Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand
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Cyrano's nose

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Cyrano’s nose is the barrier that keeps him from telling Roxane he loves her. It reminds us that not only is a person judged by others for his appearance, but that a person assimilates these views and is altered by them. Cyrano’s hyper-sensitivity about nose-comments is understandable, but his reaction to the Vicomte’s inarticulate low-blow is an interesting one; he lists off all the insults Valvert could have come up with, which suggests a perspective and sense of humor regarding the nose we haven’t seen elsewhere. He also claims that such a nose gives him character, but that could easily be a cover-up for what we know to be a huge insecurity.

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