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What is the resolution of conflict(s) in Cyrano de Bergerac?

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megan-westerf... | Salutatorian

Posted November 27, 2012 at 1:49 AM via web

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What is the resolution of conflict(s) in Cyrano de Bergerac?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 27, 2012 at 8:00 PM (Answer #1)

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Edmond Rostand's "heroic comedy" has two major conflicts:

1.  Christian's realization that Roxanne has really fallen in love with Cyrano, not himself.  For, as she reads his letters that he sends from Arras, letters which are actually written by Cyrano, Roxanne loves what she perceives as Christian's soul. Christian feels obligated to inform Roxanne of the truth; furthermore, he voluntarily seeks death.  Thus, his internal conflict is resolved with his death.

2.  Cyrano loves Roxanne himself, but must endure Roxanne's praises and love for Christian.  Respectful of his friend, Cyrano nobly keeps this love secret; however, after Cyrano is fatally injured his internal conflict is resolved as his long deception is revealed. 

In Act V, with Roxane retired to a convent, Ragueneau visits her to inform her that a servant, "a big hair lout" has let a heavy beam fall upon Cyrano.  He has carried the severely wounded Cyrano to his squalid, little room; so, Roxane hurries to this room where she plays along with his charade of not really being hurt as he recites to her his routine of "gazette," giving her news. As Cyrano tries to hide his mortal wound, Roxane mentions her old "wound," that is on yellowing paper, bloodstained and tearstained.  Cyrano reminds her that she has promised to let him read this letter from Christian; therefore, she hands it to him.  Cyrano easily reads this barely legible letter, continuing even as it grows dark. Astounded, Roxane inquires how he can yet read it.  As Cyrano opens his closed eyes, Roxane apprehends the truth, despite Cyrano's chilvarous protestations.  She knows that the tear stains are Cyrano's, although the blood is Christian's. And, she acknowledges in her heart that the love that she has had for Christian has always been truly the love for the soul of Cyrano. 

ROXANE You must live./I love you....

              My love, my only love---

Cyrano thanks her for her "sweetness" and yet the cavalier, he gives his white plume to his love, a symbol of his honor, before he dies.

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