We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac


by Edmond Rostand

Cyrano de Bergerac Principles Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Line)

Quote #1

My nose!... You pug, you knob, you button-head,
Know that I glory in this nose of mine,
For a great nose indicates a great man—
Genial, courteous, intellectual,
Virile, courageous—as I am—and such
As you—poor wretch—will never dare to be
Even in imagination. (I.336-342)

Cyrano considers his nose something that is part of himself and representative of his deepest values: sophistication, courage, intelligence, and manliness. Yet this would seem to be pretense when we see how ashamed he is of his appearance.

Quote #2

VALVERT (Choking)
Oh—These arrogant grand airs!—
A clown who—look at him—not even gloves!
No ribbons—no lace—no buckles on his shoes— (I.414-416)

Vicomte de Valvert, a nobleman, is obsessed with appearances and proper attire. His concerns are rendered petty when compared to the nobility of Cyrano’s love and devotion.

Quote #3

I carry my adornments on my soul.
I do not dress up like a popinjay;
But inwardly, I keep my daintiness.
I do not bear with me, by any chance,
An insult not yet washed away—a conscience
Yellow with unpurged bile—an honor frayed
To rags, a set of scruples.
I go caparisoned in gems unseen,
Trailing white plumes of freedom, garlanded
With my good name—no figure of a man,
But a soul clothed in shining armor, hung
With deeds for decorations, twirling—thus—
A bristling wit, and swinging at my side
Courage, and on the stones of this old town
Making the sharp truth ring, like golden spurs! (I.417-431)

Cyrano’s most characteristic virtues are unseen—wit, courage, and a devotion to truth. Unfortunately, Roxane is blind to these attributes and sees only appearances.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...