Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Summary and Analysis Act III — Scenes 5-7

Summary

Christian tells Roxane, "I love you." "That," she replies, "is the theme. Embroider."

Of course, poor Christian can think of nothing else to say. Roxane goes inside in disgust. Christian asks Cyrano to help him. Cyrano hides under Roxane's balcony and whispers to Christian, who repeats the words aloud to Roxane. At last, Cyrano is carried away and speaks aloud eloquently himself, but Roxane still believes it is Christian who is doing the speaking.

Analysis

Second only to the famous one in Romeo and Juliet, this is probably the most famous balcony scene in literature. In fact, one wonders if Rostand might not have had in mind a parody of Shakespeare's well-known scene as he began writing this. At any rate, it contains many elements of interest. There is some amusement in Cyrano's whispering to Christian. There is poignancy in poor Cyrano's winning Roxane's love, not for himself, but for Christian. There is irony in the fact that he talks to her of honesty, of doing away with artificiality. We wonder if Cyrano could have won her love if he had written eloquent letters in his own name and spoken for himself — and perhaps brought her to a more mature sense of values.

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As Cyrano writes a love letter to Roxane, he does not sign it because




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