By Denys Lionel Page

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Example text

Just as it is nobler to weep for a spiritual reason than a physical one, so it was nobler to live for his moral and spiritual principles than for physical or worldly success. As he remarked in Act I, his elegances are spiritual, or moral, ones. De Guiche acknowledged this earlier in this act, when he admitted that with all his wealth and power, he was neither as good nor as happy a man as Cyrano. Rostand has managed this last act without any of the melodrama of Act IV. Cyrano’s death is gentle, dignified, in character, logical, prepared for, and truly romantic.

The result of this defiance of the principles of the classic play was that a riot erupted in the theater, spreading rapidly to the streets of Paris. It was several hours before the gendarmes were able to subdue the warring classicists and romanticists. Later, this incident was to be called “The Battle of Hernani”; and it is interesting to note that the people who objected to showing violence on stage (among other things) were the ones who resorted to violence in the stalls of the theater. The Romantics freed the French drama from the two unities of place and time.

Cyrano teases her about some of Christian’s speeches. Commentary The fact that Cyrano saved Ragueneau’s life is characteristic of Cyrano. Lise’s defection is a logical result of the relationship shown in Act II between her and Ragueneau (even the musketeer was introduced-see Act II, Scenes 3 and 4, as well as Scene 11). This enables Rostand to keep Ragueneau in the play and gives the baker good reason to be a loyal friend to Cyrano. ”—and is now correcting the musicians. He knows grammar and music, writes poetry, and is a superb swordsman.

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