Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cyrano De Bergerac -by Edmond Rostand

OK, no question, Cyrano De Bergerac (UK Edition) (DE Edition) by Edmond Rostand, is a romantic play.  I think you either love it or hope you are not going to be made to go see it again!  Living in a theater wasteland (sorry San Antonio – great margaritas, theater not so much) I have to get my fix by reading plays.

Cyrano is by a poet about a poet and is in prose and poetry in this translation from the French.  Rostand died at 50 in the flu pandemic.

There is a quite good movie made in 1950 and some may be familiar with Steve Martin’s adaptation, “Roxanne.”

Readers of this blog know I am partial to swordplay, whether in Zenda or Illyria and this play is about an accomplished swordsman.

I hope I am not giving anything away to say that Cyrano supplies a friend with words to woo his love.  Here is a conversation where Rostand describes her eloquent suitor, not realizing that Cyrano has literally put the words in his mouth.

ROXANE (coming out of the house):
Ah! How handsome he is, how brilliant a wit! And--how well I love him!

CYRANO (smiling):
Christian has so brilliant a wit?

Brighter than even your own, cousin!

Be it so, with all my heart!

Ah! methinks 'twere impossible that there could breathe a man on this earth
skilled to say as sweetly as he all the pretty nothings that mean so much--
that mean all! At times his mind seems far away, the Muse says naught--and
then, presto! he speaks--bewitchingly! enchantingly!

CYRANO (incredulously):
No, no!

Fie! That is ill said! But lo! men are ever thus! Because he is fair to
see, you would have it that he must be dull of speech.

He hath an eloquent tongue in telling his love?

In telling his love? why, 'tis not simple telling, 'tis dissertation, 'tis

How is he with the pen?

Still better! Listen,--here:--
'The more of my poor heart you take
The larger grows my heart!'
(Triumphantly to Cyrano):
How like you those lines?

Funny, exciting, sad, tragic and romantic!

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