Cyrano de Bergerac: The Power of Love

Edmond Rostand’s tragic drama Cyrano de Bergerac illustrates the life of Hercule Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, a poetic warrior, and his truculent adventures in love and war. Cyrano lives by the tip of his seemingly mile long sword and the edge of his even sharper tongue, but due to his titanic nose he is not accepted by women in society until he meets a new resident of Gascony named Christian de Neuvillette.

Rostand displays Cyrano and Christian as foils of each other by illustrating their differences in appearance and wit, but illustrates how they combine their different characteristics to win the love of their angelic beloved whom they call Roxanne. Cyrano and Christian differ greatly in their appearance, which makes Cyrano hold an infinite amount of jealousy towards his fellow warrior. For example, “ ‘above his Toby ruff he carries a nose’ ” a nose too big to believe almost as if “ ‘he plays a joke on us’ ” (Rostand Act 1. Page 16).

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Throughout Cyrano’s story there are multiple examples of the gigantic blemish of a nose shading his body and to some around him it is a source of conversation as well as something comical. Although his adversary, Cyrano understands the gift Christian received in having such appealing physical characteristics. In another instance, Cyrano says “ ‘that good and valiant Christian… had great beauty’ ”, but his down fall is that “ ‘[he] is a dunce and… could kill [himself] of shame because of it’ ” (2. 75, 4. 24-125)

In this example, Rostand displays Christian as a handsome and capable young man, but his unkempt wit demonstrates his only downfall. Christian and Cyrano hate one another from the beginning of the story, neither see eye to eye nor do they understand how much they could benefit from each other in the quest for Roxanne. Christian comprehends that he will never win Roxanne due to his stupidity, but “ ‘eloquence… in speech… [Cyrano] shall lend to [Christian] and [Christian] to [Cyrano]… shall lend… all conquering physical charm… nd between us we shall compose a hero of romance’ ” (2. 75).

Cyrano realizes the solution to their problem in winning over Roxanne; they decide to work together using Cyrano’s poetic heart and Christian’s poetic looks. These fellow Gascons fix and mend their hate through combining their different attributes to win over the love of their lives. Cyrano and Christian have completely opposite characteristics, but they both realize that from their mutual love of Roxanne a romantic new person can arise with the ability to win the love of Roxanne.

In the end, both of these Gascons learn how love can bring two foes together, and they also learn that indomitable respect and perpetuate determination always prevail in romance.

Work Cited

  1. Rostand, Edmond. Cyrano de Bergerac. Ed. George Stade. New York. Barnes and Noble Books. 2004.

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Cyrano de Bergerac: The Power of Love. (2016, Nov 08). Retrieved from