Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand
Ragueneau Timeline and Summary
- When the play starts, we see that Lignière has already introduced Ragueneau to Christian.
- Ragueneau immediately shows his wit by making puns on bread and prostitutes ("tarts").
- Ragueneau gives the first lengthy description of Cyrano, emphasizing his pride and his big nose.
- He makes a bet with a marquis that Cyrano will show up at the play to mock Montfleury, and shortly thereafter wins his wager.
- In his pastry shop, Ragueneau is delighted with his confectionery creations – especially a lyre made completely of puff-paste. As he goes through each confection, he comments on them – usually criticizing them using the language of poetry. This goes way over the cooks’ heads.
- Ragueneau gets angry at his wife, Lise, for using some of his manuscripts as pastry bags. When giving his children pastries, he takes his time picking a bag to fill with sweetmeats and give away. It pains him to see his verses so ill-used.
- Ragueneau greets Cyrano by congratulating him on his impressive victory the night before against de Guiche’s 100 assassins.
- When Ragueneau’s poets arrive, he entertains them all by reciting his newest creation – "A Recipe for Making Almond Tarts" – in rhyme. It’s a cute little ditty.
- As Ragueneau entertains his poets, they take advantage of his kindness and gorge themselves on his pastries. Cyrano asks him why he lets the poets take advantage of him, and Ragueneau sheepishly replies that he "love[s] a friendly audience," and also that he’s vain (in the sense that he likes to hear praise for both his poetry and his pastries).
- In the meantime, Cyrano discovers Lise rendezvousing with a musketeer. He warns her not to take Ragueneau’s name in vain. In other words – don’t fool around with other men, because it makes your husband look bad.
- Later, we learn that Lise has run away with the musketeer and that Ragueneau, upon hearing this news, tried to hang himself. We hear that Cyrano found him just in time and cut him down. Afterwards, Cyrano set up the ruined Ragueneau with a job as Roxane’s steward.
- A month later, Roxane arrives at Arras with her disguised coachman – Ragueneau. Together they have duped the Spaniards, stolen their food, and brought it to the French soldiers
- The men rejoice at seeing Ragueneau and the food he brings. He helps unpack and serves the food to the starving cadets. As he serves, he waxes more and more lyrical about the food.
- When Christian is shot, Ragueneau rushes up with a bucket of water to try to revive him – but it is futile.
- While Cyrano rushes off into battle, Ragueneau directs the carriage towards safety, with the swooning Roxane and Comte de Guiche inside.
- Fifteen years later, Ragueneau rushes to the convent to tell Roxane of Cyrano’s "accidental" injury. She won’t listen to him, so he tells Le Bret instead. Cyrano is injured, but unconscious, he says, and has the aid of only one doctor who came out of charity. The two friends rush off to help Cyrano.
- They miss their friend by just a few minutes; it is Saturday, and Cyrano means to keep his weekly meeting with Roxane.
- Eventually Ragueneau and Le Bret return to chapel to find Cyrano on the edge of death. Ragueneau reveals Cyrano’s injury to Roxane, who has not yet noticed it.
- Ragueneau tries to make light of the situation by telling Cyrano of a play in which the playwright, Molière, stole some of Cyrano’s lines. This triggers Cyrano’s bitter soliloquy about always being unrecognized while others claim his glory.
- When Cyrano falls, Ragueneau and Le Bret catch and hold him as he dies.