Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
ROXANE My words, well aimed, find you more readily. CYRANO 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. ROXANE Yet not so slowly as they did at first. CYRANO They have learned the way, and you have welcomed them. ROXANE (softly) Am I so far above you now? CYRANO 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 – CYRANO 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! ROXANE Hush! – CYRANO 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? ROXANE It was true! I said that I should love him even… CYRANO (Smiling sadly) The word Comes hard – before me? ROXANE Even if he were… CYRANO Say it I shall not be hurt! – Ugly? ROXANE Even then I should love him. (IV. 502-507)
Roxane knows that words can hurt and thus cannot bring herself to the term "ugly" before Cyrano.