In Cyrano de Bergerac, how did his honor and refusal to compromise principle result in dying both happy & unhappy, fulfilled & unfulfilled?

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akasha124 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the last act, Cyrano’s Gazette, Cyrano had been injured by a log that had been dropped on his head from a tall building and it was likely that he knew he was dying.  He would often visit Roxane at the convent to bring her news from the outside world.  Even after Christian died, Cyrano had never told her that it was he, not Christian who wrote the love letters to her, which was why she joined the convent.

As Cyrano was dying, he asked if he could read the last love letter Christian had "wrote" her, and he reads from the letter, even as it grows too dark for him to actually read it.  He denies having written it to his dying breath though he says he was glad he always maintained his panache.

Cyrano was fulfilled/happy in that he never lost his honor, he never lost his panache, but at the same time, he knew that Roxane knew he loved her after reading the love letter and he died hearing her say that she loved him and in her arms.

He was unhappy/unfulfilled in that he spent the last fifteen years of his life unable to tell Roxane that he loved her.  They never had a chance to be married or build a life together.  His panache also made his life more difficult and caused him to make reckless life decisions and gained him more enemies than friends.

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Cyrano de Bergerac

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