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Cyrano’s plot revolves around the effort,
by many men, to win Roxane’s love. With little agency, curiosity,
or will in regard to the entreaties of her suitors, Roxane is the
constant star in a perplexing galaxy of affection. Nearly every
character is either directly affected by her love or is hoping to
win it. But winning Roxane is not Cyrano’s or Christian’s
goal: winning her love. It alters Christian and Cyrano in respectively
different ways throughout the play, and it defines each scene’s
tone and attitude.
Roxane’s kindness and sincerity never waver and are never
questioned. But she has a major dramatic shift in thought at the
war at Arras when she tells Christian that although she once loved
him because he was handsome, she now loves him because of his inner beauty.
This shift alters the play’s remaining action and resolves its main
action and conflict. Roxane exhibits the sheer power of love over
attraction, both at Arras and in the play’s final scene, when she declares
her love for the deformed Cyrano.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Cyrano de Bergerac!