Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
ROXANE (sinks down upon the breast of CHRISTIAN.)
He is dead now…
CYRANO (aside; draws his sword.)
Why, so am I –
For I am dead, and my love mourns for me
And does not know…
On his letter – blood…and tears….
His blood…his tears… (IV. 539 – 542)
Roxane mixes the late Christian’s identity with some attributes from Cyrano’s, like his role as an "unknown poet." She does, however, name traits that do indeed identify Christian, like his having a "deep heart" and a "magnificently tender soul." Cyrano, ridden by guilt, identifies with poor Christian, specifically his need to be acknowledged for who he is; thus he considers himself as "dead" as Christian. The mingling of their identities is finalized with the mingling of their blood and tears, two of the most vital and selfless things a man can give in this play.
(She comes near him, softly, without his seeing her; passes the chair, leans over
silently, looking at the letter. The darkness increases.)
" – I am never away from you. Even now,
I shall not leave you. In another world,
I shall be still that one who loves you, loves you
Beyond measure, beyond – "
ROXANE (lays her hand on his shoulder.)
How can you read
Now? It is dark…
(He starts, turns, and sees her there close to him. A little movement of surprise,
almost of fear; then he bows his head. A long pause; then in the twilight now completely
fallen, she says very softly, clasping her hands.)
And all these fourteen years,
He has been the old friend, who came to me
To be amusing.
It was you. (V. 244-250)
This is the first time Cyrano presents his identity to Roxane without guise; he reads the letter – his own words – in his own voice and to her face.
I never loved you –
You loved me.
No – He loved you –
You love me!
CYRANO (His voice weakens.)
And why…so great a "No"?
No, no, my own dear love, I love you not!...
How many things have died…and are newborn!...
Why were you silent for so many years,
All the while, every night and every day,
He gave me nothing – you knew that – You knew
Here, in this letter lying on my breast,
Your tears – You knew they were your tears –
CYRANO (holds the letter out to her.)
Was his. (V. 258-268)
Still guilt-ridden over Christian’s death, Cyrano denies being the man who loved Roxane. For the first time, she acknowledges the truth while Cyrano denies it. He feels as if Christian, by making the sacrifice of his own life, has won the right to be Roxane’s sole love.