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Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac

by Edmond Rostand

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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