Cyrano de Bergerac

A Feminist Critique of Cyrano de Bergerac 12th Grade

In Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac, there are few female characters, and even fewer of importance, with Roxanne being the only main female character. However, by taking an in-depth look at how she is portrayed through her actions, speech, and the thoughts of the other characters on her, one can deduce the book’s take on women. The greatest factors of interest taken when assessing the disposition of the novel are Roxane’s displayed intellect, her ability of choice when it came to suitors, and the drastic effect and influence men, through love, had on her.

The main thing Roxane has going for her is her looks. She is described by Cyrano as “A mortal danger, without intention; charming without thought. A trap by nature set, a damask rose in which, close hid in Ambush, Love is lurking! He who has known her smile has known perfection.”(Rostand, 33) While the text shows her as an object of men’s sexual desires, it also gives her a sense of strength, with the power to entrap and therefore have some control, using her gift of beauty as a weapon to ensnare men and get her way. In addition, she is also has a “subtle wit”(Rostant, 13) to match and is called a “precieuse”(Rostand, 13) which is a 17th-century term for literary...

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