Read L'Aiglon by Edmond Rostand Free Online
Book Title: L'Aiglon|
The author of the book: Edmond Rostand
Edition: Wildside Press
Date of issue: October 1st 2011
ISBN 13: 9781434418494
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 645 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
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In my attempt to clear out all things Rostand from my list of things to read after indiscriminately worshipping his unmatched play, Cyrano de Bergerac, I flew through The Romancers, and Chantecler, both of which were quite enjoyable in their different ways. Then I found that L'Aiglon was the only thing left of his on Project Gutenberg ... so I voraciously downloaded it and printed it off.
This somber play is heavy in nationalistic themes and history. It was nice, in a way, to get a view of French politics of the Napoleonic times and see how that little Bonaparte created havoc in Europe that had repercussions for years and years afterward. But it also meant that the farther away we get from that time period, the harder it is to understand and get a feel for all of the characters, settings, and events alluded to ... which to a contemporary audience of the time would have been obvious, I'm guessing.
Whether you understand all of the context to the play or not, however, Rostand still excels in creating noble, tragic heroes who hold onto idealistic principles in spite of any challenges thrown against them, as he does in most of his plays. And this is something that translates across the ages without need for background research. While these noble, tragic moments of goodness were present, they were not as impactful as with Rostand's other masterpieces, nor were they as often. Even his poetic writing seemed to be toned down and limited, as characters and events took more spotlight than the words. It seemed like a lot of reading to get very few rewards by the end. Yet, the rewards were there and the reading was not uninteresting. I am glad I was able find and read yet another of Rostand's seminal works, though I will most certainly be revisiting his others plays with much more frequency and passion than I will with this one.
I should mention before parting, however, that the fifth act definitely shines through as pure Rostand. The surprising and satisfying bravery and gumption of the Countess creates a great moment and completes a wonderful character that I would have loved to see more of. Then the Duke uses poetic language to conjure up images and set up a scene that would have been both haunting and beautiful to witness in the theater. For those 19th Century audiences I am, I admit, jealous. For myself as an audience right now, I am, less enthusiastic.
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Read information about the authorEdmond Eugène Alexis Rostand was a French poet and dramatist.
Rostand is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play "Cyrano de Bergerac". Rostand's romantic plays provided an alternative to the naturalistic theatre popular during the late 19th century. One of Rostand's works, "Les Romanesques", has been adapted as the highly successful musical comedy "The Fantasticks".
Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie Française.
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