John Wayne is the Duke. Elvis is the King.

John Wayne's Holster: Cyrano de Bergerac
John Wayne's Holster
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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac is by far my favorite play. I just finished reading it for the nth time. What it was about the play that I like so much? I must admit, I don’t care much for the whole romance thing with Roxanne. To me, its just a side line in the story. Besides, I never fancied the whole “shagging my cousin” scene. No, really, I haven't!

For me, it all boils down to those qualities in Cyrano that I would like to see in myself. In particular, it is his individualism. The part of the play that sums up Cyrano for me, and perhaps the part that strikes me the most, is Cyrano’s soliloquy following the scene where De Guiche asks him to join his following. Here is part of that soliloquy:

To sing, to laugh, to dream,

To walk in my own way and be alone,

Free, with an eye to see things as they are.

A voice that means manhood.

To cock my hat where I choose –

At a word, a yes, a no.

To fight – or write.

To travel any road under the sun or under the stars,

Nor doubt if fame or fortune lies beyond the bourne.

Never to make a line that I have not heard in my own heart;

Yet, with all honesty to say:

“My soul be satisfied with flowers,

With fruit, with weeds even,

But gather them in the one garden you my call your own.”

So when I win some triumph, by some chance,

Render no share to Caeser.

In a word, I am too proud to be a parasite.

And if my nature wants the germ that grows

Towering to heaven like a mountain pine,

Or like the oak sheltering multitudes.

I stand not high it may be – but alone!


At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Mister B said...

As a playwright, I am shamed to say I have not read this play. I'm glad to have read those words though. They make me want to go read the play right now. Thank you.

At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Cyrano said...


Great taste!! That's one of my favorites, too. Read "Antigone?" That's a good one. Or try "The Greek Way" or "The Roman Way" by Edith Hamilton -- they are great writing about great times. "The Greek Experience" by CM Bowra is as good or better -- his writing is worth the price, never mind his subject matter!! Bowra is poetic...

By the way, who said "Life's tough. It's even tougher if your stupid." I heard that before, but didn't know the source.


At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Joe Verica said...

Life's tough. It's even tougher if your stupid. That was John Wayne (Sgt. Stryker) in the movie Sands of Iwo Jima


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