, to the cadet’s place of Arras, on the orders of the Count of Guise.

In their long-distance relationship, as expected, it is Cyrano who sends the letters and Roxane continues to love the wrong man.

Christian dies soon after, realizing on his deathbed that Roxane really loves Cyrano.

However, Cyrano refuses to tell the truth to Roxane, who leaves for a convent. For 15 years Cyrano visits her and together they reminisce and read her letters.

One day when Cyrano was visiting, a log of wood hits him in the head so hard that his life was in danger. He still goes to meet Roxane and she realizes the whole truth… although it’s already too late.

FAQ about Cyrano de Bergerac

What is Cyrano de Bergerac’s message?

In Cyrano de Bergerac the message or moral is that the most important thing, above the physical and appearance, are the values, the soul and the qualities of a person. In this lies the heroism of the protagonist.

How many acts does Cyrano de Bergerac have?

Cyrano de Bergerac consists of 5 acts written in Alexandrine verse. There are prose versions that make reading easier for generations of more current readers.

Who was Cyrano de Bergerac?

The real Cyrano de Bergerac and the one who inspired the tragicomic work of Edmond Rostand is the somewhat conflictive writer, philosopher and man of war, Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac.

How did Cyrano de Bergerac die?

It is speculated that the real-life Cyrano de Bergerac died from a blow from a wooden beam. However, this could never be verified. Perhaps this caused the character in the play to die in a similar way.