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Cyrano de Bergerac, the Play vs. Roxanne, the Movie

In an effort to attract the audience of today, the producers of the movie Roxane retold the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rustond in a way that is appropriate and at the same time appealing. In order to give the audience of today a story that they can understand and relate to, the producers have adjusted and manipulated the play itself. As a result, several similarities and differences exist between the play Cyrano de Bergerac and its movie reproduction.

The characteristics of a romantic hero in Rustonds time is not equivalent to the characteristics of a romantic hero today. In the play for example, Cyrano, a very ugly, old, yet intellectual man who loved Roxane, his cousin, with all his heart and soul was unable to profess his love for fear that she will have rejected him because of his looks. Enter Christian in the story, a young, average, yet handsome individual who also loved Roxane. The two made a pact with each other to create Roxanes image of a perfect romantic heroone that was breath-takingly handsome and at the same token, smart in a fun and interesting way.

Together they charmed Roxane and she ultimately fell in love with Cyranos enchanting personality and Christians captivating appearance. Cyrano is portrayed as a great romantic hero because he died in silence to honor his friendship with Christian. When all the while he could have accumulated enough courage to pronounce his love for Roxane. During his life of silence, Cyrano looked after Roxane when Christian died in the war. Everyday for fifteen years he would go to the convent, where she stayed because of her vow to Christian, and recite to her the local news.

In this manner, he has proven himself worthy to the title of a romantic hero during Rustonds time. On the other hand, someone in Cyranos position in the present would not have neccessarily kept his secret for that long. Eventually, that someone would probably approach the person that they were in love with and declared their love. Just as Charlie in the movie, the equivalent of Cyrano in the play, was about to tell Roxane that it was him who wrote the letters illustrating his love for her with his alluring and sincere words, before she had found out for herself.

For this reason, the majority of people today would appeal to the movie more than the play. Aside from the obvious fact that the play was set in a sophisticated, more actively virtuous, and far less technologically-advanced period of time than the movies present time, is the distinct contrast of the two versions endings. During Rustonds time, his audience prefered stories with a much more dramatic part for the romantic hero, Cyrano. At the time, Cyrano dying for honor and dignity was much more admired than if he were to reveal the truth about himself and Christian to Roxane, and then living “happily ever after” with her.

On the contrary is the story of Roxane, the movie. Today, people would much prefer a happy ending with the hero/ heroine finishing first and uniting with their “damsel” in distress. Similarities exist in both the play and movie through peoples fascination of each other. Cyrano in the play and Charlie in the movie both value talent and personality in a person, and yet they cant help to also add appearance on to the list. Cyrano was in love with Roxane from the very beginning when they were young and playing pretend with each other. He adored her friendly and mother-like personality.

However, the adult Roxane also attracted him to her because he thought she was the loveliest girl he had ever seen. In the same fashion, Charlie fell in love with Roxane the minute he laid his eyes on her. When he found out later on how incredibly smart and great to be around she was, he fell in love with her even more than before. The minor difference between Charlie and Cyrano is that although they both loved Roxane, they fell in love with her personality and looks at different times. Furthermore, the admiration for both Cyrano and Charlie is credited to their grand gestures.

They sacrificed themselves for a good cause. Cyrano is respected by his by Rustonds audience because, (1) he had given up all of his money to refund the crowd watching a play at the beginning, and (2) lied to Christian about how Roxane chose Christian over him so that Christian could die happy. Charlies job as a firemen makes him also respected in our time because he risked his life to save others, animals or humans. As a result of Christian in both the play and the book, Roxane and Cyrano (a.k.a. Charlie) are unable to be together immmediately or at all.

His looks persuaded Roxane that he was right for herboth his looks and false personality. Christians fears to approach Roxane as himself pushes Cyrano and Charlie to help him in order to transfer the words of love from their hearts to Roxane. In the play, Christian served as a permanent barrier for Cyranos and Roxanes happiness because Cyrano refused to say that he loved Roxane up until his death to honor his friendship with Christian. Although Christian served as an obstacle in the movie, the block for Cyranos and Roxanes happiness was only temporary.

At the end of the movie, Christian decided to go to Reno with one of Roxanes friend. Therefore, Cyrano and Roxane were finally able to come together when Cyrano had finally told Roxane the truth. All in all, Christian was a barrier to the coming together of Roxane and Cyrano immediately or at all. Overall, Cyrano de Bergerac interested the people of Rustonds time because Cyrano reflected their views of a true romantic herosomeone who was willing to sacrifice the profession of his love to honor his friendship with Christian. The ending of the story was very dramatic and much respected as well as expected. On the other hand, Roxane got people of todays attention because its plot was more light-hearted as a whole and ended with the hero living “happily ever after”.

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