Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Question of the Week (10/15/10)

A famous baseball player once said, “It’s not bragging—if you can do it!”
Do you agree? Why or why not? Discuss whether someone who talks a lot about his or her accomplishments or future plans is being boastful or merely confident. Does your perspective change if the person really has accomplished what he or she has claimed?

Irony is a contrast between appearance and reality. Edmond Rostand makes use of several types of irony in this play. One kind, called structural irony, is present throughout the work. It is created by the contrast between Cyrano’s inner qualities—his wit and intelligence, his kindness, and his love of beauty, justice, and honesty—and his ugly appearance. This contrast creates most of the dramatic events of the play. Notice also that the ironic contrast between inner and outer qualities carries over to other characters as well, such as Christian, Ragueneau, and de Guiche. Cite examples from the text of structural irony.
Another type of irony is called dramatic irony. It occurs when the audience, or reader, knows something that a character does not. The audience watches as the character makes decisions based on incorrect information. An example of dramatic irony occurs in the second act. The audience knows from the first act that Roxane was attracted to Christian at the play. Cyrano, however, does not know this and makes an assumption about why Roxane wants to meet with him. Cite examples of dramatic irony in the second act of the play.

20 comments:

Meryl said...

For the quote, I somewhat agree. Bragging can be very different depending on what you are bragging about. If you actually did it and you just want to tell people about it, that is not bragging in my mind. If you are trying to enhance what happened, I think that is a bit different. It is also important not to say to much about one thing. If you are just going on and on, that is bragging in my opinion. I think if you are talking about your future plans, it is different. You are telling people what you want to do and that is good and long as it is going back and forth and you are also listening to what others have to say.
Dramatic irony I feel like happens a lot in this play. One time is when Christian keeps talking about his nose while Cyrano is trying to recite a speech.(pg. 93-96) You think that Cyrano is going to go over and kill Christian when he tells everyone else to leave the room, but instead he goes and hugs and says that is confident to do such things and then tells him about Roxane.

Hudson Schuchman said...

I believe that even though you may be able to do it, there is a distinct difference between bragging and simply talking about future plans of actions. If you're talking about something you are going to do you are informing people of what your plans are. If you are bragging, you are looking to get a reaction, praise, or simply a reaction out of the people around them. Even if they complete what they said they could, I still believe there is a difference. The way someone says something has connotations and voice that can come off as arrogant.

On pages 93 through 103, there is a conflict between Christian and Cyrano. Christian is mocking Cryrano's nose, and although Cryrano seems outwardly mad and angry at Christian, inwardly he is exercising self control and is holding to his promise to Roxane. When Cyrano asks the other cadets to leave the room they assume that Cyrano is going to kill, or at least injure christian, because of his mockery. Instead, Cyrano confesses the situation he is in, and that Roxane is infatuated with Christian. While all of the cadets believed that Cyrano was angry and ready to fight, he was ironically holding himself back, and honoring the commitment he made to Roxane at the cost of his own pride.

David Desaulniers said...

I believe that it's not bragging if you can do it. Us Americans could say back in 1970 that we were the only country to make it to the moon. It's not bragging, it's a fact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMINSD7MmT4

So if I said I just biked across the country 3 times, some may think it's bragging, but it's really not. It's a fact that they want to feel proud about and be appreciated for, usually in a case when something is done out of the ordinary.

In the case of Dramatic Irony, it is quite often in this play. It's used a lot when we, the audience, knows more than a character in the book. This is because we are getting the full perspective, but we have to remember that characters only have select amounts of knowledge in some subjects.
When this happens is when on pg. 94 when Christian meets Cyrano for the first time and starts proclaiming how HUGE his nose is. All the other soldiers run and when they're alone Cyrano hugs him and tells him he wouldn't hurt anyone that Roxane is in love with.

erbear508 said...

I don't agree, I think that bragging is bragging, no matter what. If your good at something you may brag to others who are also good at that, just not as good. Therefore, bragging is just showing that your a conceited and have to show off to everyone. There is a lot of structural irony because Christian is a handsome man, but he is completely rude to Cyrano. "CYRANO: On my blade. Before I knew it, There I was- CHRISTIAN: Rubbing noses-CYRANO: Crossing swords With half a score at once. I handed one- CHRISTIAN: A nosegay." (pg 95) Throughout Cyrano's entire story, Christian is interrupting it with rude remarks about his nose. This shows situational irony because he comes in and seems so handsome and good-hearted, but he in fact is rude and obnoxious. In the second act, there is dramatic irony when Cyrano has met with Roxane and she is describing the man she loves. Cyrano falsely believes that she is describing him, because all the qualities she describes are those of Cyrano. But then he realizes it isn't him... "ROXANE: And such a man!-He is proud-noble-young-brave-beautiful- CYRANO: Beautiful!- ROXANE: What's the matter?" (pg 74) This is dramatical irony because the readers know Roxane loves Christian, but Cyrano thinks she loves him!

Emily said...

I partly agree with the quote and I agree with Meryl. People can talk about their achievements to a certain extent before it becomes bragging. Confidence is important, but too much of a anything becomes a bad thing. Even if the person has accomplished what they are talking about, after a little while it starts to seem like incessant bragging.
Structural irony gives the play more life. With Cyrano, he has two sides to him, and those two sides are so different that it makes his character seem very unique. Christian displays this as well. He seems like the brave foreigner who has come to join the Gascagne guards. But when he finds out that Roxane is in love with him, he becomes very nervous about the fact that he is not an intellectual and he gets very self conscious.
Dramatic irony makes the reader want to continue. Another example would be when Cyrano and Christian meet after Cyrano finds out Roxane is in love with Christian. When he asks everyone else to leave the room, it seems as though he wants to kill Christian. But he ends up hugging him and helping him out with Roxane. Cyrano bellows "Out of here!-All of you!". But by the end Christian says "I wish I had your wit-" and Cyrano responds with "borrow it [his wit] then!" (pg 99).

erbear508 said...

I agree with Hudson that there is a difference between bragging and talking about plans. I also agree that bragging is looking to get a reaction, while talking is just informing people.

anthony said...

I agree with Meryl that telling someone about something you did is not necessarily bragging. If they go around boasting about it, it can become bragging. The same thing applies to talking about something you're going to do in the future. Someone can be confident about something but if they start being arrogant that's different.
An example of structural irony in the play is that Christian is good looking but he is not smart and does not know what to say in his conversations with Roxane. Dramatic irony also happens a lot in this play. One example is when Cyrano is talking to Roxane but she thinks he is Christian. Also, when Christian is making fun of Cyrano's nose, the characters do not know why Cyrano is not attacking him, but we know that he had the conversation with Roxane about how she loves Christian and that's why he's not attacking him.

Haiti quilter said...

I agree with Emily. Talking a little bit about your achievements is all right but it can get very old quickly. I think that someone who talks constantly about his accomplishments is being too boastful. Especially if the person that they are talking to wasn't very good at, or didn't do as well as them. But if they are talking about their future plans and goals I don't think that they are bragging since they are just excited about their future. If the person has really accomplished what they have done I think that they are still being too boastful if they talk about it all the time. People try to insult Cyrano because he has a large nose. They think that he is ugly because of it. "Ah...tour nose...hem!....Your nose is...rather large!"(35). But Cyrano goes on to prove that just because he hasn't a large nose doesn't make him any less witty. He doesn't let his appearance doesn't define his character. "Ah, no young sir! You are too simple. Why might you have said Oh, a great many things! Mon dieu, why waste your opportunity? For example, thus: Aggressive:I, sir, if that nose were mine, I'd have it amputated-on the spot!"(35) He shows that just because you may not be beautiful on the outside it doesn't define your inner beauty. Roxane is telling Cyrano about her secret love, and Cyrano thinks that she is talking about him. "And such a man!-He is proud-noble-young brave-beautiful-."(72) Cyrano thinks that Roxane loves him and is calling him beautiful. Cyrano doesn't think of himself as beautiful because of his large noes. So this lifts his spirits very high. But then Roxane tells Cyrano the truth, and Cyrano is crushed. "His name is Baron Christian de Neuvillette."(75) We knew that Roxane didn't actually love Cyrano, but Cyrano must have been devastated by this unexpected news.

Monica said...

I do not agree that if you can do something other people may not be able to that you have "bragging rights". I think that publicizing your accomplishments makes that accomplishment less of one in other's eyes. If it is good enough to be recognized than someone will - you don't have to have anyone know about the accomplishment for it to be a source of pride.

One example of structural irony in the book is the ugly man loving the beautiful woman - not just Cyrano's love for Roxane, but Montfleury as well. It is known to the reader that Montfleury loves Roxane because that is the reason he is hated by Cyrano. He is described as a "full moon (27)," that Cyrano tells to "eclipse [himself](27)." This meaning he is a very fat, rather cowardly man who happens to be a poor actor in Cyrano's opinion; in contrast, Roxane is an intellectual who is so beautiful that she has 3 men in love with her and happens to also have an appreciation for beauty, wit, and poetry.

An example of dramatic irony in this play is from pages 106 to 108 when Roxane is discussing her love of Christian with Cyrano by quoting from the letter he supposedly wrote her. She uses the letter as an example of Christian's intelligence and mastery of language - even better than Cyrano! However, the reader knows of the agreement between Christian and Cyrano, that Cyrano will do the talking, basically. So we as readers are aware that the words Roxane is so crazy over is actually the letter written by Cyrano, straight from his heart. If it is the letter she uses to repersent the love she has for her perfect man than, in fact, she is unknowingly in love with the wrong man.

I don't agree with Emily when it comes to bragging and confidence. I think confidence comes from the inside and does not require praise that is brought on by oneself through bragging. Just because you are confident doesn't mean you brag, if you act confident and brag then you are simply cocky.

David W. said...

I think that if you are just telling somebody about what you are able to do, you are being confident, but if you go out of your way to demonstrate your talent or if you mention it over and over again you are bragging. I also think that it is almost entirely a good thing to try your best at what you do, so in a lot of contexts bragging is irrelevant because you are not showing off to others but rather preforming at your highest ability for yourself. There is a difference between recounting something that you did just to let people know, and making a bigger deal out of an event than is necessary. If you are proud about something you did and you talk about it over and over again, you are not bragging. If you are proud of something that you did and you talk about it in away that tells or suggests to people that they would be incapable of doing what you did, then you are bragging about it. For me a lot of what bragging is is holding what you can do above other people and using it to make them feel lesser than you because they can't do it too.
Dramatic irony recurs significantly in Cyrano de Bergerac. One instance of dramatic irony is when Cyrano first meets Christian and starts telling the story of his encounter with the one hundred men. Christian angers Cyrano by repeatedly mentioning his nose. On page 82-3, Cyrano orders everybody but Christian to leave and the reader is expecting Cyrano to attack Christian, but instead he embraces him and explains who he is and what the situation with Roxane is.

Charlie said...

I believe that the quote is not true. Bragging is when you boast about something that you can do that is difficult, or uncommon for people to do. If someone boasts about something they can do, its still bragging. I also agree with Hudson when he talked about bragging.

For the structural irony in Cyrano, Christian is a handsome man. He is upset when he finds out that Roxanne is intelligent. Like Meryl said, Cyrano showed kindness to Christian after he was rude to him.

An example of dramatic irony is on page 49, when Cyrano makes fun of his nose. I think that he tries to show that his nose is not a weakness of his.

Marlou Taenzer said...

Someone who constantly talks about themselves and/or their plans is usually bragging and being boastful. However sometimes I think people do just need to talk about something (good or bad) that happened in their life and that is not bragging in my opinion. I agree with Meryl that when someone goes on and on about something that that is bragging. I also agree with Monica that bragging can decrease the value or importance of the thing that is being bragged about. Or the person who is bragging. My perspective on the matter does change when that person has actually achieved something, because then I feel like they have the right to want to share that. It is annoying though when someone starts bragging about something that they know the other person struggles with, that is just tactless and insensitive. It is understandable that people want to share things that are going on in their lives with other people, however it is important to do so in a tactful manor.
I really like the example that Monica used for dramatic irony. Roxane and Cyrano are discussing her love for Christian. She received a letter which she believes comes from Christian however the reader knows the Cyrano actually wrote it. They are talking about the letter that Roxane got, and Cyrano asks if Christian is a good writer. "He...writes well?" Roxane then replies saying that he is. "Wonderfully. Listen now:" (pg 107). as the readers we know that Christian didn't write that letter and that the letter that Roxane is so fond of is actually from Cyrano.
Structural irony also plays a large role in this book. Christian is making fun of Cyrano's nose, which is rather large. "Through the nose-"(pg 94). "On the nose" (pg 95). However Cyrano instead of getting angry about it and fighting Christian decides to give him a hug. '"(Cyrano) To my arms!" (Christian) "Sir?..." (Cyrano) "You are brave the pleases me."'

Marlou Taenzer said...

The last quote came from page 97.

Parker said...

I somewhat I agree with the famous Baseball player when he says "It’s not bragging—if you can do it" I think it is okay to tell someone about an accomplishment of yours if you are proud of it. But, if you continue to talk about that accomplishment, it can quickly become bragging. Again I think if someone talks about their plans and some of their accomplishments in moderation is okay, but if thats all they talk about, then it turns into bragging, and becomes annoying. My perspective changes somewhat depending on how significant the accomplishment or future goal is.I agree with Marlou when she says that when someone has accomplished something than they have the right to share it. (for a certain period of time) An example of dramatic irony: On page 20 a cut purse tells Christian that one hundred men are waiting for Ligniére. We know before Ligniére that he is about to walk into a death trap if he is not warned by christian.

Oren said...

I don't agree with the quote from the baseball player, because bragging goes beyond what you have said you can do. People often brag about what they have accomplished as well as what they will do. People who talk about future goals excessively and in a bragging manner, are usually being boastful. There is a very specific line drawn between being confident and being boastful. If a person has accomplished everything that they have bragged about, then I don't respect them more for their accomplishments, because that means that they are proud of their accomplishments. I would still respect that person the same amount if they have bragged about their accomplishments, or kept silent. Irony plays a very big role in the interactions and the situations in the play. I think that a perfect example of dramatic irony, is where Rageneau's "friends" the poets come in and eat his pastries, and Rageneau thinks that they are his friends and that they like him for his poetry, but the audience knows that the poets are just there for the pastries and to eat (68). An example of structural irony in the text is where Christian, when he first meets Cyrano is making fun of his nose throughout when Cyrano is telling the story of last night. Cyrano orders everyone out, and they think he is going to beat up Christian, but instead, he embraces him and commends him for his bravery (pg 95).
I agree with David, in saying that there is indeed a definite line between bragging and confidence. Bragging is where you go out of your way to show off your accomplishments or goals, and confidence is where you are determined, but not overzealous.

Kate Kerin said...

I disagree with this quote because most of the time when people brag it is about things that they can do it means that other people can’t do the same thing. It is not bragging when you mention something that you can do, but it is bragging when you mention it multiple times just to make yourself feel good. When you are confident you do not need to talk about your accomplishments, confidence comes from within yourself. When people talk about their accomplishments it is nice to hear, but when they enhance what they did or talk about it in excess it becomes annoying bragging.
An example of structural irony is how Roxane is supposedly an “intellectual” and very intelligent, but she loves Christian for his looks. She has never even talked to Christian but she tells Cyrano that she loves him (p.75). An example of dramatic irony is when Christian is making fun of Cyrano’s nose and the pages think that Cyrano is going to hurt Christian for it. The reader knows that Cyrano will not hut him because of the promise he made to Roxane (p. 93-96)
I agree with Parker and Marlou, that it is okay to share your accomplishment, but it can become bragging if you talk about it too many times or you try to enhance what happened.

Alli said...

I agree with Charlie because you're excited about something when you find out that you can do something with ease. Bragging is really when you become obsessed with something you're good at and go around telling people that you're good at that.
I chose the same example for dramatic irony as Meryl and Hudson. There was this tension between Christian and Cyrano while Cyrano was reciting his speech. Christian kept commenting about his nose and it was assumed that Cyrano was going to be angry with Christian and hurt him after everyone had left the room. All he did was give him respect. Cyrano had enough trust and respect for Christian to tell him about Roxane (93-103).

Daniel said...

I agree that it is not bragging if you could accomplish the one goal. I agree because people all around us set goals for themselves in the future. If they accomplish that then some others could achieve there goals. They are not really being boastful but mostly confident because they are setting a challenge and are confident that they will achieve it. They are just ready to do the hard work to achieve this there goal. No I still think that anyone could reach there goal just as long as they work hard for it.


There was a time when Cyrano was talking to Christian and telling him about how Roxane is in love with him. Christian is exited to hear the news but tells Cyrano he can't write anything about love. He is a bad writer and can't do it. He is ashamed of himself so Cyrano offers him his letter. "All there; all but the address" (101). Cyrano gave his love letter that was supposed to be given to Roxane to Christian so he could win her love. This is ironic that Cyrano had a love letter ready to give to Roxane but did not get the chance becaue Roxane is in love with christan. I agree with alli when she said that Cyrano had great trust in Christian tell him about Roxane. Even though Christain made fun of his nose Cyrano showed great respect.

Parker Gardner said...

No I do not agree with the baseball player when he says “it’s not bragging if you can do it.” To me bragging is the unnecessary informing of others about ones good deeds or achievements. Even if one is inherently smart or strong or talented they do not need to tell others, nor will their accomplishments be bolstered through the awareness of others. It is important to accomplish what you say you have accomplished and to be truthful but it is not important to say you have accomplished something in the first place, whether its true or not.

Here is an example of structural irony in the play:
Cyrano is smart and ugly and witty while Christian is unintelligent and attractive and simple.
“Cyrano: I wish you might be my interpreter. Christian: I wish I had your wit. Cyrano: borrow it then. Your beautiful young manhood, lend me that, and we two make one hero of romance.” Page 85.

Here is an example of dramatic irony in the second act of the play:
When the cadets do not know that Cyrano has promised to protect Christian, and watch as Cyrano takes insult after insult from Christian.
“Christian: your nose. Cyrano: who is that man there…carbon: his name is Christian. Cyrano: oh- I- I see, very well, as I was saying.” Page 80

Carl Tischbein said...

I agree with Hudson and with David in that there is just plain facts, but I also think that bragging is completely situational. I think that talking about accomplishments is not bragging if the accomplishments are relevant to the conversation and add to the conversation, either by making more enjoyable or by bringing new ideas and thoughts to the conversation. This also makes the speaker feel more confident. However, I think that if the accomplishment is portrayed in such a way that the accomplishment is kind of random or out of the blue, and does not relate to the conversation or add to the conversation, it is simply bragging. Therefore, it does not matter whether or not you can actually accomplish what you are bragging about, it simply depends on the context of the conversation.

An example of structural irony in Cyrano can be found at the very beginning, on page 14: “LE BRET: The best friend and bravest soul alive! RAGUENEAU: Poet- CUIGY: Swordsman- LE BRET: Musician- BRISSAILLE: Philosopher- LIGNIERE: Such a remarkable appearance, too!...RAGEUNEAU: This Punchinello figure-such a nose!- My lords, there is no such nose as that nose-.” Here, Rostand compares Cyrano’s inner beauty to his ugly outer appearance.

An example of dramatic irony can be found on page 96, when Christian keeps provoking Cyrano by mentioning his nose. Cyrano sends everyone out of the room, and they think he will kill Christian on the spot. Instead, Cyrano practices self control and refrains from killing Christian. Here, the cadets are imagining what is going to happen: “Bigre! He’ll have the fellow chopped into sausage-…Mince-meat, then- one of your pies!...Something horrible, beyond imagination!” Here we can see the dramatic irony because the audience knows that he will not kill Christian and that he wants to talk to him alone, but if we were in the story (and were one of the cadets), we would think Cyrano was going to kill Christian.