Cyrano De Bergerac

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Count de Guiche Character Analysis

The Count de Guiche is arguably the most confusing character in Cyrano de Bergerac. As the play begins, he’s clearly a villainous character: a corrupt, leering aristocrat who quarrels with Cyrano, the hero, and who wants to use his power to force Roxane to love him. During the Siege of Arras, we see that the Count is a coward—willing to boast of his high rank by wearing a white plume, but only when wearing it won’t endanger his life. And yet the Count seems capable of acts of decency and respect, as well. During the famine he bonds with his troops, the Gascon cadets, and seems to be shedding his pretentiousness and privilege. In the final act of the play, we learn that de Guiche has ascended to become a powerful duke. Puzzlingly, de Guiche may be responsible for one or both of the major tragedies in the play: the death of Christian and the death of Cyrano. It’s impossible to know for sure whether de Guiche has orchestrated these characters’ murder out of a desire for revenge, or if the deaths are strictly accidents. As with so many plays, it’s up to the director and the performers to offer their own interpretation of this ambiguous character.

Count de Guiche Quotes in Cyrano De Bergerac

The Cyrano De Bergerac quotes below are all either spoken by Count de Guiche or refer to Count de Guiche . 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 3, Scene 11 Quotes

CYRANO (in a dreamy voice):
What's o'clock?

DE GUICHE:
He's lost his mind, for sure!

CYRANO:
What hour? What country this? What month? What day?

DE GUICHE:
But. . .

CYRANO:
I am stupefied!

DE GUICHE:
Sir!

CYRANO:
Like a bomb
I fell from the moon!

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Count de Guiche (speaker)
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Cyrano tricks the Count de Guiche. Outside Roxane’s house, Cyrano needs to delay de Guiche for long enough to allow Roxane the time to marry Christian inside. To provide an appropriate diversion, Cyrano conceals his face and pretends to be a madman who believes he’s fallen from the moon. Cyrano’s words aren't just random, however. They're laced with symbolism, since the moon is a famous symbol of romance—one could say that Cyrano is “falling from the moon” as he performs for de Guiche, since in doing so he’s allowing Roxane to marry someone else, dashing his chances of ever ending up with her.

Cyrano’s performance for de Guiche also demonstrates that Cyrano is capable of putting his talents to good use. We already knew that Cyrano was a theatrical, bombastic person, always willing to act for a willing audience. Here, though, we see Cyrano using his talents for the benefit of his friends, rather than for his own vanity.

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Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

CYRANO (without lifting his eyes from his book):
And your white scarf?

DE GUICHE (surprised and gratified):
You know that detail?. . . Troth! It happened thus:
While caracoling to recall the troops
For the third charge, a band of fugitives
Bore me with them, close by the hostile ranks:
I was in peril—capture, sudden death!--
When I thought of the good expedient
To loosen and let fall the scarf which told
My military rank; thus I contrived
--Without attention waked--to leave the foes,
And suddenly returning, reinforced
With my own men, to scatter them! And now,
--What say you, Sir?

Related Characters: Cyrano de Bergerac (speaker), Count de Guiche
Related Symbols: The White Scarf
Page Number: 184-185
Explanation and Analysis:

Cyrano's commander, Count de Guiche, is a cowardly man. In the midst of a battle, de Guiche wears a white scarf that makes it clear to everyone that he's a high-ranking officer. But when the battle gets ugly, de Guiche removes his scarf, afraid that it'll draw attention and make him a target for the enemy. Cyrano is clearly disgusted with de Guiche's combination of arrogance and cowardice--he doesn't even look up from his book as he interrogates his commander.

The white scarf is an important symbol in the play, because it connects to the idea of the white "plume" that is the literal meaning of the word "panache." Cyrano is defined by his panache, and it's later revealed in this same scene that he has risked his life precisely to retrieve de Guiche's scarf and embarrass his commander. Thus Rostand symbolically shows that de Guiche entirely lacks panache—he literally casts it aside when the going gets tough—while Cyrano is willing to risk death to maintain it.

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Count de Guiche Character Timeline in Cyrano De Bergerac

The timeline below shows where the character Count de Guiche appears in Cyrano De Bergerac. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
...nobleman goes to speak to Roxane. Ligniere—who’s quickly becoming very drunk—explains that the man is the Count de Guiche. Although the Count is clearly attracted to Roxane, he is already engaged to... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
As the play is about to begin in the Hotel, Count de Guiche goes to speak with the Marquises. De Guiche invites the Marquises to climb onto the... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
The play begins, with the Marquises and the Count de Guiche sitting on the stage, watching. As the music plays, Le Bret whispers to... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
...the most powerful man in France) was in the audience that night, not to mention de Guiche and Valvert. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 7
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
The Count de Guiche enters the room. De Guiche says that he’s gotten word that Cyrano performed a feat... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
De Guiche is shocked by Cyrano’s abruptly confrontational behavior. He asks Cyrano if he’s ever read Don... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 8
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
...why he’s been picking fights with so many powerful people—first the Viscount Valvert, and now the Count de Guiche himself. Cyrano replies that he’s always delighted in displeasing people. Hatred is a... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
...of which is lovelier than the last. As Cyrano and Roxane talk outside her house, the Count de Guiche appears. Roxane pushes Cyrano into her house before the Count can see him. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
The Count de Guiche appears outside Roxane’s house. He explains that he is heading off into battle. Roxane wishes... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
Roxane asks de Guiche if he’s ordering Cyrano and his troops into battle out of spite for Cyrano’s boasting... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
De Guiche , now convinced that Roxane is on his side, tells Roxane that he’ll come to... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
As de Guiche leaves, Roxane calls the Duenna and tells her to keep secret what she’s arranged with... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
After de Guiche leaves, Cyrano emerges from the house, and Roxane, the Duenna, and Cyrano walk across the... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 10
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
...what’s going on, and the Monk explains that he’s come to deliver a letter from the Count de Guiche to Roxane. Roxane snatches the letter from the Monk’s hand and opens it.... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
...the letter, so that the Monk can hear her. Roxane claims the letter says that the Count de Guiche wants the Monk to marry Roxane to Christian on the spot. Roxane rushes... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 11
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
The Count de Guiche enters the square, wearing a mask, and wonders aloud where the Monk could be. Cyrano... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
Cyrano continues acting crazy, distracting de Guiche from the wedding taking place inside Roxane’s house. He rambles about space, pretending there’s a... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
The Count de Guiche hears Roxane’s voice, and there are sounds of claps and cheers from inside the house.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 12
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
Outside Roxane’s house, the Count de Guiche stares amazedly at Cyrano, Roxane, and Christian. De Guiche gives credit where it’s... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
Spitefully, the Count de Guiche tells Cyrano and Christian that he’ll now arrange for the two of them... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
A cadet notices that Count de Guiche is about to arrive at the camp. The other cadets moan and groan—de Guiche is... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
Count de Guiche arrives at the camp and greets Captain Carbon. De Guiche announces that he’s heard rumors... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
De Guiche reluctantly accepts the white scarf from Cyrano. He then waves the scarf to a “useful... (full context)
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
...respect for whomever the King has sent. Roxane then emerges from the carriage, much to the Count de Guiche’s surprise. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
...her beloved husband. The other cadets promise to protect both Roxane and Christian. Roxane accuses de Guiche of deliberately trying to make her a widow, but he denies this. Then the Count... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
...explain as soon as she’s finished feeding the soldiers. Suddenly, Le Bret calls out that the Count de Guiche is about to return from his cannon inspection. Cyrano yells for the soldiers... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 7
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
The Count de Guiche arrives back at the camp and sees his men, who are trying to disguise the... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
...and explains that pikemen (soldiers bearing long spears) have arrived to reinforce the cadets’ defense. De Guiche leads Roxane to the pikemen. While Roxane is away, Cyrano tells Christian to be careful... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 8
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Christian and Roxane talk to each other while Cyrano, Carbon, and de Guiche busily shout orders. Christian asks Roxane why she’s come to see him, and Roxane replies,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 10
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
...to fight. Roxane says that Christian was a brilliant, beautiful, and wise man. Cyrano agrees. Count de Guiche calls out that French soldiers are bringing more provisions for the cadets. Roxane sees that... (full context)
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
Cyrano, still holding Roxane, calls for the Count de Guiche. He tells de Guiche to take care of Roxane, and passes her to... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
As the nuns talk, Roxane appears, dressed in a widow’s veil. The Count de Guiche walks beside her. The nuns note that Roxane’s visitor, the Count, has been appointed the... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Appearances and Identity Theme Icon
The Many Kinds of Love Theme Icon
Panache Theme Icon
De Guiche and Roxane talk as they walk through the convent. Roxane tells de Guiche that she’s... (full context)
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
As Roxane and de Guiche talk, Le Bret arrives at the convent. Le Bret greets Roxane and tells her that... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
Loyalty and Honor Theme Icon
De Guiche pulls aside Le Bret and tells him a secret: there are those who plot to... (full context)
Panache Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy and the Romantic Ideal Theme Icon
The nuns then tell Roxane that Ragueneau has come to the convent. Roxane tells de Guiche and Le Bret that Cyrano has fallen on hard times—he’s worked a number of odd... (full context)