Summary and Analysis
Act V — Scene 6
Le Bret and Ragueneau enter. Cyrano says that he has barely missed everything in life — including a noble death. Ragueneau says that Moliere has stolen a scene from one of Cyrano's plays and that it has been very well received. Cyrano says that that is the way his life has been — Moliere has the genius; Christian had the beauty. Cyrano compares himself and Roxane to the fable of "Beauty and the Beast," then thanks Roxane for her friendship. He dies praising his unsullied white plume — his integrity.
Cyrano did not lack any quality that would have given him a more successful life, but he lacked the right combination of qualities. He was notably self-confident with a sword or pen in his hand, but was so ashamed of his ugliness that he did not try to win Roxane. He did not lack genius, because we see that the stolen act of his play is very popular, but he refused to try to get along with the "right" people.
In fact, Cyrano prized his independence, his unique and unfettered style, above any worldly success. Just as it is nobler to weep for a spiritual reason than a physical one, so it was nobler to live for his moral and spiritual principles than for physical or worldly success. As he remarked in Act I, his elegances are spiritual, or moral, ones. De Guiche acknowledged this earlier in this act, when he admitted that with all his wealth and power, he was neither as good nor as happy a man as Cyrano.
Rostand has managed this last act without any of the melodrama of Act IV. Cyrano's death is gentle, dignified, in character, logical, prepared for, and truly romantic. He does not really regret his life, and he dies with the satisfaction that the one recognition he wanted most — Roxane's — is his.