Act 3 Notes from Cyrano de Bergerac

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Cyrano de Bergerac Act 3

Roxane's Chaperone sits on a bench below the balcony of Roxane's house. Ragueneau tells her the story of how his wife left him and he tried to kill himself - but Cyrano saved his life and got him a job as Roxane's butler. The Chaperone yells into the house, trying to hurry Roxane so they won't be late for the seminar they're going to on the subject of unrequited love. Cyrano enters, trying to teach two musicians how to better play their instruments. Roxane hears Cyrano downstairs and asks him to wait. Cyrano send the musicians off to play outside Montfleury's house. Roxane comes out of her house, and discusses Christian with Cyrano. She tells Cyrano that Christian's poetic soul is just as beautiful as his face. She praises his letters, and Cyrano acts indifferent. Roxane believes it's simply jealousy over Christian's poetic ability. The Chaperone announces that De Guiche is approaching. Roxane hurries Cyrano into the house to keep him from causing trouble.

De Guiche enters and announces that he's leaving for the war. Roxane doesn't care. De Guiche mentions that he is the supreme commander of their forces, and that he'll be personally commanding the Royal Guard. Roxane is suddenly fearful for Christian, but she covers it up. She asks De Guiche if his plan is to get revenge on Cyrano by sending him to battle. De Guiche smiles. Roxane suggests a 'better' revenge - she tells De Guiche that Cyrano will be destroyed if his regiment is left behind while everyone else goes to war. De Guiche approaches Roxane:

"De Guiche: You're not totally immune to me, are you? (Roxane smiles cryptically.) Why else would you concoct such a delicious revenge? It must be a gesture of love.
Roxane: Believe me, it is."
Act 3, pg. 85

De Guiche gets rid of the letter and suggests to Roxane that she should accompany him into a monastery where they can consummate their relationship. Roxane refuses, telling him that she couldn't love a man unless he was courageous. De Guiche leaves for the war. Roxane warns her Chaperone not to tell Cyrano any of this - he really would hate to miss the war. Cyrano comes back out of the mansion. Roxane tells Cyrano that she's expecting Christian, and asks Cyrano to keep him there until after the lecture is done. Cyrano asks Roxane what subject she'll be asking Christian to talk about tonight. She replies 'Love'. Cyrano agrees not to give Christian any warning. Roxane goes with the Chaperone into the house across the street.

Topic Tracking: Honor 6
Topic Tracking: Love 5

Christian steps out of the shadows. Cyrano starts to tell him what to say, but Christian refuses. He's convinced that she loves him enough that he can just be himself. The door across the street opens - Roxane has missed the seminar. Christian loses his nerve and begs Cyrano to stay with him. Cyrano refuses, and hides in the shadows under the balcony. After everyone has left, Christian and Roxane sit on the bench, and she tells him that she's ready to hear him speak on love. Christian tries, but he can't come up with anything better than just telling her he loves her. Roxane gets frustrated. Christian tries to put his love into words, but can't, and Roxane slams the door in his face.

Topic Tracking: Art and Poetry 7

Christian begs Cyrano for help, but Cyrano refuses, saying it's too late to coach him. Christian pleads, and Cyrano has an idea. He positions Christian in front of the balcony, while he stands under it, so he can prompt him. The musicians re-enter, having been chased off by Montfleury. Cyrano tells them to stand in the street and play if they see anyone coming. Christian gets Roxane's attention, and convinces her to listen to him for a moment - he tells her of his love, repeating lines whispered by Cyrano. Roxane asks why he speaks so haltingly. Cyrano drags Christian aside and takes his place, standing enough in the shadows that Roxane can't tell it's him. He makes excuses for his awkwardness, and they verbally spar until Cyrano can explain why he must stay in the darkness:

"Cyrano: Yes, it is perfect. Your white gown swathed in the blue-black mantle of night. I am only a voice, and you are a point of light. I may have spoken Beautifully to you in the past-
Roxane: You know you have-
Cyrano: Because I have been forced to speak through-
Roxane: Through what?
Cyrano: Through the whirlwind which your eyes stir up inside me. But now, in this blessed darkness, I feel I am speaking to you for the first time.
Roxane: It's true, even your voice has changed."
Act 3, pg. 93

Cyrano explains his true feelings for Roxane - she is shocked by the power of his words, she had no idea that Christian felt so strongly about her. He explains that everything pales next to love. Subtlety has no place holding it back, wit only serves to drain its power. He is completely obsessed with her, everything she does is perfection in his eyes. He wants nothing but to convince her of his love for her, and to know that she feels it to. Roxane tells him that she loves him. Cyrano announces that he can die now, there's nothing left to live for. Christian tells Cyrano to ask for a kiss. Roxane hears it, and asks if he demands the kiss. Cyrano tries to cover while trying to get Christian to keep his mouth shut. Just then the musicians play a tune. Roxane goes back inside, and Cyrano watches a Monk enter. The monk announces that he's looking for Roxane's house. Cyrano tells him it's up the street. Christian tells Cyrano that he wants a kiss from Roxane. Cyrano tells him that he doesn't deserve it, but agrees that it's inevitable. Roxane steps back onto the balcony and asks if he still wants the kiss.

Topic Tracking: Love 6

"Cyrano: And what is a kiss, specifically? A pledge properly sealed, a promise seasoned to taste, a vow stamped with the immediacy of a lip, a rosy circle drawn around the verb "to love." A kiss is a message too intimate for the ear, infinity captured in the bee's brief visit to a flower, secular communication with an aftertaste of heaven, the pulse rising from the heart to utter its name on a lover's lip: 'Forever.'" Act 3, pg. 97

Roxane tells him to climb up to the balcony and claim his prize. Cyrano pushes Christian to the balcony, telling him to go for it. Christian panics, says he doesn't deserve the kiss - Cyrano shoves him. Christian finally climbs the balcony and kisses Roxane. Repeatedly. Cyrano can barely stand it - his heart is torn apart. Just then, the music plays, alerting Cyrano that the Monk is back. Cyrano claim confusion about the name the monk asked for in the first place. Christian, Ragueneau and Roxane come out the front door. The Monk gives Roxane a letter, which she reads aloud. De Guiche says that he sent the army ahead, but he stayed behind so he could see her again, encouraged by her smile. The letter also gives her a command - she must have the Monk marry her to Christian that very night. The monk hesitate to marry them when he sees how beautiful Christian is, but Roxane bribes him to continue. Roxane asks Cyrano to keep De Guiche from arriving long enough for the wedding to finish - fifteen minutes. Cyrano promises that he will. Everyone but Cyrano goes inside.

Cyrano ponders how he can delay De Guiche. Cyrano climbs up onto a wall beside the house and prepares to fall from it. De Guiche enters, wearing a mask. As De Guiche reaches the house, Cyrano dives off the wall, swings on a branch, and falls onto the ground in front of him. Cyrano pretends to be dazed, asking De Guiche where and when he is. He claims to have just fallen from the moon, and he speaks with a strange voice so De Guiche won't recognize him. De Guiche keeps trying to push past him, but Cyrano refuses to let him, using any excuse to keep talking:

"Cyrano: God's whiskers! Your face is hideous as the demon's in my storybook!
De Guiche: (Touching his mask.) You mean this?
Cyrano: (His teeth chattering.) Have I fallen into Hell?
De Guiche: It's only a mask.
Cyrano: (Calming down a little.) So, are you dressed up for Carnival?
De Guiche: (Again trying to step around him.) No, for a rendezvous with a young lady.
Cyrano: (Hanging on to him.) Aha! Then this must be Paris!"
Act 3, pg. 97

De Guiche keeps trying to get past Cyrano, but Cyrano keeps stepping in front of him and telling tall tales of meeting all the constellations - and being attacked by most of them. Cyrano finally manages to interest De Guiche when he says that he invented six separate methods of space travel. First, he covered himself with vials of dew, and when the sun hit him, he lifted into the air, just like dew evaporates. Then he constructed a makeshift balloon out of a cedar log and mirrors. Third, he built a giant metal grasshopper that leapt into the sky. Fourth, he smoked so much that he was able to fill a sphere with it, then rode the sphere into the sky. Fifth, he covered himself in the blood of beasts, so that the full moon would cause him to shake into the sky. Finally, he lay down on a piece of metal, then threw a magnet into the air - the metal rose to meet the magnet, which he caught, and then threw again, until he was in outer space. He begins to tell the now-fascinated De Guiche a seventh method, but then he stops and returns to his normal voice, telling De Guiche that it no longer matters - fifteen minutes are up, and the wedding is over. De Guiche sees the couple come out with the Monk and realizes he's been fooled. He gives the orders to Christian, and tells him to deliver them to the Royal Guard immediately - depriving him of a wedding night. Cyrano tries to drag Christian away from Roxane, and Roxane makes Cyrano promise to protect him:

"Cyrano: I'll do what I can. I cannot promise-
Roxane: Promise me he will be careful!
Cyrano: At the front?
Roxane: Promise me that he won't catch cold!
Cyrano: I'll lend him a blanket.
Roxane: And that he'll be faithful!
Cyrano: He's just taken a vow to do that.
Roxane: And that he will write to me, every single day!
Cyrano: (Turns back, looks at her.) That I do promise. With all my heart."
Act 3, pg. 107

Topic Tracking: Love 7

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