Regarded as one of the greatest dramas ever written, Cyrano de Bergerac is the story of the silver-tongued soldier whose unfortunate looks drive him to woo his love by speaking for his handsome but dull-witted rival.
Cyrano de Bergerac occupies a unique place in the modern theater. Deliberately disavowing realism and contemporary relevance, Edmond Rostand’s masterpiece represents a turning back in both time and spirit to an earlier age of high adventure and soaring idealism. Its magnificent hero, Cyrano—noble of soul and grotesque in appearance, gallant Gascon soldier, brilliant wit, and timid lover, alternately comic, heroic, tragic—represents one of the most challenging of all acting roles in its complexity and mercurial changes of mood. From its original production to the present day, Cyrano de Bergerac has enjoyed a charmed existence on the stage, its unflagging pace of action and eloquence of language enchanting critics and public alike. Here, in a superlative translation, is the ultimate triumph of the great French romantic tradition—a work which, in the words of the French critic Lemaître, “prolongs, unites and blends…three centuries of comic fantasy and moral grace.”
Translated by Lowell Bair
With an Introduction by Eteel Lawson
and an Afterword by Cynthia B. Kerr