Summary and Analysis Act III — Scene 1



Act III, entitled "Roxane's Kiss," takes place in the street under Roxane's balcony. It opens with Ragueneau telling Roxane's duenna that his wife, Lise, ran off with the musketeer. He tried to hang himself, but Cyrano saved him and brought him to Roxane to be a steward in her household.

Cyrano enters, followed by musicians whom he keeps correcting. He explains that he won them for a day with a bet over a fine point of grammar. Roxane tells Cyrano that Christian is a genius: He will be quiet and distracted for a moment, and then say the most beautiful things. Cyrano teases her about some of Christian's speeches.


The fact that Cyrano saved Ragueneau's life is characteristic of Cyrano. Lise's defection is a logical result of the relationship shown in Act II between her and Ragueneau (even the musketeer was introduced-see Act II, Scenes 3 and 4, as well as Scene 11). This enables Rostand to keep Ragueneau in the play and gives the baker good reason to be a loyal friend to Cyrano.

Note that Cyrano, the Renaissance man, has won the musicians in a dispute over a point of grammar — "I was right, of course." — and is now correcting the musicians. He knows grammar and music, writes poetry, and is a superb swordsman. New facets of his personality, and new abilities, are continually being shown to us.

Cyrano enjoys teasing Roxane about Christian's (really his own) beautiful speeches, and hearing her hotly defend each word. Though writing for someone else, he still has an author's pride in his creation. It seems that this is a game to him, a way to exercise his fertile brain and facile wit, and that he gives little or no thought to the consequences. He may, of course, be convinced that because they do love each other, as each has confessed to him, playing Cupid is the noblest, most generous and extravagant gesture he can make. He is, after all, a modest man in some ways.

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