Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac Principles Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
CYRANO Magnificent, 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.
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.
CYRANO 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.