Cyrano De Bergerac

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Baron Christian de Neuvillette Character Analysis

Christian is a foil to Cyrano de Bergerac: a shallow, inexperienced, slow-thinking man who’s been blessed with a beautiful face. By himself, Christian could never woo Roxane, as he doesn’t have the brains or wit. Only when he and Cyrano work together—Christian supplying the physical beauty, Cyrano providing beautiful love letters—do they succeed in seducing Roxane. Where Cyrano is capable of admiring a woman for her mind and soul as well as her physical beauty, Christian seems to love women for their beauty and nothing else. But while Christian isn’t a deep thinker or a noble hero, Rostand shows that he’s still a decent man, and capable of acts of great kindness. Shortly before he’s killed in the Siege of Arras, for example, Christian discovers that Cyrano loves Roxane, too, and selflessly insists that Cyrano tell Roxane about his feelings. In the end, Christian attains a kind of dignity for himself, in spite of his weak mind, and it’s partly out of personal respect for Christian that Cyrano refuses to tell Roxane about his feelings until the very end of the play.

Baron Christian de Neuvillette Quotes in Cyrano De Bergerac

The Cyrano De Bergerac quotes below are all either spoken by Baron Christian de Neuvillette or refer to Baron Christian de Neuvillette . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the G. W. Dillingham Company edition of Cyrano De Bergerac published in 1898.
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

LIGNIERE (tasting his rivesalte in sips):
Magdalene Robin--Roxane, so called! A subtle wit--a precieuse.

CHRISTIAN:
Woe is me!

Related Characters: Baron Christian de Neuvillette (speaker), Ligniere (speaker), Magdalene Robin / Roxane
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, we're introduced to the potential relationship between Christian and Roxane. Christian is a young, handsome man--so handsome that few women can resist his face. And yet Christian isn't very bright; specifically, he gets tongue-tied very easily. As a result, Christian is devastated when he finds out that Roxane, the young woman he loves, has a "subtle wit"--Christian hasn't got much wit at all.

The passage sets up the central problem of the play: the inability of either Christian or Cyrano to woo the beautiful Roxane. Cyrano has a big nose, and Christian has an awkward tongue; however, by "pooling their talent," Christian and Cyrano find a way to woo Roxane together, fooling her into believing that she's come across a man who is both brilliant and beautiful.

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Act 2, Scene 6 Quotes

ROXANE:
Then you will be his friend?

CYRANO:
I swear!

ROXANE:
And he shall fight no duels, promise!

CYRANO:
None.

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Magdalene Robin / Roxane (speaker), Baron Christian de Neuvillette
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

In this ironic passage, Roxane (the love of Cyrano’s life) makes Cyrano swear to protect Christian at all times. Roxane has fallen in love with Christian from afar, and wants to make sure that Christian stays safe for her.

The passage is a good example of dramatic irony: this is a comedic scene, because we in the audience realize that Cyrano’s oath to Roxane is agonizing for Cyrano, while Roxane herself has no idea of the truth. In spite of his internal agony, Cyrano bravely agrees to honor Roxane’s wishes—a confirmation of Cyrano’s vast, selfless love for Roxane, as well as his commitment to the Romantic values of honor and loyalty.

Act 3, Scene 1 Quotes

ROXANE:
You would vex a saint!. . . But 'tis your jealousy.

CYRANO (starting):
What mean you?

ROXANE:
Ay, your poet's jealousy!

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Magdalene Robin / Roxane (speaker), Baron Christian de Neuvillette
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

Cyrano and Roxane (with whom Cyrano is secretly in love) talk about the mysterious letters that Roxane has been receiving from Christian. Roxane believes Christian to be the author of these letters—but of course, Cyrano knows the truth. He has been writing all of Christian’s letters, perpetuating the illusion that Christian is the perfect lover for Roxane—brilliant as well as handsome.

In another fine example of dramatic irony, Roxane remains blissfully unaware that Cyrano is in love with her—when Cyrano bitterly derides the author of the letters, Roxane thinks he’s jealous of Christian’s poetic brilliance, not his romantic success.

Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

CHRISTIAN:
And how know you I cannot speak?--
I am not such a fool when all is said!
I've by your lessons profited. You'll see
I shall know how to speak alone! The devil!
I know at least to clasp her in my arms!
(Seeing Roxane come out from Clomire's house):
--It is she! Cyrano, no!--Leave me not!

Related Characters: Baron Christian de Neuvillette (speaker), Cyrano de Bergerac , Magdalene Robin / Roxane
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Christian shows how awkward and frightened he really is. For a while now, Christian has been sending letters to Roxane. Although the letters have been composed by Cyrano, Christian thinks he’s getting the hang of wooing Roxane, and can manage on his own. Christian brags that he’ll be able to get by without Cyrano’s help—but as soon as he sees Roxane in person, he loses his nerve and begs Cyrano for help.

There’s a strange symbiotic relationship between Christian and Cyrano in the play. Christian is utterly incapable of wooing Roxane on his own—he thinks he can do so, but can’t. Cyrano is equally incapable of wooing his love, as his nose gets in the way (or so he assumes—it's important to note that he never actually tries). Rostand suggests the impossibilities of romance here. It’s impossible to find the “perfect man” who can win Roxane; indeed, the only such “perfect man” in the play is a fiction, a combination of Christian’s appearance and Cyrano’s brain.

Act 3, Scene 12 Quotes

ROXANE:
That he shall be faithful!

CYRANO:
Doubtless, but. . .

ROXANE:
That he will write oft?

CYRANO (pausing):
That, I promise you!

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Magdalene Robin / Roxane (speaker), Baron Christian de Neuvillette
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:

At the end of Act 3, Cyrano and Christian are shipped off to war. Before they go, Roxane makes Cyrano promise her that he'll take care of Christian--to whom Roxane has just been married, much to Cyrano's chagrin. In spite of the fact that Cyrano now has no chance of marrying Roxane, and will have to love Roxane in vain for the rest of his life, he agrees to Roxane's requests, since he's already sworn an oath to protect Christian.

Cyrano's behavior reinforces his honorable character--while he has no practical reason for being loyal to Christian (it's not like protecting Christian is going to win him Roxane), he's a man of his word. At this point in the play, writing letters to Roxane is Cyrano's greatest pleasure--the only way that he can express his true feelings for her (even though he's forced to sign the letters with Christian's name).

Act 4, Scene 10 Quotes

CYRANO (in despair. to Roxane):
He's gone! 'Tis naught!--Oh, you know how he sees
Importance in a trifle!

ROXANE (warmly):
Did he doubt
Of what I said?--Ah, yes, I saw he doubted!

CYRANO (taking her hand):
But are you sure you told him all the truth?

ROXANE:
Yes, I would love him were he. . .

(She hesitates.)

CYRANO:
Does that word
Embarrass you before my face, Roxane?

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Magdalene Robin / Roxane (speaker), Baron Christian de Neuvillette
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Cyrano comes extremely close to telling Roxane the truth about her love for Christian. Roxane has come to believe that she now loves Christian entirely for his soul, not his face. Cyrano, of course, is moved by this news--if Roxane is capable of loving Christian's soul, then she might be capable of loving Cyrano, in spite of his ugly face. Thus, Cyrano tries to make completely sure that Roxane loves "Christian's" (actually, Cyrano's) soul.

Even Roxane seem to sense the truth in this passage--the way she hesitates before using the word "ugly," clearly in response to the fact that Cyrano is ugly, suggests that she's really speaking about Cyrano himself, not Christian. It's as if Roxane can sense Cyrano's sincere love for her, despite the fact that previously Cyrano has had to "package" his love in Christian's body.

Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

ROXANE:
Ah!
Things dead, long dead, see! how they rise again!
--Why, why keep silence all these fourteen years,
When, on this letter, which he never wrote,
The tears were your tears?

CYRANO (holding out the letter to her):
The bloodstains were his.

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Magdalene Robin / Roxane (speaker), Baron Christian de Neuvillette
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Roxane finally realizes the truth about her love for Christian. Cyrano, who's about to die, reads Roxane the letter that he wrote for her on the day Christian died. As Cyrano reads the letter, Roxane recognizes his voice as the voice of the man who seduced her years before. For the past nearly 15 years, Roxane realizes, she has been in love with a fictional creation: a man with Christian's body and Cyrano's mind.

Cyrano's behavior in this passage reinforces the strict moral code that guides his behavior at all times. Roxane asks Cyrano why Cyrano never came forward with the truth after Christian's death--in other words, why Cyrano never told Roxane that she was mourning a fictional creation. Cyrano explains that he didn't want to stomp on Christian's grave--he refused to ruin the illusion of Roxane's love for Christian.

Cyrano's self-control is remarkable. In spite of the fact that Roxane claimed she could love a man for his soul, not his face, and in spite of the fact that Roxane was no longer married to Christian, Cyrano never once tried to woo Roxane. In part, Cyrano refrained from seducing Roxane because he was too frightened (the only reason he's telling her the truth now is because he's about to die), but in part, Cyrano refrained from seducing Roxane out of respect for word and for his old friend--Cyrano swore an oath to Roxane to honor Christian, and he's obeyed that oath for nearly 15 years.

Act 5, Scene 6 Quotes

CYRANO:
That night when 'neath your window Christian spoke
--Under your balcony, you remember? Well!
There was the allegory of my whole life:
I, in the shadow, at the ladder's foot,
While others lightly mount to Love and Fame!
Just! very just!

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Baron Christian de Neuvillette , Magdalene Robin / Roxane
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:

In the final pages of the play, Cyrano--who's dying--sums up his life. Cyrano has helped Christian woo Roxane by speaking and writing for Christian. Cyrano has, quite literally, been the "brains" of Christian's romance with Roxane. And yet Cyrano has always been denied the rewards of such a romance--he's never been able to express his love for Roxane directly, since at the end of the day, Christian is the handsome one.

Cyrano's complaints of "living in shadow" are both poignant and ironic. While it's true that Cyrano has been relegated to the sidelines during Christian's romance with Roxane, he certainly hasn't spent his "whole life" on the sidelines--on the contrary, he's been in full-view, performing for an audience of thousands. Cyrano is a born showman, who loves to entertain his many fans. Hence the contradiction of Cyrano's life: even though Cyrano is completely comfortable with himself, he's been forced to hide his true identity in the one arena where true identity really matters--love.

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Baron Christian de Neuvillette Character Timeline in Cyrano De Bergerac

The timeline below shows where the character Baron Christian de Neuvillette appears in Cyrano De Bergerac. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
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The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
...Baron de Cuigy, and the Baron de Brissaille. Ligniere introduces them to his friend, Baron Christian de Neuvillette, who seems distracted. (full context)
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Christian pulls Ligniere aside. Christian has come to the Hotel to seek Ligniere’s help. Christian wants... (full context)
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...near the stage. The Marquises notice her enter the room and comment on her beauty. Christian sees the woman and exclaims that this is the woman he’d noticed before. Ligniere explains... (full context)
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Christian and Ligniere watch as a young, handsome nobleman goes to speak to Roxane. Ligniere—who’s quickly... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
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...with the Marquises. De Guiche invites the Marquises to climb onto the stage with him. Christian, watching all this, reaches into his pocket for his gloves, and realizes that the Pickpocket... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
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...him this—all he can say is “Ah!” Then, Roxane reveals that this man is Baron Christian de Neuvillette. Just as Roxane tells Cyrano this, the Duenna walks back into the shop,... (full context)
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Cyrano asks Roxane what she sees in Christian. She explains that he is very handsome, but Cyrano points out that anyone can be... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 8
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Christian enters the pastry shop. Although he is a cadet, his peers don’t speak to him,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 9
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A cadet walks by Christian’s table and calls Christian a weak, inexperienced boy. He also warns Christian never to say... (full context)
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Christian walks to his Captain, Carbon de Castel-Jaloux. He asks Carbon what a Northerner (which Christian... (full context)
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...his conflict with the soldiers the previous night. The night was very dark, he begins. Christian interrupts Cyrano, saying the night was so dark that Cyrano must have been able to... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 10
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The pastry shop is empty except for Cyrano and Christian. Cyrano turns to Christian, who has been making fun of his nose in order to... (full context)
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Cyrano explains that Roxane wants Christian to send her a letter. Christian finds this intimidating—while he’s handsome, he’s extremely bad at... (full context)
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Cyrano then has an idea. Together, he and Christian will woo Roxane. Christian will be the “face,” and Cyrano will be the “voice.” Cyrano... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 11
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...the pastry shop, the cadets are gathered, waiting to hear the sounds of Cyrano attacking Christian for insulting his nose. One cadet pokes his head into a window and is shocked... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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Roxane emerges from her home and greets Cyrano. She gushes that Christian is brilliant and handsome—she has read “his” letter, which, she believes, proves that he has... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
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...by the Guards regiment—the group headed by Cyrano. Roxane is horrified, as this means that Christian will be sent off to fight, as well. (full context)
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...her. She decides to allow de Guiche to visit her, in order to ensure that Christian stays in Paris. With this, de Guiche kisses Roxane’s hand and leaves. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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Roxane tells Cyrano that she’s sure Christian will attend the lecture. She tells him that she’s looking forward to talking to Christian... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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Outside Clomire’s house, Cyrano and Christian discuss Roxane. Christian insists that he’s going to wait outside the house for Roxane. After... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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...arrived far too late, and missed the entire lecture. As Roxane steps out, she notices Christian standing nearby. She greets Christian and invites him to walk and converse with her. (full context)
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Christian begins his conversation with Roxane by saying, “I love you.” But he finds that he... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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Cyrano walks toward Christian, who has just done poorly in his first conversation with Roxane. Christian cries out to... (full context)
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Christian calls up to Roxane. Roxane replies disdainfully that she doesn’t care to speak to him... (full context)
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After Cyrano’s speech, Roxane begins to weep with love for “Christian.” Christian himself then calls out, “A kiss!” Roxane is taken aback by his request, and... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 7
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A Monk finds Cyrano and Christian standing outside Roxane’s house. The Monk tells the men he’s looking for the house of... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 8
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Alone outside Roxane’s house, Cyrano and Christian discuss how to proceed with wooing Roxane. Christian begs Cyrano to speak more with Roxane,... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 9
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Cyrano resumes speaking to Roxane, who’s standing at a high window. Imitating Christian once again, Cyrano tells Roxane that she must not be bashful when he asks her... (full context)
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Suddenly sad and happy music fills the air—the Monk is back. Roxane and Christian look down from the window, and see—of course—Cyrano standing below. Christian, feigning surprise, greets Cyrano.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 10
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...square, complaining that he’s still looking for Roxane’s home. He greets Cyrano, and then Roxane, Christian, and Ragueneau emerge from Roxane’s house. Roxane asks what’s going on, and the Monk explains... (full context)
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...the letter says that the Count de Guiche wants the Monk to marry Roxane to Christian on the spot. Roxane rushes the Monk and Christian inside her house so that they... (full context)
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Cyrano stands outside, frustrated by Roxane and Christian’s marriage. Then he hears sad music playing—there is a man coming. Cyrano climbs up a... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 11
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...there are sounds of claps and cheers from inside the house. Recognizing that Roxane and Christian are now married, Cyrano removes his hat and sheds his accent, coolly informing the Count... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 12
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Outside Roxane’s house, the Count de Guiche stares amazedly at Cyrano, Roxane, and Christian. De Guiche gives credit where it’s due, and compliments Cyrano for his clever performance. The... (full context)
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Spitefully, the Count de Guiche tells Cyrano and Christian that he’ll now arrange for the two of them to be shipped off to fight,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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...The cadets sit huddled around a fire. Captain Carbon and Le Bret keep watch while Christian sleeps alongside his peers. Le Bret tells Carbon that there is a famine in the... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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Cyrano and Carbon must now plan their defense against the enemy. Cyrano calls for Christian, who’s weak from hunger, and can only think of Roxane. Cyrano shows Christian that he’s... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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A carriage carrying Roxane has just arrived at the camp. Christian rushes forward to embrace Roxane, and asks her why she’s here. Cyrano mutters to himself,... (full context)
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Reluctantly, Christian tells Roxane that she’ll need to leave immediately—a battle is about to begin. Roxane refuses... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
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Christian and Cyrano beg Roxane to leave the camp before a battle breaks out. Roxane refuses.... (full context)
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Christian demands to know why Roxane came to see him. Roxane tells Christian that she’ll explain... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 7
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...cadets’ defense. De Guiche leads Roxane to the pikemen. While Roxane is away, Cyrano tells Christian to be careful while talking to Roxane—if Roxane talks about his letters, he must not... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 8
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Christian and Roxane talk to each other while Cyrano, Carbon, and de Guiche busily shout orders.... (full context)
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Roxane explains that at first, she only loved Christian for his handsome looks. Now, though, she’s sure that he has a brilliant mind as... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 9
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Christian runs to speak to Cyrano. He explains that Roxane doesn’t love him at all—she only... (full context)
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Christian tells Cyrano that they must let Roxane choose between them. Cyrano says this is ludicrous—he... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 10
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Cyrano stands with Roxane. Roxane asks Cyrano what’s wrong with Christian. She guesses that he has doubts about whether she truly loves him. Cyrano carefully asks... (full context)
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...group of cadets walk up to the camp, carrying something. Cyrano whispers to Roxane that Christian “was” a great, noble man. Roxane realizes that the cadets are carrying Christian’s body: he... (full context)
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Roxane crouches over Christian’s body while everyone else—except Cyrano—goes off to fight. Roxane says that Christian was a brilliant,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...as they walk through the convent. Roxane tells de Guiche that she’s still faithful to Christian, her dead husband, but adds that she “forgives” de Guiche. She mentions that Cyrano comes... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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...few moments. Roxane nods and says that she has wounds of her own—the memory of Christian. (full context)
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Roxane produces “Christian’s” letter—the letter that was stained with blood on the day Christian died. Cyrano begs Roxane... (full context)
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...denies this, but Roxane knows she’s right: she remembers hearing Cyrano’s voice on the night “Christian” wooed her from outside her window. Before Cyrano can say more, Le Bret and Ragueneau... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
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Cyrano turns to Roxane and tells her the truth: on the night that Christian appeared outside Roxane’s window, it was he who wooed her from underneath the balcony. He... (full context)
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...Roxane that he wants her to mourn him at the same time that she mourns Christian. Roxane nods tearfully, promising to remember Cyrano forever. (full context)