Character page for the play Cyrano de Bergerac.
A poet and soldier whose wit, poetry improvisation talent and sword combat skills are unmatched. There's only one problem... he has a large nose, and obsesses over this. And he desperately wants to tell his cousin Roxane how much he loves her but can't out of fear of being rejected.
- Badass Boast: Cyranos gasconades are spread among the entire play beginning with Act I Scene IV.De Guiche: Oh, ay! Another Gascon boast!
- Beast and Beauty: In Cyrano's eyes, at least, but without the beast being made beautiful, as he lampshades.
- Berserk Button: His nose. Even mentioning the word around him is a bad idea.
- Betty and Veronica: The loving but unattractive Betty to the foreign and beautiful Christian. Subverted in that most of Christian's mystique is courtesy of Cyrano himself.
- Be Yourself: Averted. His Fatal Flaw is his insistence on avoiding this.
- Broken Ace: Renaissance Man, legendary poet, duelist, soldier, philosopher, physicist, musician, playwright, novelist and excellent actor. Also an ugly, writhing pile of Freudian Excuse, who systematically throws away every chance of success he has, would rather help some other guy get the girl he loves than confess to her, and assiduously kills anyone who mocks his enormous nose.
- Bullying a Dragon: A frequent "victim" of this ploy. He also admits he enjoys constantly mocking powerful people like De Guiche to make himself new enemies just for the challenge.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday:First poet: We were stayed by the mob; they are crowded all round the Porte de Nesle!...
Second poet: Eight bleeding brigand carcasses strew the pavements thereall slit open
Cyrano [raising his head a minute from writing his love letter]: Eight?... hold, methought seven.
[He goes on writing.]
- Buy Them Off: Used by Cyrano after he refuses to apologize to the Burgundy Theater's audience for interrupting La Clorise; he pays Bellerose for all the entrance fees so they can give it back to the public. Cyrano uses it to bribe the Duenna to leave her and Roxane alone, and De Guiche invokes it with Cyrano and Cardenal Richelieu's patronage.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Justified, Cyrano has a Freudian Excuse that doesn't let him spit it out.
- Caustic Critic: Cyrano critiques your artistic work without any pity, and given the play is a Period Piece, Cyrano is always right in his critiques: Montfleury was a "An actor villainous!" (and then Cyrano kicks him out the theater), les Précieuses could "Inspire our verse, butcriticise it not!", playwright Barós "verses are not worth a doit! I'm glad to interrupt" (Barós play). Cardena Richelieu famous politician, wrote plays as a hobby) "is an author. 'Twill not fail to please him that I should mar a brother-author's play". Cyrano also is fair, of his own talent he thinks: "Not to mount high" and about Molière, Cyrano thinks hes a "genius".
- Cultured Badass: What with Cyrano's supreme talent for poetic improvisation and the countless literary, historical and mythological references he displays doing so.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Cyrano combines it with A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted, as he confides to Le Bret that the bag of crowns he used to pay the entrance fees of the Burgundy Theater was his parental bounty, and so he has not money for the rest of the month. Even when Le Bret scolds Cyrano for his folly, Cyrano calls this "a graceful act". This conduct explains better than anything why Cyrano is condemned to a life of Perpetual Poverty.
- Deadpan Snarker: A legendary one. In a World of Snark, he's hands down the snarkiest, and will easily upstage any who claim otherwise.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Played with; she does eventually find out he was the one writing the letters, and indeed falls in love with him. Unfortunately, by the time this happens, he is already dying.
- Dirty Coward: He considers himself one because he Cannot Spit It Out.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Please dont dare. Seriously, dont.
- Establishing Character Moment: Cyrano's performance at the Burgundy Theater.
- Everyone Has Standards: Regardless of Cyrano's sensitivity about the topic, he is untouched by Valvert's hilariously basic insult about his nose. (He does duel Valvert later, but it's more about upholding his reputation than actual wounded feelings.)
- Excuse Me While I Multitask: Cyrano composes a ballad in honor of his opponent while in the midst of a swordfight.
- Expy: Of Crisóstomo, a character from Don Quixote.
- Fatal Flaw: He believes it to be his humongous nose, but in reality it's his vanity that causes him to think this way. He only comes to realize that it was his vanity holding him back all along in his final scene.
- Gag Nose: One of the most famous in literature. One of his most famous line from the play is a speech about all the ways you can describe the size of his nose.
- Genius Bruiser: He's just as clever as he is good at fighting.
- Gentleman Snarker: His wit is as sharp as his rapier, which is saying something.
- Gonk: A self-admitted one, though there's some heavy suggestion that this is simply him being self-conscious, as a few women are shown to be attracted to him.
- The Grotesque: Cyrano considers himself one even though all that's wrong with him is that he has a big nose.
- Grumpy Bear: Despite all the evidence the audience can see to the contrary, Cyrano just cannot consider even for a second that Roxane actually might be able to look past his appearance and love him for his soul.
- Heartbroken Badass: After Act II Scene VI.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Cyrano is his own harshest critic.
- Honor Before Reason: To Le Bret's chagrin, and the reason he is a Starving Artist despite all his talent; Cyrano cares more about acts of honor and bravery than about his own good, to the point he will throw away his entire money to the theater for the beauty of the gesture despite this leaving him penniless for an entire month, constantly gets himself enemies in all the wrong places by provoking powerful aristocrats and people like de Guiche, and refuses patronage from the Cardinal of Richelieu, the most powerful man in France, because he cannot stand the idea his verse would be altered to fit someone else's tastes.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Believes that he's too ugly for anyone to want, and especially someone as beautiful as Roxane.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Cyrano helping the handsome Christian to win the heart of the woman they both love, Roxane. He does this because Roxane is already fond of Christian (who's genuinely a decent guy, just lacking in wit), and Cyrano himself believes he's too ugly to ever have a chance with her.
- Large Ham: Depardieu as Cyrano in The Movie.
- The Last DJ: Cyrano dares to refuse Cardinal Richelieu's patronage as a playwright because Richelieu could alter his lines.
- Manly Tears: Cyrano insists in Act I that he never cries, but in Act IV, Christian notices a tear drop on his most recent love letter to Roxane.
- Master Swordsman: Likely the best in the world.
- Master of All: Pretty much good at everything other than having a big nose.
- Nice to the Waiter: Is very kind to a serving girl who offers him dinner, and generally shows great sympathy to the lower classes, reserving his abrasiveness for the nobility.
- One-Man Army: Between Acts I and II, Cyrano stands against one hundred men and kills eight of them. Between Acts IV and V, he manages to survive the Last Stand of only one company of Gascon cadets against all the Spanish Army.
- Renaissance Man: Both in the play and in Real Life.
- Small Name, Big Ego: In-Universe.
- Starving Artist: A brilliant poet who's perpetually short on cash.
- Stepford Smiler: Cyrano is a Type A, obsessed with not projecting an image of sadness in order to be accepted by his peers.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Roxane; they grew up together and he always was in love with her, but he never dared confess to her out of terror his ugliness would get him rejected, and as a result she only ever saw him as a brother.
- Warrior Poet: As good of a poet as he is a sword fighter— which is to say, extremely.
The cousin of Cyrano, a beautiful noblewoman who loves poetry. Cyrano is in love with her unbeknownst to her, and he's not alone at that.
- Arranged Marriage: Intended with de Valvert, invoked with Christian.
- Dude Magnet: De Guiche, Christian and Cyrano all are in love with her; other characters, while not expressing feelings for her, do recognize she is incredibly attractive.
- Expy: Of Marcela, a character of Don Quixote.
- Guile Hero: She is shown to be very cunning and good at manipulation over the course of the play; she almost foils De Guiche's Uriah Gambit by advising against using it as revenge against a Blood Knight like Cyrano, and later successfully manipulates a monk into marrying her with Christian by pretending this is an Arranged Marriage. Also, see Heroic Seductress.
- Heroic Seductress: In Act IV, she takes advantage on her beauty to get past the Spanish, using Distracted by the Sexy to hide the fact she is bringing food to the Cadets.
- Hidden Depths: The beginning of the play depicts her as an intelligent, but overly intellectual woman who likes poetry and beautiful words in a style over substance way and honest-to-God believes Christian being handsome means he will obviously be smart. During the Siege of Arras, however, she displays a surprising courage by actually risking herself on the battlefield and refusing to leave out of love for Christian. Even Cyrano is impressed.Cyrano: A heroine? Our intellectual?Roxane: Mr de Bergerac, I'm your cousin!
- In the Blood: Invoked; when Cyrano asks how she suddenly became brave enough to come on the battlefield, she reminds him she is his cousin.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Falls in love with the 'hero of romance' that Christian and Cyrano create.
- Meaningful Rename: Madeleine Robin renamed herself Roxane (Persian for "Beautiful Woman") after joining Les Précieuses.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Roxana" in the Anthony Burgess translation.
A fellow soldier who's newly recruited in Cyrano's regiment. He's handsome and fancies Roxane as well, but he's tongue-tied and lacks of poetic talent, which is a problem when it comes to try seducing her. Cyrano helps him his own way.
- Betty and Veronica: He's the beautiful out-of-towner to Cyrano's big-nosed but caring childhood friend. Subverted in that all of his charm is courtesy of Cyrano's own help and aid in courting Roxane.
- Brainless Beauty: Played Straight and Defied. He's nowhere near as smart as Cyrano is, but he's also shown to be much smarter than others give him credit for. The real problem is that he is the type who Cannot Talk to Women and loses all his smarts when faced with a woman he likes.
- Cannot Talk to Women: This is more of his problem than actually being stupid.
- Driven to Suicide: Possibly; his death leaves it ambiguous, but he is seen rushing to the battlefield right after telling Cyrano to confess.
- Hidden Depths: He's actually a decent guy who's quite a bit sharper than you may initially think, is brave enough to stand up to Cyrano (and unlike de Valvert, actually comes up with good comebacks) and is shown to be honorable.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Upon realizing that not only does Cyrano loves Roxane for real, but Roxane now loves him only thanks to Cyrano's help, he promptly urges Cyrano to just tell her the truth and confess to her already. Unfortunately, he gets killed just as this is about to happen, and Cyrano, out of respect for him, refuses to follow the advice upon learning the news.
- Let Them Die Happy: Despite not actually confessing the truth to Roxane by the time Christian dies, and refusing to do so by respect for him, Cyrano decides to lie to him as he is dying, telling he did confess and Roxane still chose him, so he may die thinking she still loves him.
- Love Makes You Dumb: He becomes tongue-tied whenever he's in front of Roxanne, needing Cyrano to feed him lines from the shadows just to speak properly.
- Naïve Newcomer: The newest recruit in Cyrano's regiment, and by far the most naive and inexperienced.
- No Respect Guy: Frequently called stupid and only admired for his good looks, to the point where even his admirers admit he's probably nothing more than a pretty face. Roxanne also immediately becomes annoyed with him the moment it's made clear he's not good with words.
- Pretty Boy: Pretty much the only real "skill" that he has is being incredibly good looking.
- Shipper on Deck: Deconstructed: He forces Cyrano to admit his feelings hoping Roxanne will choose him.
- Smarter Than You Look: He's regularly referred to as stupid throughout the play but, while he's nowhere near as witty as Cyrano, proves to be cunning in his own right when not in front of Roxanne. Cyrano himself notes that he's not stupid; he just doesn't have the ability to put his feelings into words.
A powerful nobleman who also fancies Roxane.
- 0% Approval Rating: Most people either fear or dislike him for being a powerful and scheming aristocrat.
- Abhorrent Admirer: He is madly in love with Roxane, but she rejects him; admittedly not because he is ugly, but more because he is a rather unpleasant person.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He is a count, and a scheming bastard with a taste for Disproportionate Retribution and Uriah Gambit.
- Arranged Marriage: He wishes to force Roxane into marrying de Valvert.
- The Atoner: Post-HeelFace Turn, he expresses genuine regret about how his actions ruined Roxane's change for happiness, and asks her if she can forgive him.
- Combat Pragmatism: During the Siege of Arras; when accidentally trapped on the side of the Spanish, he abandons the scarf indicating his grade, allowing him to escape alive and win the day, and he employs The Mole allowing him to influence the enemy's decisions by transmitting them false information.
- Big Bad: In the first four acts, he is the main antagonistic force opposing both the characters and the couples.
- The Dreaded: People are afraid to speak out against him due to how powerful he is. Cyrano provoking him is seen as a case of Bullying a Dragon.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Liniere mocked him in a song while drunk? He hires one hundred men to ambush and kill him. Cyrano defied him and foiled his plans for Roxane? He pulls an Uriah Gambit on his entire regiment.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After he earned the Cadets' respect by choosing to stay with them in order to protect Roxane, they reveal to him the food brought by her and offer to share with him. He declines, with this trope as the reason.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He might be a petty aristocrat willing to pull Disproportionate Retribution, but he will never abandon a lady in peril.
- Foil: For Cyrano; both are Gascon in love with Roxane, yet unable to consummate their love with her (Cyrano because of his ugliness, de Guiche due to being married). However, Cyrano is a Large Ham with Honor Before Reason who refuses any chance to rise in society out of desire to protect his freedom, while de Guiche is a powerful politician who rose in society through relationships. Moreover, Cyrano can and does eventually gets Roxane's love, if too late, while de Guiche is an Abhorrent Admirer.
- HeelFace Turn: In Act IV, after his Uriah Gambit on the Cadet backfired due to Roxane joining them on the front and refusing to leave, he decides he will not leave her alone and chose to stand with the Cadets to protect her, which earns him their respect and friendship, to the point Cyrano trust him with taking Roxane to safety. Act V shows he has eventually come to consider Cyrano enough of a friend that he is genuinely concerned for his life, and warn (unfortunately too late) le Bret that people are planning to murder Cyrano and Make It Look Like an Accident.
- Love Redeems: His love for Roxane, while unrequited, is genuine, and eventually causes him to turn around when he chose to risk his life to protect her.
- Jerkass: Arrogant, scheming, prone to Disproportionate Retribution and generally seen as an unpleasant person.
- No True Scotsman: Though he is a Gascon like the Cadets, they do not consider him a true one, as they feel he lacks the courage and craziness Gascons usually are expected to have. Him starting to behave more like them and risking his life to protect Roxane is presented as the first sign of his HeelFace Turn.
- Sympathy for the Hero: Comes to increasingly admire Cyrano, and wishes that he had Cyrano's moral courage.
- Took a Level in Badass: When he declares his intention to remain with the Cadets rather than abandon Roxanne. It earns him their respect.
- Villainous Valor: Say what you want about his Jerkass tendencies, de Guiche is shown to be a genuinely cunning and talented strategist, displays respect for talented and brave people (including Cyrano), and is brave enough to throw his own life in the same Uriah Gambit he pulled when the woman he loves is in danger. A Dirty Coward he is not.
- Villain Respect: While he does have a grudge against Cyrano, he genuinely respects the man even before his HeelFace Turn, recognizing both his courage and his talent as a writer. He was actually willing to recommend him to Richelieu, but Cyrano rejected the offer.
A baker and pastry chef who gives free food to poets, including Cyrano.
- Big Fun: Downplayed, but he is described as corpulent, and is by far one of the most comical characters in the play.
- Butt-Monkey: The poet friends he admires take advantage on his admiration by getting free food from him while pretending to like his own verses; his wife cheats on him and eventually leaves him for a Musketeer. And after starting out as a skilled Supreme Chef and aspiring poet, his career to go to a downright spiral over the course of the play; by the end, he is a minor employee in Molière's service- and he is about to quit.
- Giftedly Bad: His poem about a recipe in verse.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards Cyrano.
- Hidden Depths: A short exchange he has with Cyrano implies he knows his poets False Friends are taking advantage on him for free food; he just doesn't care, because he enjoys feeding them out of generosity and genuinely enjoys the verses they give to him as payment. This is implied to be the reason Cyrano likes him.
- Interrupted Suicide: After his wife leaves him, he attempts to hang himself out of despair, but Cyrano arrives before he is done and convince him otherwise.
- Nice Guy: Probably one of the few characters in the play who never acts like a jerk.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His character is based on traditional French Comedy character archetypes, being a poet wannabe who gets used by the people he worships, whose wife is cheating on and a jovial man who brings some levity to the story.
- Supreme Chef: Say what you want about his poetry, Ragueneau is shown to be an amazing cook.
Cyrano's best friend and confidant.
- Deadpan Snarker: He is more than willing to criticize how Cyrano's Honor Before Reason ways keep getting him into more and more trouble.
- Expy: Of Ambrosio, a character from Don Quixote.
- Odd Friendship: He is rather pragmatic, prudent, discreet and generally tries to guide his friend toward wise decisions, while Cyrano is a Large Ham, Hot-Blooded Blood Knight who practices Honor Before Reason. Yet, they are close enough friends that he is the only person Cyrano is willing to tell about his love for Roxane.
- Phrase Catcher: "Here's Le Bret groaning again!" delivered by Cyrano whenever Le Bret calls him out for doing something stupid or unwise.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Cyrano's Red.
The officer who commands the Cadets, Cyrano's regiment.
An arrogant and not very smart nobleman De Guiche wishes to marry to Roxane. He gets the bright idea to antagonize Cyrano, and it ends about as well as expected for him.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Like de Guiche, he is depicted as nothing short of a major Jerkass- and unlike him, he isn't given any redeeming quality whatsoever.
- Arranged Marriage: He intends to marry Roxane with De Guiche's help.
- The Beard: De Guiche's intention was to have him marry Roxane so he could serve as this to his relationship with her.
- Bullying a Dragon: Attempts to insult Cyrano, a One-Man Army Genius Bruiser, by pushing his Berserk Button. With predictable results.
- Humiliation Conga: How his attempt at antagonizing Cyrano ends; Cyrano proceeds to tear him apart verbally, pointing out his Lame Comeback before giving him a spectacular "Reason You Suck" Speech where he lists no less than 20 better comebacks he could have used, ridicules him, and finally delivers him a Curb-Stomp Battle in a Sword Fight while composing a Ballad about it.
- Lame Comeback: "Your nose is very very big" is the best he could come up with.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Does Viscount de Valvert survive his sword fight with Cyrano in Act I Scene IV or not? A brief line from Le Bret implies he did, but he is never seen again.
- Writers Suck: In his view. Unfortunately for him, Cyrano disagrees
- Aristocrats Are Evil: All of them are Barons who enjoy giving Disproportionate Retribution against those not Of the People. Downplayed in that they are portrayed sympathetically for it, in contrast to aristocrats like de Guiche and de Valvert.
- Idiot Hero: They are well-aware people see them as crazy, and they pride themselves on it.