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Cyrano de Bergerac [Mass Market Paperback]

Edmond Rostand
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 17 1991 Signet Classics
Cyrano, the gallant soldier and brilliant wit, also is a timid lover, and, because of his nose, woos his love by proxy of a more handsome man.

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From the Publisher

This is Edmond Rostand's immortal play 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 finest swordsmen in France, gallant soldier, brilliant wit, tragic poet-lover with the face of a clown. Rostand's extraordinary lyric powers gave birth to a universal hero--Cyrano De Bergerac--and ensured his own reputation as author of one of the best-loved plays in the literature of the stage. This translation, by the American poet Brian Hooker, is nearly as famous as the original play itself, and is generally considered to be one of the finest English verse translations ever written. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Edmond Rostand (1868–1918) was a French playwright whose other works include The Princess Faraway, The Woman of Samaria, and L’Aiglon.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Incomparable wit and ingenuity March 10 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Edmond Rostand established a name for himself, and a superlative magnum opus, when he wrote this singular and playful work of cunning, heroism, & love. While many may know vaguely of the legendary tale of the real Cyrano, few have surprisingly actually read this delightful gem of a play based only nominally on the man himself. Cyrano de Bergerac incorporates all that is 17th century France in a nutshell: the romance, wit, bombast, refinement, gallantry, and pompousness. Cyrano embodies all of these and more.
Rostand uses a seemingly endless flow of great witticisms and a keen use of wordplay that make the play enjoyable and fun to read. It reads similarly to a Shakespeare comedy -- albeit in a much more fluid and smooth manner. The outlandish tales of Cyrano single-handedly defeating 100 men in battle, of him being a scientist, poet, and warrior all at once make for an outrageously entertaining tale of bombast and hyperbole. Cyrano, when exhorted to seek his true love Roxane by his friend Le Bret, exclaims, "Come now, think a moment: this nose of mine, which precedes me by a quarter of an inch everywhere I go, forbids me ever to dream of being loved by even an ugly woman."
Our hero, who personifies the intrepid soldier on the battlefield, rebuffs Le Bret's persistence by retorting, "So that she'll laugh in my face? No! That's the one thing in the world that I fear!" Cyrano, our affable and valiant swashbuckling hero, reveals that he is, despite the brazen posturing, a mere human after all. And, like everyone else, possesses his own unique set of fears.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest plays ever written Sept. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Edmond Rostand's masterpiece, Cyrano de Bergerac, is one of the greatest plays ever written. It is a mix of everything: a tragedy, romance, comedy, and pseudo-history, all in one. Like all great playwrights, Rostand weaves highly witty remarks throughout his texts, many of them laugh-out-loud funny; Cyrano's famous lengthy monologue about how he could have been insulted better and Christian's "nosy" berating of Cyrano are classic moments. The play is also highly tragic: the plot twists and turns, not playing out as one would expect, and it leaves one absolutely brimming over with emotion by play's end. Cyrano is one of the great tragic characters in all literature -- a sharp-witted, swashbuckling poet, and a big softy to boot. He is one of the most complex characters ever to appear in a play, his range of emotion and depth of complexity presenting a supreme challenge to the actor. The play is also a great romance, tragic as it is, and contains much magnificent poetry, including many romantic lines that rival the best of Keats and Yates. I referred to the play as a "pseudo-history" because it uses the real Cyrano de Bergerac as a basis for the play's title character, referring to real events in his life and extrapolating from there in the grand Dumas style. Those who disparage the play as unrealistic or idealistic are missing the point, not to mention the heart, of the play. This is an epic play in the grand French Romantic tradition; actions are deliberately fanciful, circumstances abound, and actions and situations are occasionally hyperbolic. This is all by design; therein lays the play's appeal. Rostand, in writing it, shows his complete mastery of the art. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Long nose May 21 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Cyrano De Bergerac is a story that takes place in the 1640's about a swordsman who has a rather large nose who falls in love with his very intellectual and beautiful cousin Roxanne. Cyrano cannot find a way to tell Roxanne the way he fells about her until a foolish man insults his nose. So instead of killing him Cyrano uses the man to his advantage and uses him to translate poems to Roxanne without her knowing that it is Cyrano who is making these wonderful poems of love which Roxanne is intrigued by. It ends up finally that Cyrano cannot keep playing these games and eventually Roxanne marries the other man. Cyrano goes to war and doesn't see Roxanne for years until they meet for one last time.
Overall this book had a great plot but dragged on at parts and the reading was somewhat confusing but if you understand sayings like "Now then, you Picaroons, Perk up and hear me mutter. Here's you bout bustle around some cull, and bite his bung." Then I think you'll enjoy the rest of the text. So If you like love and adventure with great characterization I would definitely recommend this book other wise I would stay far away from this book.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Words cannot describe the feeling and soul that the artist put into this work. He was, I believe, a master of writing because he was able to blend comedy along with the grief and loss of someone dear. When you first begin to read this play, I will admit that I had some difficulty with the story's plot, but it definately makes up for that! With the epic conflict of a secret lover facing the only man between him and the one whom he loves, no one can resist to keep reading. And as one woman must decide who she will choose to hold in her heart most dear, a tragedy unspeakable may bar the way for this secret lover forever.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A play as great as its hero
If you want to know what drama ought to be like, read "Cyrano de Bergerac". This play combines all that makes an great play-brilliant humor,heart-wrenching emotions,a good... Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2002 by kellytenzin
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best plays of all times
Cyrano de Bergerac is the quintessential Romance of "the Genius against society". However, the main theme is: "Dramatization of the idea that the meaning of true love is a response... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2002 by Aaishik Kar
5.0 out of 5 stars L'indice d'un homme bon, courtois, spirituel...
My rating is for the play; I've only glanced at the English translation. I'm not too sure if this play should really be called "An heroic comedy", I find it more to be a... Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001 by Esquire
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the middle three acts, but not the whole play . . .
but nonetheless, play really deserves three and a half stars. I FINALLY got around to reading this play, after wanting to for many years, because in a period of two weeks I heard... Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A Noble Character
This is one of those precious few plays that I like to read at least once a year. The reason why is that this is a great play with possibly one of the noblest characters the... Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2001 by thewahlmighty
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest play of all time...
I've been around theater for quite a while, and I was lucky enough to be in this play twice, once as Cyrano. I've done Shakespeare, O'Neill, Chekhov... Read more
Published on Dec 29 2000 by Gary S
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventure and romance with a comical twist
This is a wonderful play with many references to French culture. I read this book for my literature class, and I thought it was a very good assignment. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2000 by "christine32g"
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book
I thought that this book was very good. It was a little sad, and i felt bad for cyrano because he loved someone who didn't love him back. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet an extraordinary character. . .
Cyrano is, and has been for many years, my favorite play. I've read two translations and am planning to read a third soon. Read more
Published on April 17 2000 by M. Tidman
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