Summary and Analysis
Act IV — Scene 9-10
Christian tells Cyrano that Roxane loves not him, but Cyrano, for she loves the author of the letters and the man who spoke to her under her balcony. Because she is unaware of this, Christian wants Roxane to be told the truth so that she may choose between them. He calls Roxane and exits, leaving Cyrano to explain the fraudulent situation. Cyrano begins to unravel the story, but just when his hopes are aroused, Christian's body is carried on stage; he has been killed by the first bullet fired in the battle. This bullet also destroys Cyrano's hopes; he can never tell Roxane the truth now, especially after she discovers a letter on Christian's body. It is addressed to her, covered with Christian's blood and, although Roxane does not know it, Cyrano's tears.
Christian has all the virtues except eloquence. He behaves nobly. One wonders why he never before guessed that Cyrano loves Roxane. Perhaps he was blinded by his own love for her, or perhaps we should credit Cyrano's glib tongue and forceful personality with the successful deception.
Christian has to die, of course. Cyrano's despair over an unrequited love can hold an audience's attention for only a limited amount of time. And what sort of climax can the play have if the war ends with Cyrano, Christian, and Roxane all still alive? What sort of relationship would develop then between these three? Rostand very cleverly makes De Guiche, Roxane, and Christian show the noblest and most mature sides of their characters in this act, and at this moment we are especially sympathetic to Christian.