Cyrano de Bergerac Appearances Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Line)
You may go—
Or tell me why are you staring at my nose!
THE MEDDLER (in confusion)
CYRANO (stepping up to him)
Does it astonish you?
THE MEDDLER (drawing back)
Is it long and soft
And dangling like a trunk?
THE MEDDLER (same business)
I never said—
Or crooked, like an owl’s beak?
A pimple ornaments the end of it?
Or a fly parading up and down?
What is this portent?
But I have been careful not to look—
Not, if you please?
It disgusts you, then?
My dear sir—
Does its color appear to you
Oh, by no means!
Or its form
Not in the least—
Then why assume
This deprecating manner? Possibly
You find it just a trifle large?
THE MEDDLER (babbling)
Small, very small, infinitesimal—
How? You accuse me of absurdity?
Small?—my nose? Why—
THE MEDDLER (breathless)
My God!— (I.317-335)
Cyrano allows himself to point out the ugliness of his nose, but allows nobody else to do so; he is conscious and accepting of his looks, but doesn’t want to be judged for them.
My nose!...You pug, you knob, you button-head,
Know that I glory in this nose of mine,
For a great nose indicates a great man—
Genial, courteous, intellectual,
Virile, courageous—as I am—and such
As you—poor wretch—will never dare to be
Even in imagination. For that face—
That blank, inglorious concavity
Which my right hand finds— (he strikes him)
—on top of you,
Is as devoid of pride, or poetry,
Of soul, of picturesqueness, of contour,
Of character, of NOSE in short—as that
(Takes him by the shoulders and turns him around,
suiting the action to the word)
Which at the end of that limp spine of yours
My left foot—
THE MEDDLER (escaping)
Help! The Guard! (I.335-348)
Cyrano claims that his nose gives him character, that it’s representative of his uniqueness.
Your nose is…rather large!
Is that all?
VALVERT (turns away with a shrug)
Well, of course—
Ah, no, young sir!
You are too simple. Why, you might have said—
Oh, a great many things? Mon dieu, why waste
Your opportunity? For example, thus:—
AGGRESSIVE: I, sir, if that nose were mine,
I’d have it amputated—on the spot!
FRIENDLY: How do you drink with such a nose?
You ought to have a cup made specially.
DESCRIPTIVE: 'This a rock—a crag—a cape—
A cape? say rather, a peninsula!
INQUISITIVE: hat is that receptacle—
A razor-case or a portfolio?
KINDLY: Ah, do you love the little birds
So much that when they come and sing to you,
You give them this to perch on?
INSOLENT: Your chimney is on fire.
CAUTIOUS: Take care—
A weight like that might make you topheavy.
[…] For I say these things
Lightly enough myself, about myself,
But I allow none else to utter them. (I.338-413)
Cyrano’s response is ridiculously exaggerated, but by turning the tables on Valvert, he makes light of his own ugliness and mocks his opponent for his ineloquence and general stupidity.