As an audience member of playwright Edmond Rostand’s renowned production of Cyrano de Bergerac, one comes to adore the heroic, witty, affectionate, poetic, and honorable French soldier, Cyrano; however his unique qualities are overshadowed, literally, by his rather gargantuan nose. It is through discussions and insults concerning this physical attribute that the audience discovers he is in fact in love with the woman he has held close to his heart for many friendly years, his cousin Roxane. Completely unbeknownst to Roxane, Cyrano’s love and admiration for her is not simply on a relative scale as she perceives it to be, but rather the much more drastic level of physical, emotional, and intellectual attraction. As the play’s focal point is the life of Cyrano, the audience effectuates in the idea that he, being the sincere and devout man he is, is deserving of Roxane’s love. However, the true question is: is she worthy of him even though her afflictive unattainability and major faults?
From Act One, the audience is able to clearly understand that Cyrano is a very well-spoken individual who fights for what he desires. In most any case, this statement is nothing but utterly true; however, when dealing with his cousin, it proves to be a falsity and is, by no means, accurate. In any other situation, a general response from him is:
CYRANO. What-still there?
(Turns back his cuffs deliberately.)
Very good-then I enter-Left-with knife-
To carve this large Italian sausage. (Act One)
His responses are, of course, very metaphorical, well-spoken, and thought out as shown throughout the play. However, when speaking of or with Roxane, he loses his ability to formulate artistic and conceptual responses such as:
CYRANO. I…The shop of R...
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...a woman through his words, he knows not true love and since he knows not the love of Roxane, she is unworthy of his love.
Throughout the play, Cyrano de Bergerac, there is a constant theme of internal versus external beauty and the importance it plays in the simplest to the most complex relationships. In the case of Cyrano, his nose affected his relationship with Roxane for she makes him feel unworthy of her love by jumping to the conclusion that those who exhibit unbearable masks are unacceptable and the ill witted are not hidden by faces of gold. The impact that her rash decisions, oblivity, and manner have on the protagonist make her unworthy because one should always feel comfortable and open with the ones they adore. And in the case of Cyrano de Bergerac he did not feel that the mask he bears could be overlooked in her eyes and the love he has could be met.