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Scenes 5 Summary
LeBret is appalled by the actions of Cyrano at the theater. He is certain that his friend has made a large number of enemies because of his outlandish behavior. Cyrano, however, is proud of how he has acted. He feels he has done what is right, which gives him a clear conscience. This is important to Cyrano, who tries "to be admirable in everything."
Cyrano reveals the true reason for his hatred of Montfleury. The actor had given amorous looks to Roxane, whom Cyrano confesses that he loves. Le Bret tells Cyrano that Roxane seemed to be deeply impressed by his victory over Valvert. He then encourages his friend to tell Roxane of his love, but Cyrano refuses. Because of his physical appearance, he feels that she could never have a romantic interest in him. In fact, he fears that she might laugh in his face.
In this scene, Cyrano reveals that he is in love with Roxane. He also reveals that the true reason for his hatred of Montfleury is jealousy. The actor, whom Cyrano judges to be a buffoon, has looked amorously at Roxane, greatly upsetting Cyrano. He obviously does not yet know about Christian's amorous feelings for Roxane.
The brief conversation between Cyrano and Le Bret centers on love, which is the main thematic content and motivating force of the entire play. Even though he deeply loves his cousin Roxane, Cyrano does not dare to let her know because of his ugly appearance. He fears that she would laugh at the "protuberance" on his face. His romantic sensibility reaches hyperbolic proportions when he claims that "the divine beauty of tears must not be contaminated" by running down the ugliness of his nose.
In contrast to his ugliness, Cyrano describes the pure beauty of Roxane with vivid language that is filled with imagery and metaphors. He says that she is "unintentionally nature's trap" and a musk rose. He also compares her to the goddesses, Venus and Diana. Then as Cyrano sadly talks about his own ugliness, he reveals that he is totally honest about himself. He also expects others to be honest and cannot stand hypocrisy in anyone. As Cyrano describes himself and his beliefs, Rostand is trying to make certain that any antagonism that the audience may have felt at his protagonist's earlier bullying is eliminated.
It is important to note the differences between the two lovers of Roxane. Christian, who is extremely handsome, feels he cannot win Roxane because he has no way with words. In ironic contrast, the poetic Cyrano, who has a remarkable way with words, feels he cannot win Roxane because of his ugliness.