Cyrano de Bergerac (2289 words)

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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, satirising and …

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Horsley, Adam. "Cyrano de Bergerac". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 December 2013
[, accessed 17 January 2018.]

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