Christian runs to speak to Cyrano. He explains that Roxane doesn’t love him at all—she only loves the letters he claims to have written. In other words, Roxane loves Cyrano, not Christian. Christian accuses Cyrano of loving Roxane—clearly he does, since no one could write such passionate love letters otherwise. Cyrano admits that Christian is right: he does love Roxane. Christian asks Cyrano why he doesn’t tell Roxane himself, and Cyrano replies that his nose and face are too ugly.
Here, the inevitable happens: Christian finds out that Cyrano, his mentor, is actually his greatest rival in love. Cyrano reiterates what he’d already expressed to Le Bret: he can never admit his love to Roxane, because there’s no way that she could love someone as ugly as he is. This is both tragic and dramatically ironic, of course, as we’ve just learned that Roxane could, in fact, love Cyrano (and she probably already does, though she doesn’t know his true identity).
Christian tells Cyrano that they must let Roxane choose between them. Cyrano says this is ludicrous—he can’t bear to think of Roxane turning him down for his ugly appearance. Nevertheless, Christian calls for Roxane. Roxane comes toward him, and Christian explains that Cyrano has something important he wants to tell her. With these words, he leaves.
Amusingly, the tables have turned: now Christian is the wise, levelheaded one, and Cyrano is the shy, immature lover. We are now clearly approaching the climax, where then deception of the play’s “romantic comedy” aspect will be either revealed or concealed at the same time that a battle is breaking out.