Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac Literary Elements





Setting and Context

1640, France, Thirty Years' War

Narrator and Point of View

Third-person limited. Multiple narrators.

Tone and Mood

Rostand's tone is slightly parodic and melodramatic as he mocks the conventions of Romantic drama.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Cyrano de Bergerac; Montfleury, De Guiche (each for only part of the play)

Major Conflict

The main conflict is whether Cyrano will ever win Roxane's love for himself, especially as he helps Christian try to win her for himself.


The climax occurs at the siege of Arras when Christian is killed, Roxane is prostrate with grief, and Cyrano boldly leads the charge and is wounded.


De Guiche mentions that he heard Cyrano might have an accident (171).


-"Your nose, sir,, well, it's...very big" (32).


-Cyrano and Montfleury mention the Muses, the goddesses of inspiration for music, the arts, and science (23).
-Cyrano speaks of great lovers such as Cleopatra and Caesar, Berenice and Titus (lovers from the Herodian Dynasty of the Roman Empire) (42-43).
-Roxane compares herself to Penelope and Helen from the Greek myths (153) as a way to proclaim her own love stronger.


*see other entry






-Cyrano talking about his nose: "Is it limp? Does it dangle like an elephant's trunk? Is it hooked like the beak of an owl?" (30)
-Cyrano says, "Let's see what happens if we let our souls drink deeply of the river as it rolls" (107).

Use of Dramatic Devices

-Cyrano often speaks in asides as a way to clue the audience in to his real thoughts on Roxane and his love for her.
-Ragueneau provides comic relief.
-Cyrano provides a few soliloquies, such as when he in Act II speaks of his independence.