The Play


Cyrano de Bergerac is a play by Edmond Rostand based on the life of the real Cyrano de Bergerac . The first four acts are set in 1640 , while the fifth is set in 1655 . The play is one of the most popular in the French language and has been filmed several times (and even made into an opera). It was written in 1897 and was an immediate triumph.

The entire play is written in verse, in rhyming couplets of 12 syllables per line. (It is very close to the Alexandrine format, but the verses sometimes lack a caesura). It is also meticulously researched, down to the names of the members of the Académie Française and the dames précieuses glimpsed before the performance in the first scene.

The original Cyrano was Constant Coquelin . Richard Mansfield was the first actor to play Cyrano in the United States .

The play has been translated and performed many times, and is responsible for introducing the word "panache" into the English language.