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A Second Look at Cyrano de Bergerac, the "Real" Cyrano

Updated on February 13, 2013

Discover the Real Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano Savinien de Bergerac was born in Paris, France on March 6, 1619. He was most notably a poet, soldier and dramatist. He entered the College de Beauvais in Paris and to impress his colleagues added "de Bergerac" to his name. He justified this name change by his paternal, Parisian estate had once been owned by a Gascon family of the name de Bergerac.

Cyrano was drawn to a military career by the age of twenty. During his military career, he participated in the siege of Arras and had also been a veteran of the duels of the day. When he returned to his beloved Paris, he found work in the literary world and engaged in philosophical studies.

Cyrano's life would take a turn for the worse when he suffered melancholia, illness and an inability to overcome feelings of loneliness. In 1652, he found a patron/protector in the Duc d'Arpajon. The image of a weakened man strays from the image of a Cyrano de Bergerac in Rostand's play.

Some of de Bererac's works include the comedy, "Le Pedant joue," written in 1653. The great dramatist and playwright, Moliere found de Bergerac's comedy worthy of borrowing to create Moliere's Les Fourberies de Scapin, later in 1671. Cyrano is also responsible for the tragedy, "La Morte d'Agrippine which he wrote in 1654. He also is credited with two accounts of fictional voyages. One entitled, "Les Etats et empires de la lune," an imaginary voyage to the moon. The second entitled, "Les Etats et empires du soleil," a voyage to the sun.

Much of what has been written about Cyrano de Bergerac is the result of de Bergerac's libertine free spirit that bordered on a talent for genuine French burlesque comedy. Cyrano de Bergerac died in 1655 as a result of being fatally wounded by a building stone that fell on his head. He remains one of the most researched literary celebrities of his time. He possessed the ability to incorporate comedy, tragedies and romantic works with advanced ideas far beyond the limits of the imaginations of the great minds of his day.

The works of de Bergerac can be compared to today's novels that extract subtle, contrasting humor in dark topics.


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