Plays of Edmond Rostand - Vol. 1

Plays of Edmond Rostand - Vol. 1

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Plays of Edmond Rostand - Vol. 1

Plays of Edmond Rostand - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

For twenty-five years, till in December, 1918, he himself entered into light perpetual, Edmond Rostand was the poet of light, from the April starlight of Romantics to the full summer sunshine of Chanticleer. Because his genius is true to the genius of his people, and because the French language is a most lucid medium, his plays have suffered little from misinterpretation. Chanticleer is the one exception. Readers and spectators have been so dazzled by its rays, they have been, for the most part, unable to see the sun.

If Kipling had written a play called The Lion, and its scene were laid in his own home county of England, people would, I think, have inferred a patriotic meaning. Yet when Rostand, having written Cyrano of Bergerac and The Eaglet, completed the triology with Chanticleer, the critics, heedless of the fact that the Cock is the emblem of France, acclaimed it as a society satire, and disregarded its larger significance as a patriotic parable.

The reader's enjoyment of the play will be enhanced by careful observation of the lines that introduce the leading characters. Our attention is directed to The Old Hen in the Basket as that ancient France that is the mother of France, the wise old mother whose one concern is the growth of her splendid Cock:

"A Gascon Hen, Pau is her native place."

Patou is Peasant France,

"Guardian of homestead, garden and of farm, . . ."

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