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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
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Roxane

Roxane is the "precieuse" name of Magdelaine Robin (historically Mlle, Robineau). For Cyrano she is the epitome of perfection, for she is beautiful, kind, moral, and intelligent.

Her greatest virtue is her humility, for she is totally unaware of her great power over others. Cyrano is not the only man attracted to Roxane. Christian loves her from the moment he sees her because of his attractive appearance; and De Guiche has designs on her even though he is a married man.

Even though Rostand paints a very positive picture of Roxane, he is careful not to make her seem too perfect. In the opening act, an onlooker at the theatre comments that she chills the heart with her coolness. Such an attitude was the traditional characteristic of the "precieuses" or "bluestockings" of the time. Like the other wealthy ladies around her, she also attends the superficial discussions and readings about emotions. Although she is portrayed as being bright, witty, and intellectual, she is not discerning, intuitive, or wise. And sometimes her impulsiveness and daring are more negative than positive. At time she appears like a clever child who is self-centered and takes others for granted. She does not hesitate to ask Cyrano for a favor and tries to win his support by alluding to their childhood friendship.


Roxane's love affair with Christian shows an amazing naïveté, immaturity, and insensitivity. She admits during the course of the play that she only fell in love with and married him because of his attractiveness. She is amazed to find out through his letters that he also possesses an attractiveness of the soul. Ironically, it is the soul of Cyrano that is revealed in the letters. In truth, she has fallen in love with the beast rather than the beauty. Roxane also has a quality of transcendent purity, which makes her withdrawal to a convent so inevitably convincing.

Roxane shows her foolishness when she risks her life to travel to the front to see Christian. When she arrives, she is thrilled by the response of the cadets, making her seem superficial. She is also blind to the uneasiness experienced by Cyrano and Christian when they see her. Her reason for coming, however, is noble. She wanted to apologize to her husband for only loving him for his appearance in the beginning. She confesses she now loves only his soul. Unfortunately, his soul is snatched away, for he is killed by the first shot fired in the battle.

Roxane is totally faithful to her dead husband. She withdraws to a convent and wears the black veil of mourning for fifteen years. At the end of the play, she has become a self-absorbed and sentimental widow, who has lost her sparkle. She fusses at Cyrano for being late and does not even notice that he has been seriously injured. When she discovers that Cyrano is the author of the letters and, therefore, the one she really loves, she feels sorry for herself for being deprived of loving him for fifteen years. In the end, she is a total contrast to the selfless Cyrano.

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MonkeyNotes-Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

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