Cyrano de Bergerac

by: Edmond Rostand

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained
3. Christian: I need eloquence, and I have none!
Cyrano: I’ll lend you mine! Lend me your conquering physical charm, and together we’ll form a romantic hero!
Christian: What do you mean?
Cyrano: Do you feel capable of repeating what I tell you every day?
Christian: Are you suggesting . . .
Cyrano: Roxane won’t be disillusioned!
Together, we can win her heart! Will you let my soul pass from my leather jerkin and lodge beneath your embroidered doublet?

Here, at the end of Act II, Cyrano and Christian talk about winning Roxane’s love. Cyrano is the first of the two to realize that they can combine their powers—Cyrano’s wit and poetry, Christian’s good looks and charm—in an effort to woo her. Essentially, they would become one person, as Cyrano states, a “romantic hero.” In a sense, both Christian and Cyrano represent stereotypes. Christian is unpoetic yet has stunning beauty, while Cyrano perfectly fills the role of the intelligent but unattractive intellectual.

One of the play’s central questions is whether the combination of these traits can create a character superior to Cyrano or Christian. Indeed, initially it seems that the blending of their perfections results in nothing more than a flawless composite character. It’s no surprise that Roxane falls for such a character. The only complicating factor in their scheme, however, is the duplicity required to execute their plot. Cyrano and Christian must both lie to the woman they supposedly love to win her affection. We should expect the composite romantic hero to meet his demise for sacrificing his integrity. Ultimately, however, Roxane ignores this betrayal. Upon discovering Christian and Cyrano’s plan years later, she simply reinterprets her original love for Christian as love for Cyrano, saying that she has loved only one man, but lost him twice.