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Cyrano de Bergerac as a Tragedy and a Comedy Essay


Cyrano de Bergerac a Tragicomedy

Cyrano de Bergerac, in my opinion is a tragic comedy. It displays tragedy in many different places with both types of high and low class characters. It also displays comedy between the characters but the comedy all comes from the main character Cyrano. At the end of the story Cyrano dies in the hands of his lover who never knew until a few moments before that her cousin, the great swordsman, story writer, and storyteller, loved her the way she always wanted to be loved. Cyrano de Bergerac is a tragic comedy because it involves all of the elements and incorporates all the aspects of a tragicomedy.

The tragedy that occurs in Cyrano de Bergerac builds up throughout the story. Cyrano and Christian are vying for the same woman, Roxanne, from some of the first lines. Cyrano and Christian join alliance to try and win Roxanne. However, Cyrano gets the lower end of the bargain. Although Cyrano was able to win Roxannes heart with his words she never knew the one who wrote the letters was her great cousin Cyrano until he was dying. Christian was able to reap the benefits when he never did anything to win Roxanne. Christian was only able to win Roxanne because of his physical appearance and if he had never bound allegiance to Cyrano then Christian would have gotten nowhere with Roxanne, because Roxanne wanted someone who could match her wit. As the story wears on it becomes more evident to Roxanne what a bad choice she made marrying Christian, but it is only fifteen years later, after Christians death, that she discovers the real truth on Cyranos death bed. How can you read it Now? It is dark And all these fourteen years, He has been the old friend who came to me To be amusing. Roxane It was you.(219-220 Act 5)

In my opinion Cyrano de Bergerac is a comedy also because it incorporates elements of a comedy not just between the high class characters but also the low class characters. It establishes comedy very early with some of the lower class people before the anticipated play of La Clorise. Another place that it establishes comedy with a low class character is in Ragueneau. But the majority of the comedy comes from the high class main character Cyrano. Throughout the story people are making wise cracks about his nose, but no one is able to defend themselves and back up what they say. Because people are making fun of his nose he is able to provide witty humor that makes the book become a comedy. Valvert says Ahyour nosehem!...Your nose israther large! Rather Oh well Is that all Well of course.(35-36 Act 1) But Cyrano does not leave it like this he replies by insulting Valvert and ultimately making him angry by telling him all the better insults that he could have had. He threw it right back in his face by making it a joke. Throughout the story comedy like this occurs and that is why I believe it is a comedy.

If both comedy and tragedy were not incorporated into this story it would not be where it is today. Both of these elements make it a tragicomedy. If there would not have been comedy then none of the story would have made sense, it would just have been a really bad tragedy. Both of these elements make the story what it is.

Cyrano de Bergerac has elements of both comedy and tragedy which has made it such a successful play that has been liked, loved, and enjoyed since it was written in 1897. People have been able to draw from this play since 1897 to write their own plays and people have also been able to compare this story to understand future tragicomedies. This story could be compared to the likes of modern day tragicomedies like the Weather Man, About Schmidt, etc. Cyrano de Bergerac is and was one of the building blocks for a tragicomedy and that is why it is one of the best books from the 1800s.

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