Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
It grew dark,
You could not see your hand before your eyes.
I marched on, thinking how, all for the sake
Of one old souse
(They slowly sit down, watching him.)
who wrote a bawdy song
Whenever he took –
A noseful –
(Everyone rises. CHRISTIAN balances himself
on two legs of his chair.)
- Took a notion.
Whenever he took a notion – For his sake,
I might antagonize some dangerous man,
One powerful enough to make me pay –
Through the nose –
CYRANO (wipes the sweat from his forehead.)
- Pay the Piper. After all,
I thought, why am I putting in my –
- My oar…Why am I putting in my oar?
The quarrel’s none of mine. However – now
I am here, I may as well go through with it.
Come Gascon – do your duty! – Suddenly
A sword flashed in the dark. I caught it fair –
On the nose –
On my blade. Before I knew it,
There I was –
Rubbing noses –
CYRANO (pale and smiling)
With half a score at once. I handed one –
A nosegay – (II. 494-509)
Here we start to wonder how good a guy Christian really is; at the same time, we admire Cyrano for checking his temper in order to keep his word to Roxane.
Now we are allowed to talk about his nose! (calls)
Hey, Lise! Come here – (affectedly)
Snf! What a horrid smell!
What is it?...
(Plants himself in front of CYRANO, and looks at his nose in an impolite manner.)
You ought to know about such things;
What seems to have died around here?
CYRANO (knocks him backward over a bench.)
(Joy. The Cadets have found their old CYRANO again. General disturbance.)
Making fun of Cyrano’s nose is a mark of poor character in this play; notice that the musketeer is the man having an affair with Lise.
CHRISTIAN (Desperately, restraining her)
No, not again – I do not love you –
ROXANE (Settles back)
That is better…
I adore you!
(Rises and moves away)
I grow absurd.
And that displeases me
As much as if you had grown ugly. (III. 186-189)
Roxane shows how much she values physical beauty by expressing an icy displeasure at the thought of Christian growing ugly. She also equates eloquence (the ability to not repeat yourself) to physical beauty, which, given the circumstance, is just a tad ironic.