Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac Lies and Deceit Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
ROXANE (To the Capuchin) Father, this letter concerns you… (To Christian) and you. Listen: (The others gather around her. She pretends to read from the letter, aloud.) "Mademoiselle: The Cardinal Will have his way, although against your will; That is why I am sending this to you By a most holy man, intelligent, Discreet. You will communicate to him Our order to perform, here and at once The rite of… (Turns the page) Holy Matrimony. You And Christian will be married privately In your house. (III. 413-32)
Notice the deception here on the individual level of the word. Roxane changes the words about the Capuchin from "simple as a sheep" to "intelligent, / discreet" in order to convince the holy man that de Guiche wants her married to Christian. Indeed, like Cyrano, Roxane uses verbal acrobatics to carry out her duplicities.
DE GUICHE Damn this mask! – (As he is about to enter the house, Cyrano leaps from the balcony, still holding fast to the branch, which bends and swings him between De Guiche and the door; then he releases the branch and pretends to fall heavily as though from a great height. He lands flatly on the ground, where he lies motionless, as if stunned. De Guiche leaps back.) What is that? (When he lifts his eyes, the branch has sprung back into place. He can see nothing but the sky; he does not understand.) Why…where did this man Fall from? CYRANO (Sits up and speaks with a strong accent.) – The moon! DE GUICHE You – CYRANO From the moon, the moon! I fell out of the moon! […] CYRANO (Grandiloquent) The ocean!... What hour its rising tide seeks the full moon, I laid me on the strand, fresh from the spray, My head fronting the moonbeams, since the hair Retains moisture – and so I slowly rose As upon angels’ wings, effortlessly, Upward – then suddenly I felt a shock! – And then… DE GUICHE (Overcome by curiosity, sits down on the bench.) And then? CYRANO And then – (Changes abruptly to his natural voice.) The time is up! – Fifteen minutes, your Grace! – You are now free; And – they are bound – in wedlock. (III. 463 -553 )
That Cyrano’s story is so outlandish makes a fool out of de Guiche – for fifteen minutes, while Roxane and Christian are married.
CYRANO Even Grotesque? ROXANE How could he ever be grotesque – Ever – to me! CYRANO But you could love him so, As much as? ROXANE Yes – and more! CYRANO (aside, excitedly) It is true! – true! – Perhaps – God! This is too much happiness… […] (ROXANE throws herself on upon the body of CHRISTIAN. Shots; at first scattered, then increasing. Drums. Voices shouting.)… CHRISTIAN (faintly) Roxane!... CYRANO (low and quick, in Christian’s ear, while ROXANE is dipping into the water a strip of linen torn from her dress.) I have told her; she loves you. (CHRISTIAN closes his eyes.) (IV. 514-524)
Just as Cyrano is about to tell Roxane the truth, Christian dies and it changes everything. Cyrano, burdened with guilt, cannot bear to tell Roxane the whole story. So he lies to her, insisting on Christian’s great soul, and then compounds it by lying to Christian, claiming that he has told Roxane the truth and that she loves him nonetheless. In his gracious lie to Christian, Cyrano effectively gives up all hope of ever winning Roxane’s hand.