Cyrano's Tragic Flaw Essay

937 words - 4 pages

The Tragic Flaw of Cyrano de Bergerac (Final Draft)A proverb of the wise king of Israel named Solomon once said, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." In the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, nothing could be farther from the truth, for a character named Cyrano has this characteristic. According to Webster's dictionary, pride is the quality or state of being proud, which is an ostentatious display of oneself. Cyrano de Bergerac was one of the greatest swordsmen in France; therefore, his pride is partially justified. However, Cyrano's tragic flaw of pride could ultimately lead him to his demise.In the beginning of the play, Cyrano displays his wit, swordsmanship, and primarily his pride. For instance, when Cyrano ends the play at the Hôtel de Bourgogne by ordering Montfleury off stage, he pays the owner of the Hôtel, named Jodelet, his entire month's wages. Cyrano is not a rich person, yet his pride kept him from withholding his money. He knew before this incident that he would have to refund the owner's money. To keep up his appearance with people Cyrano gave a generous gift in front of the disturbed crowd. When his friend Le Bret confronted him about this action, he said "Yes, but what a gesture" (47). Cyrano knew that he wanted to be polite, yet also take pride in his preparedness. Additionally, when De Guiche gives Cyrano the chance to have his play performed (with the revision of a few lines), Cyrano became furious and (at that time) would not allow a single stroke of his pen to be changed. This was his chance to become rich, yet he did not want to follow anyone. His pride ate away at his possibilities to enhance the comparatively dull literature of French society to the English. The chains of personal pride held him down to where he could not accept change. Moreover, Cyrano has a rough edge to the people around him. When a page glances at his nose, Cyrano becomes infuriated and displays his anger over the two-foot extension in front of his face. Cyrano chastises the page when he says that his nose is diminutive. Cyrano's pride could hinder him if he continues to be voraciously spontaneous.Even though Cyrano is conceited for right reasons, he still pushes the boundary too far, to the point at which he has become arrogant. For example, when De Guiche recalls his effort to save his life he takes off his white scarf. Cyrano replied, "You saved your life, at the expense of your honor" (116). Cyrano would have fought and died "valiantly" with his white scarf on, if he were the general. In the middle of the...

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