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I will be doing an oral presentation on a play next week. I am not sure if I should read the adjectives in this sentence, because it is followed by a quotation mark.

                                                                               CYRANO

Ah no! young blade! That was a trifle short!

You might have said at least a hundred things

By varying the tone ... like this, suppose, ...

Aggressive: 'Sir, if I had such a nose

I'd amputate it!'

enter image description here

The image is a page from Cyrano de Bergerac, a french play.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Dan Bron, Edwin Ashworth, Nigel J, jimm101, David Feb 2 '18 at 13:16

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    The quoting is unclear. Can you give a link or an image of the original? Since this seems to be from the classic speech in Cyrano de Bergerac, I think 'agressif' is not a stage direction but a word spoken by Cyrano as a comment describing the nature of the following thing to be said. Also, 'agressif' is French but the rest is English; is this from a translation by hand? Or is it printed? – Mitch Feb 1 '18 at 19:19
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    @Mitch Indeed: I think I've got it right. But it may not be a stage direction; it may be part of the speech. – Andrew Leach Feb 1 '18 at 19:20
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    Yes, you should say the adjectives in this speech. Cyrano is listing all of the different ways someone with a little imagination could have insulted his nose, prefacing each with the style of the insult. Those are part of his speech. – David Hammond Feb 1 '18 at 19:25
  • Okay, but it’s in french... @Mitch – Me myself and I Feb 1 '18 at 19:32
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The word should be agressive, not agressif (which is the French for agressive.) And you're supposed to read it. The lines won't scan otherwise.

From an online excerpt of a different translation of the play:

Ah no! young blade! That was a trifle short!
You might have said at least a hundred things
By varying the tone ... like this, suppose, ...
Aggressive: 'Sir, if I had such a nose
I'd amputate it!' Friendly: 'When you sup
It must annoy you, dipping in your cup;
You need a drinking-bowl of special shape!'
Descriptive: ''Tis a rock! ... a peak! ... a cape!
—A cape, forsooth! 'Tis a peninsular!'
Curious: 'How serves that oblong capsular?
For scissor-sheath? Or pot to hold your ink?'
Gracious: 'You love the little birds, I think?
I see you've managed with a fond research
To find their tiny claws a roomy perch!'
...

In this other translation, the lines won't scan if you don't read the adjectives.

Notice how, if you include the adjectives, almost every line has exactly 10 syllables (alternating unstressed and stressed), while if you don't read the adjectives, the lines are all of varying lengths. This is iambic pentameter, so clearly you're supposed to read the adjectives.

The French is in alexandrine verse, and similarly won't scan if you don't read the adjectives.

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