Heroic comedy, verse play


Grandiose, heroic


1640 (Acts 1–4) and 1655 (Act 5), Paris and Arras


Cyrano tries to write a letter to Roxane before they meet.

Major Conflict

Cyrano loves Roxane but feels he is too ugly to woo her; Cyrano must overcome the severe self-doubt and shame that result from his awkward appearance in order to reveal to Roxane that he wrote Christian’s love letters.

Rising Action

Roxane asks Cyrano to protect Christian, who is fighting in a war alongside Cyrano, and Cyrano agrees to help Christian court Roxane by writing love letters and allowing Christian to sign them.


Roxane tells Christian she loves him for his soul and not for his physical appearance. Just before Christian dies, Cyrano lies by telling him that Roxane has learned of the forged letters and has chosen Christian over Cyrano. Simultaneously, he recognizes that he can never tell Roxane that he is the true author of Christian’s love letters.

Falling Action

Cyrano visits Roxane and learns of his role in helping Christian. She declares her love for him, but Cyrano, who has been mortally wounded before visiting Roxane, dies.