Cyrano de Bergerac

Primary Creator
Playwright Edmond Rostand
Translator Brian Hooker
Duration150 minutes
Name of WorkCyrano de Bergerac
Production Date1897
Production Location

Current Location

General Notes

It is a five act play in French. The most famous, and I say, ideal translation is by Brian Hooker in 1923. The most accessible version of the performed work is the 1950 film of the play. It stars Jose Ferrer as Cyrano and uses most of the Hooker translation with a few non-verse connecting sections. Stanley Kramer was director. Ferrer won a Best Actor Oscar for this work.


Cyrano is a strong-willed soldier in the French Army, and a poet and a musician and an expert swordsman. He has an extremely large nose and this gives him doubt about his marriageability. This prevents him from expressing his love for his distant cousin, who is both beautiful and intellectual. She eventually is physically attracted to Christian, another army member, but who (she doesn't know) is an un-intellectual and extremely non-poetic fellow. Cyrano writes all communications between Christian and Roxane, in order to express the love he feels for her, but which he believes he can never directly express. This leads to an increasing tension between Christian-as-Cyrano, and Christian himself. Without divulging the whole plot line, one can say things do not go well continuing along this unrealistic path.


The importance of independence and independent thought. Compromise is deadly to one's soul. Sub-themes: a) Doubt of one's goodness because of an incidental fact (physical feature) is terribly damaging and tragic. b) Helping someone by faking reality is damaging and can come to no good.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

Life can be exciting. Life can be grand, literally. There is also some great sadness about consummated love, since it is portrayed as unreachable.

Context Information

Play is set in the 1640's in Paris, though Act IV is on a battlefield, and Act V is in a Paris suburb.