Who is Cyrano de Bergerac:
My nose is enormous...I carry it with pride, because a big nose is a sign of affability, kindness, courtesy, wit, generosity, and courage.
With whom I'm in love? Come now, think a moment: this nose of mine, which precedes me by a quarter of an hour wherever I go, forbids me to dream of being loved by even an ugly woman. You ask me whom I love? The answer should be clear to you! Whom else would I love but the most beautiful woman in the world?
Cyrano loves Roxane, but he knows she could never love someone as ugly as him. Christian de Neuvillette, on the other hand, is more than handsome enough for a woman like Roxane, only he is tongue-tied and dull-witted whenever he's around her. So Cyrano decides to pen the words for him to say to woo the lovely lady, words that come from Cyrano's own heart.
Together, we can win her heart! ... Shall we complete each other? We'll walk together: you in the light, I in the shadows. I'll make you eloquent, you'll make me handsome.
The story of Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, with the love triangle between Cyrano, Christian, and Roxane, is one I've long been familiar with, but I'd never read or seen the actual play. Then, last year, Sam @ Book Chase read and reviewed it, and put it on my radar. So when I saw that I needed to read a Classic Play for Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge, I knew immediately that I wanted to read this one. And it's a fun read; it has lots of wit and action and is very entertaining, though it also made me cry at the end. Cyrano is quite the memorable character. He writes poetry, fights, and gives no quarter to anyone. But it's his own words that describe him best:
I prefer to lead a different kind of life. I sing, dream, laugh, and go where I please, alone and free. My eyes see clearly and my voice is strong. I'm quarrelsome or benign as it suits my pleasure, always ready to fight a duel or write a poem at the drop of a hat. ... I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper than the finest mustache, and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.
I ended up really liking this play. And someday, I hope to see it performed onstage.