Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Snail Mail Trail
Clothes may make the man... but his words are what gets Roxane's heart a-fluttering. Cyrano is a master wordsmith and he stays up nights spilling tons of ink to lett his lovely lady know exactly how much she means to him.
Unfortunately, he's usually not signing these letters:
"Your Friend—who loves you..."
So, no signature (II.100-101)
Letters are a symbol of deception, but also of love. For Cyrano, letters are an odd opportunity both to hide his identity and openly reveal his emotions:
Does it mean
So much to you?
CYRANO (Beside himself)
It means— (Recovers, changes tone.)
A situation for a poet! Come,
Shall we collaborate? I’ll be your cloak
Of darkness, your enchanted sword, your ring
To charm the fairy Princess!
But the letter— I cannot write— CYRANO
Oh yes, the letter.
(He takes from his pocket the letter which he has written.)
Notice that the difficulties and complications begin when Cyrano has to move out of the realm of letters and into speech—in the balcony scene with Roxane.
This is where he’s almost caught, when he can no longer hide behind the letters. However, it is also where we see his true emotion most clearly. Of course, it is fitting that Roxane discovers the truth in the final scene when she watches Cyrano reading his letter aloud; this is the ultimate combination of the written and spoken word, and even in the dark Cyrano can no longer hide behind paper.