Study Help Essay Questions


1. Point out ways in which Rostand shows Cyrano's personality, accomplishments, and character.

2. What is Rostand's attitude toward Roxane?

3. Is the appearance of De Guiche necessary in Act V? Why does Rostand include him in this act?

4. Discuss various ways in which Rostand prepares the audience for Cyrano's death and the resolution of his relationship with Roxane.

5. Does Cyrano have a "tragic flaw"? If so, what is it?

6. What purpose does Ragueneau have in the play?

7. In what ways does Rostand express the idea that the spiritual is nobler than the physical in life?

8. Is Cyrano's gesture of throwing away the bag of gold (Act I) characteristic of him? Is it symbolic? Does he do similar things elsewhere in the play? Discuss his character in the light of this gesture.

9. Discuss the ways in which each of these characters changes between his first appearance and his last in the play: De Guiche, Roxane, Ragueneau, Christian, Cyrano.

10. Discuss the dramatic contrasts in Act II.

11. Discuss Rostand's method of building suspense in Act I before the appearance of Cyrano.

12. Is Cyrano more tragic because of his nose? Considering Cyrano's nose, how does Rostand manage to keep Cyrano from being a comic character?

13. What can a reader learn about customs and society in seventeenth-century France by reading this play?

14. How does Rostand relate Cyrano's duel with the vicomte to the plot?

15. Is Cyrano a tragic or pathetic character?

16. Does Rostand make Cyrano a believable character?

17. Does the attitude of the cadets shed any light on Cyrano's personality?

18. Why does Rostand have Roxane marry Christian?

19. Point out Rostand's uses of irony in the play.

20. Why does Cyrano give Christian the letter in Act II and deceive Roxane?

21. Is Christian the antithesis of Cyrano? Is De Guiche? Is Ragueneau?

22. Where and how does Rostand use the dramatic device of comic relief in the play?

23. Do you think Cyrano's conduct toward Roxane was admirable or foolish? Why? Would Rostand agree with you? Why?

24. Is Rostand saying in this play that we should not overestimate the effect of our bad qualities, or put too much importance on them?

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