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Unrequited Love: A Tale of Two Cities, and Cyrano de Bergerac

The phrase “you win some, you lose some” can pertain true to many different situations including love. In the novels, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, the respective characters Sydney Carton and Cyrano de Bergerac experience a loss. This loss comes in a form of unrequited love, where they are both unable to be loved by the one they recognize as their true loves. Due to their experiences with unrequited love, both Sydney Carton and Cyrano are led to the discovery of their own inner strengths as well as self-sacrifice.
Both Sydney and Cyrano are very smart and talented characters. Despite being smart and talented, they are still able to learn additional things about themselves through their experiences with unreturned love. Sydney, while in England, is a sad, depressed but none the less talented man. According to Dickens, “If Sydney Carton ever shone anywhere, he certainly never shone in the house of Doctor Manette…When he cared to talk, he talked well; but, the cloud of caring for nothing, which overshadowed him with such a fatal darkness, was very rarely pierced by the light within him” (Dickens 198). Mr. Dickens describes Sydney as a smart man, who could “talk well”, but is overshadowed by a dark cloud of ideal laziness and disregard. He is not a confident man and does not believe he can do anything the right way. After an encounter with Lucie Manette, the woman whom Sydney loves and as the setting shifts to France, he experiences change. Carton gains that confidence and strength to become himself – a smart, worthy and confident man. Carton shows this by saying, “Shall I do well, in the mean time, to show myself? I think so. It is best that these people should know there is such a...

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...some couple you – and God – have joined [t]ogether!
[De Guiche]: (Regarding him with a frosty eye.) Quite so” (Rostand 146). Cyrano stalls De Guiche by pretending he is a drunk scientist as he talks about the moon while Roxane and Christian are being married. These examples show how Cyrano and Sydney are committed to their loves and they do keep their word by only allowing the man their woman loves to the right path.
Both Sydney and Cyrano are still able to gain a lot despite being on the wrong side of the love story. Because of unreturned love, they learn a variety of characteristics both personal and involving love, which enable them to grow as characters in their novels.

Works Cited

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Lodi: Everbind Anthologies, 2002. Print.
Rostand, Edmond. Cyrano de Bergerac. Trans. Brian Hooker. New York: Bantam Classic, 2004. Print
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