face shines with wit and intelligence.
proud, noble, young, fearless, handsome. . . .
is it? What’s the matter?
. . . It’s . . . it’s . . . it’s only a twinge of pain from this
Roxane and Cyrano’s meeting in Ragueneau’s
shop, early in Act II, heightens the play’s drama and suspense.
Roxane speaks to Cyrano about a man she loves, who she thinks loves
her. Roxane acts a bit mysteriously, choosing to be discreet in
her revelation of the man’s identity. As she reveals his identity,
Cyrano thinks that she might be referring to him—after all, each
piece of information fits him. When she says that this man is “handsome,”
however, Cyrano becomes certain that she is not talking about him,
and that she must be talking about someone else. Cyrano reacts by
cringing and reeling in pain. To cover up for his heartbreak, he
quickly invents an excuse for his noticeable pain: his hand wound.
This moment also highlights Cyrano’s weakening self-confidence and
self-esteem. He now believes that Roxane will never love him. With
this idea firmly planted in his mind, he agrees to help Christian
win her love.