Does Roxane love Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edmond Rostand's classic play Cyrano de Bergerac is the story of many kinds of love: love of country, fraternal love, love of the arts, love of right and justice, and, of course, romantic love. Your question, I assume, is whether or not Roxane loved Cyrano with a romantic love. The answer, for all but the last five minutes of the play, is no.

Roxane is superficial and shallow throughout most of the play, loving Christian before she ever meets him simply because she thinks he is beautiful. While she does love Cyrano as a friend (cousin) from her youth and a confidante of today, she would never think of him romantically because of his...well, his nose. What happens over the course of the play is that Roxane does come to love Christian for more than his looks. She expresses her epiphany just before Christian dies, telling Cyrano she would love Christian even if he were ugly.

Christian dies, of course, and this transformation is of no use to Roxane as she mourns for the man she thinks is her one true love. Her transformation is of no use to Cyrano, either, as he is too loyal a friend to tell Roxane the truth at the expense of his dead friend. As the sun literally sets on Cyrano's life, Roxane understands that it was Cyrano she loved, and we know she loved him in the way he always hoped she would. But it is too late.

akasha124 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It can definately be argued that Roxane eventually fell in love with Cryano.  Initially she was into Christian because he was really hot, but when he tried to speak to her without Cyrano's assistance, he mucked it all up.  After that, Cyrano wrote all the letters to her while they were at war, and she spent very little time alone with Christian.

When the last scene happens and Cyrano reads the letter to Roxane even though it was too dark to read, her grief at losing the man she loved yet again is unmistakable. 

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Cyrano de Bergerac

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