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This scene is very significant, for it pits Cyrano against De Guiche. The personal rivalry between them, which is largely caused by their attraction to Roxane, is brought to a head. When Cyrano disgraces De Guiche by publicly pointing out his cowardice, he and the other cadets must pay the consequences. De Guiche gives a signal for the Spanish to attack the cadets.
It is not just Cyrano who dislikes De Guiche. When he arrives in the camp, the cadets totally ignore him, for they have no respect for the man, who is more a courtier than a soldier. The cadets, led by Cyrano, stand for openness, courage, confrontation, sacrifice and daring. In contrast, De Guiche is a cunning strategist who prefers deception and spies to fighting. Cyrano contrasts him to Henry IV, who told his soldiers that if they lost their banners they should follow the white plume in his helmet because he would never forsake the path of honor and glory. De Guiche knows nothing of honor and glory.
The dialogue at the end of Scene 4 about the farewell letter to Roxane is important. It becomes a major motif in Act V. Here, however, it serves to reveal Cyrano's preparedness and sensitivity. It also serves as a bridge to the actual appearance of Roxane in the Gascon camp.