Cyrano de Bergerac

by: Edmond Rostand

Symbols

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

Cyrano’s Nose

Cyrano’s nose is the most obvious symbol in the play. Not only does it make him ugly, it characterizes Cyrano’s main flaw: his lack of self-confidence and initiative in potential encounters with love, and the deceptive actions he commits as a consequence of this low self-esteem. His nose is the barrier between him and love. Every time he opens his eyes, the nose is there, stretching out into his field of vision. As the play progresses, Cyrano’s nose might also be a symbol for society’s reliance on outer beauty, and its inability to see inner beauty.

Cyrano’s Tears and Christian’s Blood

In Act V, when Roxane realizes Cyrano’s secret, she notices that the tears on Christian’s letter are probably Cyrano’s tears. Cyrano responds by deflecting her comment and stating that the blood is Christian’s. This mixture of blood and tears on the final letter symbolizes the melding of Cyrano and Christian into the romantic hero. This combination helps Roxane realize their deception.