Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
(The door of Roxane’s house opens; lackeys appear, bearing lighted candles. Lights up. Cyrano removes his hat.)
And that nose! – Cyrano! (III. 554)
Cyrano’s identity is primarily defined by two traits: his voice and his nose. Notice which one comes first.
You do not altogether know me…Dear,
There is more of me than there was –with this
I can love more of you – more of what makes
You your own self – Truly!...If you were less
- Less charming – ugly even –
I should love you still.
You mean that?
Yes. Even then! (IV. 456 – 464)
Roxane is no longer the shallow girl we’ve seen before; in redefining her ideas of what identity means, she has significantly altered her own.
Let her choose between us! –
Tell her everything!
No – you torture me –
Shall I ruin your happiness, because
I have a cursed pretty face? That seems
And am I to ruin yours
Because I happen to be born with a power
To say what you – perhaps – feel?
Do not try me too far!
I am tired of being
My own rival! (IV. 481 – 490)
The last line here shows just how conflicted Christian has been about letting Cyrano do the talking. At last, he works up the nerve to tell Roxane the truth, to speak with his own voice and be known for who he is. He wants Roxane to love his own identity and his own soul.