Cyrano de Bergerac
Throughout the play Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand concentrates on Cyrano’s adoration of the exquisite Roxanne, and his attempts to win her love for the less intelligent but more attractive Christian de Neuvillette. Cyrano, a large-nosed swordsman and poet, must overcome internal struggles between his passion for Roxanne and loyalty to his friend Christian. In the end of the play, when Roxanne learns the truth about the true identity of Christian, the ever-loyal Cyrano wrongly accuses himself of amounting to nothing throughout his life.
After Cyrano throws Montfleury off of the stage at the Hotel Burgundy, he displays his loyalty and love for his friends when Ligniere appears with a message for him. Ligniere runs into the Hotel Burgundy to alert Cyrano of “ ‘ great danger,’ ” for “ ‘ a hundred men [are] against’ ” him “ ‘because of a song’ ” (I. V. 54-55). Immediately, Cyrano tells Ligniere: “ ‘You’ll sleep at home tonight … and I’ll cover you’ ” (I. V. 55). Cyrano shows his faithfulness and allegiance to Ligniere by comforting and assuring him of his safety and later defeating the many men who want to kill the poet.
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Saving Ligniere from one hundred men proves to be a great accomplishment of loyalty even in the eyes of the amazing Cyrano de Bergerac. When Cyrano learns that Roxanne yearns for Christian, he decides to help Christian obtain his true love, despite his own lust for Roxanne. After hearing that Christian “ ‘[is] such a fool that [he] could die of shame,’ ” Cyrano devises the plan to “ ‘form a romantic hero’ ” with Christian and win the heart of Roxanne (II.
X. 100-101). With his eloquence in speech and Christian’s handsome looks, Cyrano forms the “romantic hero” that Roxanne so yearns for. Christian proves incapable of winning the love of Roxanne without the help of Cyrano, who through selfless acts assists his friend in wooing his true love. During the war, Cyrano acquires the opportunity to love Roxanne; however, out of loyalty to his friend, he stays without acting.
After learning that Roxanne would love him even “ ‘if [he] suddenly became ugly,’ ” Christian realizes that Roxanne really loves Cyrano, so he tells Cyrano to “ ‘let her choose’ ” between them (IV. VIII. 186; IV. IX. 189). Christian finds himself shocked when he discerns that Roxanne loves Cyrano’s writing, and not his looks. Cyrano, always dependable, tells Roxanne nothing of the letters and allows Christian to die a noble death with his true love. Because of Cyrano’s nobility and loyalty, Christian departs a happy man, believing that Roxanne has chosen him.
Throughout the play, the actions of Cyrano de Bergerac prove that he indeed lives a fulfilled life of nobility and loyalty. The faithfulness and devotion that Cyrano displays through his actions toward Christian and Ligniere show that he desires nothing but for his friends to obtain happiness. Through his goals to allow his friends to acquire a fulfilled life, Cyrano achieves fulfillment. And through this, just before he dies, he eventually earns the love of Roxanne.