Cyrano de Bergerac Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Line)
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?
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 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 use the term "ugly" before Cyrano.