Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
Love hates that game of words!
It is a crime to fence with life – I tell you,
There comes one moment, once – and God help those
Who pass that moment by! – when Beauty stands
Looking into the soul with grave, sweet eyes
That sicken at pretty words! (III. 293-298)
With Love comfortably established as a personified being now, Cyrano claims that at some point Love comes to hate shallowness – embodied by fancy but fruitless words to one’s lover. Words to Cyrano seem passive in comparison to action.
And when that moment comes to you and me –
What words will you?...
All those, all those, all those
That blossom in my heart, I’ll fling to you –
Armfuls of loose bloom! Love, I love beyond!
Breath, beyond reason, beyond love’s own power
Of loving! Your name is like a golden bell
Hung in my heart; and when I think of you
I tremble, and the bell swings and rings –
"Roxane!"…along my veins, "Roxane!"…
All small forgotten things that once meant You –
I remember last year, the First of May,
A little before noon, you had your hair
Drawn low, that one time only. Is that strange?
You know how, after looking at the sun,
One sees red suns everywhere – so, for hours
After the flood of sunshine that you are,
My eyes are blinded by your burning hair!
ROXANE (very low)
Yes…that is…Love (III. 300-316)
Cyrano sees love as obsession; how does this compare to Christian’s view?
Yes, that is Love – that wind
Of terrible and jealous beauty, blowing
Over me – that dark fire, that music…
Love seeketh not his own! Dear, you may take
My happiness to make you happier,
Even though you never know I gave it you –
Only let me hear sometimes, all alone,
The distant laughter of your joy!...(III.316-323)
Cyrano presents two competing aspects of love – one that is selfish and "jealous," and another that is completely selfless (and wants Roxane to "take / My happiness to make you happier"). These are the two sides of love competing in Cyrano; one side wants Roxane for himself, and the other wants to make her happy by letting her love the one she wants to – Christian.