3. Christian: I
need eloquence, and I have none!
lend you mine! Lend me your conquering physical charm, and together
we’ll form a romantic hero!
do you mean?
Cyrano: Do you feel capable
of repeating what I tell you every day?
you suggesting . . .
Cyrano: Roxane won’t
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
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.