Love And Romantic Love In Shakespeare's Cyrano De Bergerac

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From the beginning of fiction, authors have constantly exploited the one topic that is sure to secure an audience: love. From the tragic romance of Tristan and Isolde to the satirical misadventures in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, literature seems obsessed with deciphering the mysteries of affection. The concept most debated is the question of where the line falls between lust and love and what occurs when the two are combined, and few portray it more clearly than Edmund Rostand in his French drama Cyrano de Bergerac. The influence of fickle physical attraction and deep romantic love on each other are explored by the interactions of the four main characters: De Guiche, Christian, Roxane, and Cyrano.
Physical attraction is not simply desire, but
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At first glance the relationship of Cyrano and Roxane could appear insincere as well. After all, he is the ideal romantic hero and she the perfect fair maiden, and the “love at first sight” that often occurs between such is rarely genuine. But in the scene at Roxane’s balcony, he casts off the physical with the words, “Up until now, I spoke uncertainly. I’ve been so intoxicated by your beauty… but tonight…I am able to find speech for the first time!” (76). From then one, the love between them is soul-deep. For how could Cyrano, a just man, judge others based solely on appearance when his own is so abhorrent to him? It is witnessing this love that finally matures Christian, as he develops into a much less shallow character by the fourth act. Upon hearing Roxane’s feelings (108), he realizes the connection between her and Cyrano and proclaims, “I’m tired of being my own rival… I want to be loved for myself or not at all!” (110). In his most courageous gesture, he relinquishes Roxane to Cyrano, the person he knows understands her better than he himself ever…show more content…
Initially she is blinded by the looks that “so many other women have loved [him] for” (108), but her love of “flowing words and sharp wit” (49) soon conquers. When her conversation with Christian goes disastrously (73), she immediately shuns him due to his apparent loss of eloquence. Throughout the play Roxane remains fixed on the superficial, be it a beautiful face or beautiful words (both of which she later admits were the initial reasons she fell for Christian). The true change in her character only begins to occur during the balcony scene, when Cyrano says of wit and elegant language, “They are a crime when it comes to love! It is hateful to turn honest loving into a game!” (77). Even when she seems to let go of the physical and “love [him] only for his soul” (108), she does not recognize Cyrano as her love for fifteen years. It is only with fifteen years’ maturity that she discovers the truth, but by then it is too late. Cyrano is

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