In the play Cyrano de Bergerac the author Edmond Rostbad uses verbal Irony and Situational Irony to enhance the theme that loving someone because of their physical appearances is not as strong as loving someone because of their inner beauty. This dramatic play was written in the eighteen hundreds and is based on the values and teachings of this period, for example the basic characteristics of a gentleman which are expressed in the main character Cyrano.
The use of verbal Irony in the play personifies Cyranos character and at the same time it shows how pure and sincere his love for Roxanne is. One night, under her balcony Cyrano speaks to Roxanne for Christian to cover up his lack of eloquence, The feeling that holds me in this merciless grip could be nothing else but love! It has all the terrible jealousy and somber violence of love, and all the unselfishness too. Cyrano helps Christian gain Roxannes love, and even though this may seem like a nice pure thing to do, ironically he is doing it to express his own feelings to Roxanne, which contradicts his quote. On the other hand, Cyrano may be helping Christian because he knows Roxanne loves him and he wants her to be happy because he sincerely loves her. In contrast, Roxannes love is more superficial, even though she believes opposite, He showed his true nature only to those who knew him well. When Christian died in wa Roxanne decided she would mourn for her lost love. She thought she had known him well and had fallenin love with his soul, but she obviously didnt know him well enough if she couldnt tell it wasnt Christians soul she loved. Cyranos and Roxannes contrasting love is Ironically corresponded.
Situational Irony is also used in the play to show that what is expected of Cyranos and Roxannes love, and how it isnt meant to happen. When Cyrano gets the courage to tell Roxanne about his love for her the first time, his opportunity is shot down by the death of Christian. When Roxanne runs to Christians body and cries for him Cyrano loses his self-confidence and decides not to tell her. What Roxanne thought of as true love Cyrano saw as a lie. Ironically, the second time Cyrano gets the chance to let her know it is due to the fact he had been struck in the head by a log and knew that he was soon going to die. Cyranos love stays true throughout the whole play, but Roxannes doesnt become true until she finds out that the man she had been in love with all along is right there at her side, but she failed to look past the physical appearance until the day of his death.
Verbal Irony and situational Irony help prove tat Roxannes love changes at the end of the story and Cyranos is true all through the play.