Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
Wretch! Have I not forbade you these three weeks?
(Sensation. Every one turns to look. Murmurs)
What?...Where?...Who is it?...
Cyrano! (I. 16-17)
Cyrano enters the play as only a voice. This is appropriate since his voice is his distinguishing trait, and is so tied to his identity.
Well then! Roxane herself, watching your duel,
Paler than –
Her lips parted, her hand
Thus at her breast – I saw it! Speak to her
Speak, man! (I. 602-604)
Le Bret knows the power of Cyrano’s words, so he urges the man to make himself known to Roxane. He realizes the close relationship between voice and identity.
A big boy who loves me too,
And is afraid of me, and keeps away.
And never says one word.
Let me have
Your hand a moment – why how hot it is! –
I know. I see him trying…
Is that better? –
(She finishes bandaging the hand with her handkerchief.)
Besides – only to think –
(This is a secret.) He is a soldier too,
In your own regiment –
Yes, in the Guards,
Your company too.
And such a man! –
He is proud – noble – young – brave – beautiful –
CYRANO (Turns pale; rises.)
What’s the matter?
Nothing – this –
My sore hand!
Cyrano, in hearing Roxane’s words about the man she loves, confuses himself with Christian. In this scene of dramatic irony, the audience realizes who Roxane is talking about while Cyrano does not. This scene reminds us that there are very few virtues that separate these two men – in fact, appearance is the only distinguishing trait.