Actions Speek Louder Than Words

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Category: English Composition

Date Submitted: 03/12/2011 06:25 PM

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“Yes, my life has been that of a man who provides words and ideas for others, spurs them to action, and is then forgotten…Do you remember the evening when Christian spoke to you below your balcony? Well, that evening was the essence of my life: while I remained below, in the shadows, others climbed up to receive the kiss of glory. But now, on the threshold of my grave, I acknowledge the justice of it all—Moliere is a genius, and Christian was handsome!” (Act V, sc.6)

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Certain books have a way of connecting with the reader—forcing him or her to stop and think for a moment and reflect on what has been said. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand is one of those books. Even though it is a dramatic love story on the surface, it explores several other topics, besides love. By creating a character like Cyrano, with his valor and low self-esteem mixed together, Rostand creates a classic for many generations to enjoy. What makes this play so powerful is the presence of numerous valuable passages that shape this timeless tale. The above quoted passage from Act V, scene 6, is essential to the play, because it defines Cyrano’s role in the story, his development as a character, and his connection to some of the major themes.

By saying the above cited words, Cyrano clearly delineates the part he played in this novel. First of all, he sees himself as “a man who provides words and ideas for others.” That is exactly what Cyrano has been doing throughout the play. He gives Christian the necessary words to woo Roxane, and he is successful at it. It is also he, who uses words to stop the hungry cadets from losing their mind during the siege. This passage demonstrates the first time Cyrano acknowledges the fact that this is what he has always been doing. Secondly, he sees himself as “a man who … spurs [others] to action.” He pushes Christian into using the words—and letters—he gives him. He also is able to rekindle patriotism in the hearts of the...