Cyrano de Bergerac has been immortalised by Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play of the same name. Yet the character as portrayed by Rostand – with his excessively-enlarged nose, his almost super-human duelling skills and his ability to improvise eloquent poetic speeches – is far from an exact portrait of the real-life Cyrano of the seventeenth century. Cyrano’s brief literary career spans the genres of poetry, prose and theatre, in addition to a voluminous correspondence. Possessed of a keen intellect with an insatiable appetite for reading and for learning, he constantly experiments with, when he is not challenging outright, the established social, scientific, political and religious ideas of his day. This questioning, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Horsley, Adam. "Cyrano de Bergerac". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 December 2013; last revised .
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]