Cyrano de Bergerac

by: Edmond Rostand

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 4

Christian: And now?
Roxane: Your true self has prevailed over your outer appearance. I now love you for your soul alone.
Christian: Oh, Roxane!
Roxane: . . . But you can be happy now: your thoughts outshine your face. Your handsomeness was what first attracted me, but now that my eyes are open I no longer see it!

This quotation, which comes in Act IV just after Roxane arrives at Arras and surprises the cadets, heightens the sense of tension in the play. Roxane’s changing sentiments have derailed Christian and Cyrano’s plan. Just before Christian is about to go off to battle, Roxane tells him that he loves him for his “soul alone” and no longer for his “outer appearance.” This seemingly positive romantic development troubles and depresses Christian since he essentially borrowed his “soul” from Cyrano—without his outer appearance, he has nothing to offer Roxane. Roxane rejects the romantic hero’s mixture of inner and outer beauty in favor of the poetry and inner beauty that she initially attributes to Christian. Christian, however, understands that he had nothing to do with the poetry, and that Roxane really loves Cyrano without even knowing it. The moment is ironic since what Roxane believes to be her statement of true, lasting love for Christian is based upon a character trait that Christian does not possess.