17 June 2015

The Best of Times; the Worst of Times – Cyrano

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of my favorite plays is Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmund Rostand.  I had the honor to play Cyrano when I was much younger.  We see his character from the beginning when he duels a pompous noble and spares his life.  He composes a ballad whilst dueling that shows his wit and intelligence.  In this opening act he is reveled to be a warrior, a poet, and very intelligent.  He is shown to be compassionate but also unwilling to brook insolence and pompous behaviour.  Here is his ballad:

Lightly I toss my hat away,
Languidly over my arm let fall
The cloak that covers my bright array –
Then out swords, and to work withal!
A Launcelot in his Lady’s hall…
A Spartacus, at the Hippodrome!...
I dally awhile with you, dear jackal,
Then, as I end the refrain, thrust home!

(The swords cross – the fight is on.)

Where shall I skewer my peacock?...Nay,
Better for you to have shunned this brawl! –
Here, in the heart, thro’ your ribbons gay?
- In the belly, under your silken shawl?
Hark, how the steel rings musical!
Mark how my point floats, light as the foam,
Ready to drive you back to the wall,
Then, as I end the refrain, thrust home!

Ho, for a rime! You are white as whey –
You break, you cower, you cringe, you…crawl!
Tac! – and I parry your last essay:
So may the turn of a hand forestall
Life with its honey, death with its gall;
So may the turn of my fancy roam
Free, for a time, till the rimes recall,
Then, as I end the refrain, thrust home!

(He announces solemnly.)
Refrain:
Prince! Pray God, that is Lord of all,
Pardon your soul, for your time has come!
Beat – pass – fling you aslant, asprawl -
Then, as I end the refrain…
(He lunges; Valvert staggers back and falls into the arms of his friends. Cyrano recovers, and salutes.)
Thrust home!

This moment of humor and skill sets up his death.  First we see his life.  He is a solider, a man in love, and a loyal friend.  The woman he loves loves another man.  Roxane asks Cyrano to help her meet this man.  She does not know he loves her.  She does not see that he loves her enough to help her find love with another.  He shows his love by being with her through the best of times and the worst of times.

ROXANE A hundred men against you? ... Well, adieu. We are fast friends.
CYRANO Yes, yes.
ROXANE Tell him to write me! ... A hundred men! You shall tell me another time. I must not linger now ... A hundred men! What a heroic thing to do!
CYRANO [bowing] Oh, I have done better since!

Roxane does not realize until Cyrano is dying that he loves her.  He has held onto his good character and given her the best of times even in the worst of times.  This character is required if we are to truly love others.  Even when others do not see what their actions require of us we must be grounded in love.  We must fight pride and selfishness to assure that our love is unconditional. 

I must focus on what love does to assure that it is unconditional and pure.  What I want must be replaced by what is good and right no matter what the cost.  Through the best of times and the worst of times love can allow us to still give our very best.  It is what Christ did for us and what he asks of us.  In this I must follow.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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