Cyrano de Bergerac
Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
My words, well aimed, find you more readily.
My heart is open wide and waits for them –
Too large a mark to miss! My words fly home,
Heavy with honey like returning bees,
To your small secret ear. Moreover – yours
Fall to me swiftly. Mine more slowly rise.
Yet not so slowly as they did at first.
They have learned the way, and you have welcomed them.
Am I so far above you now?
So far –
If you let fall upon me one hard word,
Out of that height – you crush me! (III. 232-241)
Here, words are compared to weapons like arrows and weights; Cyrano – an ugly man – knows that words can be used to hurt as well as compliment and woo.
ROXANE (Out on the balcony)
Are you still there?
We were speaking of –
A kiss. The word is sweet –
What will the deed be? Are your lips afraid
Even of its burning name? Not much afraid –
Laid aside laughter, slipping beyond speech
Insensibly, already, without fear,
From words to smiles…from smiles to sighs…from sighing
Even to tears? One step more – only one
From a tear to a kiss – one step, one thrill!
And what is a kiss, when all is done?
A promise given under a seal – a vow
Taken before the shrine of memory –
A signature acknowledged – a rosy dot
Over the i of Loving – a secret whispered
To listening lips apart – a moment made
Immortal, with a rush of wings unseen –
A sacrament of blossoms, a new song
Sung by two hearts to an old simple tune –
The ring of one horizon around two souls
Together, all alone! (III. 367-385)
Cyrano uses his the transformative power of words to convince Roxane – but more likely to convince himself – that a kiss (a physical act) is no different than a promise (a verbal one). This is comforting to him, since he can provide the latter and not the former.
CYRANO (Takes her hand.)
Was it true – what you told him just now?
It was true!
I said that I should love him even…
CYRANO (Smiling sadly)
Comes hard – before me?
Even if he were…
I shall not be hurt! – Ugly?
I should love him. (IV. 502-507)
Roxane knows that words can hurt and thus cannot bring herself to the term "ugly" before Cyrano.