Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
I understand everything now: The letters –
That was you…
And the dear, foolish words –
That was you…
And the voice…in the dark..
On my honor –
That was all you. (V. 254-259)
Cyrano, still guilt-ridden over Christian’s death, refuses to acknowledge the truth – that it is he who has loved Roxane all this time. His loyalty to Christian is a testament to his own integrity – he defends the man who shared so many of his own virtues: courage, love, and truth.
Why were you silent for so many years,
All the while, every night and every day,
He gave me nothing – you knew that – You knew
Here, in this letter lying on my breast,
Your tears – You knew they were your tears –
CYRANO (holds the letter out to her.)
Was his. (V. 263-268)
Cyrano’s set of morals considers the sacrifice of one’s life to a cause the greatest virtue one can have. Christian’s sacrifice for Roxane to discover the truth touched Cyrano so much that he would rather live with Roxane loving another man forever than spoil the immaculate image Roxane maintains of Christian.
Yes, all my laurels you [Death] have riven away
And all my roses; yet in spite of you,
There is one crown I bear away with me
And to-night, when I enter before God,
My salute shall sweep all the stars away
From the blue threshold! One thing without stain,
Unspotted from the world, in spite of doom
(He springs forward, his sword lifted aloft.)
And that is…
(The sword escapes his hand; he totters, and falls into the arms of LE BRET and RAGUENEAU.)
ROXANE (Bends over him and kisses him on the forehead.)
- That is…
CYRANO (Opens his eyes and smiles up at her.)
My white plume…(V. 377-384)
Here at the end, Cyrano’s white plume comes to symbolize his many virtues: courage, honor, love, truth, and his good name. Cyrano has lost everything – his friend in Christian, his youth, his life – and soon he will not be able to enjoy the one thing he has honestly won – Roxane’s love. His white plume, he feels, is the only thing that he may still call his own, that can never be taken away from him even in death.