Disillusion and how to overcome it is also a personal theme. But Coquelin died of a heart attack in clutching, it was said, a copy of the script of Chantecler. A revival in , starring Victor Francen , was more successful. Chantecler has recently been revived in France, with several acclaimed performances since Prologue[ edit ] The play begins with a prologue in which the "director" asks the audience to imagine themselves in a barnyard, and calls down a giant magnifying-glass to better see the animals up close. Act I[ edit ] Chantecler is a gallic rooster a traditional symbol of France who secretly believes that his crowing causes the sun to rise.
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The Romancers is of an entirely different mood, yet it still has all the wit and a lot of the truth as Cyrano. And since Cyrano, and to a lesser degree, The Romancers, had such a lasting effect on me, I knew that I would have to read more. As a fan, I would have been a fool not to salivate at such an opportunity.
I found a copy of the play on-line and printed it off and read. Yet, at its core, everything that made Cyrano so great is here also. The pure, romantic appeal of a hero that stands his ground no matter how terrible the circumstances, no matter how seemingly absurd his professed principles--such a character has never been mastered by anyone better than Rostand.
And just as he does it with Cyrano, he does it with Chantecler. For a while, as I started reading the play, I wondered if Mr. Rostand was in earnest, whether he was really, truly presenting this as a serious play. I tried to picture the actors in elaborate barnyard animal apparel and the ridiculousness of the image could not be removed from my mind.
The story, aimless. But then, Chantecler starts to take control, and his words The silliness is dropped, and the greatness, the nobility, the humanity of this character are brought to the forefront. The ideas are so lasting, so deep, so pure, that it is a pleasure to dip into them, even in the strange form of farm animal life.
There are a few occasions where the play lapses back into mediocrity or wandering, but it quickly regains life when its main characters and ideals return. But for you, all those of you reading and understanding this review, I recommend it. Tap into your most romantic self not cupid romance, but romantic ideals and lap up its greatness To quote Chantecler from the play: "With power to see, capacity to suffer, one may come Ito understand all things. Through a knot-hole can be seen the sky and marching stars!
This is just a sampling of those truths to be found from a rooster and his animal compatriots. But they are there in abundance for the seeking reader. I know I will seek again and again. Maybe I was wrong, maybe this is something my students have to read, especially in a world so increasingly devoid of virtuous principles and the heroes who will defend them.
His father was an economist, a poet who translated and edited the works of Catullus ,  and a member of the Marseille Academy and the Institut de France. Career[ edit ] When Rostand was twenty years old, his first play, a one-act comedy, Le Gant rouge, was performed at the Cluny Theatre , 24 August , but it was almost unnoticed. He considered himself a poet, whether writing plays or poetry. It was a great success and was the start of his career as a dramatist. La Princesse Lointaine was based on the story of the 12th-century troubadour Jaufre Rudel and his love for Hodierna of Jerusalem who is the archetypal princesse lointaine character. Bernhardt, undeterred, asked Rostand to write another play for her. She created the role of Photine in La Samaritaine Theatre de la Renaissance, 14 April , a Biblical drama in three scenes adapted from the gospel story of the woman of Samaria.