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Scenes 5 and 6 Summary
After the bakery has been cleared, Roxane arrives with her governess. Wanting to be totally alone with her, Cyrano packs pastries into one of Lise's paper bags with poetry and sends the governess out to eat them. He then expresses to Roxane his pleasure over her acknowledgement of his existence. She, in turn, thanks him for ridding her of Valvert. Cyrano is delighted to learn that the duel served a purpose other than defending his nose.
Roxane warmly recalls the childhood friendship she had with Cyrano, her cousin. She then goes on to confess that she is in love. Cyrano dares to think that she has come to confess her love for him. As he is feeling elated, she dashes his hopes, for she says that the man she loves is extremely handsome. She also states that he is a cadet in Cyrano's regiment with whom she has only exchanged glances; however, she has heard that he loves her. Cyrano warns her that the man may be an uncultured brute, but Roxane is convinced otherwise. The naïve Roxane responds that no one with such lovely hair could be a brute.
At first Cyrano fails to understand the reason for Roxane confiding in him. She then, however, explains that she wants Cyrano's help. The young man is an outsider who has just joined the Gascon regiment. She wants Cyrano to protect him from the other hot- headed, quarrelsome Gascons. The kind-hearted Cyrano agrees to defend the cadet, even though it will be hard for him to do so.
Satisfied that her mission has been accomplished, Roxane leaves the bakery. As she walks away, she realizes that she is torn between admiration for Cyrano, who has just fought a hundred men single-handedly, and admiration for the handsome cadet.
The suspense about the reason for Roxane wanting to meet with Cyrano is answered in these scenes. When she arrives at the bakery, she greets Cyrano warmly and talks about their childhood friendship with emotion. She then confesses to Cyrano that she is in love with a man who does not realize her affections. Cyrano dares to think that Roxane is talking about him.
Roxane is not trying to be mean or play the coquette. She has no idea that Cyrano is in love with her. She cannot know that he is misinterpreting everything she says. The truth dawns on him, however, when she says that the man she loves is extremely handsome. Cyrano knows that she cannot be speaking of him. She then asks for Cyrano's help. She wants him to protect the cadet in his regiment since he is new to the Gascons and may be mistreated by the more experienced cadets. Although he is shocked and disappointed, the kind Cyrano promises to watch out for him.
Although Roxane has no clue that Cyrano is in love with her, when she leaves the bakery she thinks about her admiration for him. Not only has he agreed to protect her cadet, he has also saved her from Valvert and single-handedly wounded eight men in order to protect Ligniere.