The story begins at the Hotel de Bourgogne in the year 1640. Christian de Neuvillette attends the theater with a man called Ligniere in hopes that this man can identify the woman he has fallen in love with. Ligniere identifies the beautiful lady as Roxane, cousin to Cyrano de Bergerac. Christian also finds out from Ligniere that Count de Guiche is in love with her as well. Ligniere told Christian that he made a song that told of de Guiches scheme to get Roxane and that de Guiche probably hated him for it.
Ligniere leaves and heads out to a tavern while Cristian stares up at Roxane. In the mean time, a thief had been approaching Christian to make an attempt at stealing from him. When Christian reaches into his pocket he finds a hand. The thief makes a deal with Christian and tells him that Ligniere was going to die that night because he insulted a powerful person with a song. The thief told Christian that a hundred men were posted. Chrisian rushes off to every tavern in town to leave a message for his friend.
Ragueneau, a baker, watches for Cyrano. Cyrano had told Montfleury not to appear onstage for a month, yet Montfleury appeared onstage anyway. Cyrano shows up and interrupts the play. He forces Montfleury to leave the stage and in the process of doing so he insults forty-eight people. Valvert insults Cyrano by making a remark about his nose so they duel. While dueling, Cyrano recites a ballade he created and wins the duel. Everyone was delighted and congratulated him.
Cyrano confides with his friend Le Bret that he is in love with his cousin Roxane. Le Bret advises Cyrano that he should tell Roxane his feelings because there was no better time than now to tell her his feelings after she witnessed his bravery. Cyrano declined because he felt that she could never love him because of his nose.
Roxanes duenna visits Cyrano to tell him that Roxane wished to see him in private. Cyrano sets the meeting up at Ragueneaus shop at seven oclock. Cyrano forgot his sadness and became giddy with excitement. He was interrupted though by Ciugy who brought Ligniere and Brissaille with him. Ligniere read aloud a note that he had been given that warned him he was in danger. Cyrano set out to confront the assassins with a crowd of people to watch.
The next part in the story takes place at Ragueneaus bakery. Ragueneau is a poet and congratulates Cyrano for his duel in verse. Cyrano anxiously awaited the arrival of Roxane. Cyrano decided to write Roxane a letter telling her how he felt about her but was unsure how to give it to her. He finally decided he would give it to her in person. In the meantime a group of poets enter the shop and greet Ragueneau. They discuss that the night before, a man killed eight men by himself. They asked Cyrano if he knew the hero but he told them he didnt. The poets forget about the topic and go on to eating free pastries.
Roxane and her duenna enter the shop. In order to obtain privacy, Cyrano fills three bags full of pastries and tells the duenna to go outside and not to come inside until she finishes the treats. Roxane tells Cyrano she has fallen in love with Christian. Christian was joining the Guards as a Cadet and she wanted Cyrano to protect him from the Gascons. Cyrano agrees to protect him and Roxane thanks him. After she left, Captain Carbon de Castel-Jaloux enters along with thirty Cadets. Soon, huge crowds of people show up as well, all to congratulate Cyrano on the winning against all the men the night before when he set off with a crowd.
Christian shows up as Cyrano starts to tell his story. A Cadet approaches him and tells him he is a sickly northerner. Another Cadet goes on to tell him that he should never mention Cyranos nose or he would end up dead. In order to prove himself to the Cadets he goes on to make fun of Cyranos nose. Cyrano finds out who he is so he did nothing and tried to ignore him but Christian kept on until Cyrano could not take it anymore. He orders everyone to wait outside and then tells Christian about Roxane. Christian makes it aware to Cyrano that he was not good at writing so Cyrano gives him the letter that he had written for Roxane earlier. The crowd enters the shop to find Christian alive and hugging Cyrano. A Musketeer tried to joke on Cyranos nose but receives a slap in the face.
The next part of the story occurs mostly at Roxanes balcony during the night. Ragueneau is having a dicussion with the duenna about how he became ruined. His wife ran away with a Musketeer and the poets that were always at his shop ate everything he had. He tried to kill himself because he felt hopeless but Cyrano saved him and gave him a job as Roxanes steward. The duenna tells Ragueneau that Roxane and herself would be attending the dicourse on Tender Passion. Before they could leave they heard music approaching. It was Cyrano and two pages that he had won in a bet. Roxane talks to Cyrano about Christian and how well he wrote.
De Guiche approaches the house and Cyrano hides inside at Roxanes request. De Guiche tells Roxane that he is leaving to go to war and that The Guards were being sent too. Roxane tricks De Guiche into letting the Cadets stay home because she didnt want Christian to get hurt. After De Guiche left, Roxane and the duenna went to hear the discourse.
Christian and Cyrano meet in order for Christian to learn his lines from Cyrano. Christian tells Cyrano that he wanted to talk to Roxane with his own words. When Roxane comes out, Christian disappoints her by speaking without eloquence so she left him and went inside. Christian became upset and begged Cyrano to help him win Roxane back. Cyrano finally agrees and tells Christian what to say as they went along. Roxane noticed that Christans speech was faltering and asks him why. Cyrano decided to take over completely and speaks in a low voice so Roxane would still think it was Christian. Roxane also noticed the difference in his voice but Cyrano was able to play it off.
Christian interrupted when Cyrano was talking and asked Roxane for a kiss. Roxane was shocked and tried to cover for it but Roxane wanted the kiss. They were soon interrupted by a capuchin looking for Roxanes house. Cyrano points him off in the wrong direction so they would not be disturbed. Roxane asks for the kiss so Christian climbs up the balcony and kisses her. Once again the capuchin approached the house so Cyrano acted like he just showed up and interrupted Christian and Roxane. Roxane decided to go down to Cyrano and sees the capuchin.
He had a letter from Dev Guiche that said the capuchin that carried the letter was stupid and illiterate and that he was hiding in a monestary instead of going to war. It also said that he was going to visit her soon. After she read the letter to herself she decided to read it aloud, but as a different version. Her version said that she had to marry Christian even though she hated him. They were going to get married that night.
Cyrano had the task of stalling De Guich for fifteen minutes when he came to see Roxane. Cyrano decided on a plan and climbed up a tree to wait for De Guiche. De Guiche approaches Roxanes door wearing a mask, which impaired his vision. Cyrano pretends to fall as if from high up and acts stunned. De Guiche is shocked and confused. Cyrano told him that he fell from the moon and asked him what country he was in. De Guiche thinks that the man is a maniac. Cyrano refused to let De Guiche pass and kept telling him he fell from the moon.
Cyrano finally gets his attention by telling him that he invented six ways to get to the moon. De Guiche becomes enthralled in the ideas and Cyrano slowly leads him away from the house. After Cyrano tells him all about the ways to get to the moon he tells De Guiche that Roxane and Christian had gotten married while they had been talking. De Guiche finally realizes that he had been talking to Cyrano and that he had been tricked. De Guiche then told Roxane that her husband would be leaving her because he had to go to war. Roxane was devastated and made Cyrano promise that he would make sure Christian wrote often. Cyrano agreed.
The next location in the story is in the Cadets camp. Everyone was starving and felt helpless. Cyrano didnt pay attention to his hunger and kept himself busy. He wrote to Roxane twice a day and crossed enemy lines in order to mail the letters. When De Guiche approached their tent, the men pulled out card and dice and pretended to be having fun. De Guiche announced that the attack would be in an hour. While they still had time before they had to attack, Cyrano gives Christian a letter he wrote so that if Christian died, Roxane would have a final letter that poured his heart out to her.
Cyrano had cried when he wrote the letter and stained the paper. After Christian takes the letter a carriage pulls up with Roxane in it. Roxane steps out and tells Christian and Cyrano that she intended to stay through the attack. Roxane then reveals that she brought food for the all of the Cadets. The men gorged themselves on the elegant food that was well hidden throughout the carriage and even disguised as parts of the carriage.
The driver of the carriage turned out to be Ragueneau who was the man that made the feast for them. When the men heard De Guiche approach they hid all the food under hats and coats. Sice Roxane refused to leave, De Guiche decided to stay and fight with the Cadets. Since he showed such bravery the men decide to let him eat with them. De Guiche refused to eat their leftovers and decided he would rather go hungry.
While De Guiche showed Roxane around the camp, Cyrano pulled Christian aside and told him not to be surprised if Roxane talked about all the letters he wrote her. He then went on to explain that he wrote her twice a day and didnt always tell Christian that he wrote her. Before they could talk anymore, Roxane came back. Cyrano left them alone so they could have some privacy. Christian then asked her why she came to such a horrible place. She told him that she couldnt stand to be much longer without him because of his letters. She told him that she truly loved him.
At first she was only in love with him because he was handsome but now she loved him for his soul. Christian asked her if she would still love him if he was ugly and she told him she would. Christian became choked up and excused himself. He then went to Cyrano and told him that Roxane was in love with him and that he should tell her how he feels about her. Christian then told Roxane that Cyrano had something important to tell her. Before Cyrano could tell her anything, Le Bret came running up to him and told him that Christian was shot and dying. Before he died, Cyrano whispered in his ear that he told Roxane everything and she sill loved him. After he died Roxane found the letter he was carrying that was stained with blood and tears. De Guiche took Roxane to safety while Cyrano went into the battle.
The ending of the book takes place at a convent where Roxane has stayed while in mourning for fifteen years. Cyrano had visited her every Saturday since she had been there. The Duke of Grammont (formerly Count de Guiche) was visiting her as well as Le Bret. Ragueneau showed up and bade Le Bret to come with him quickly because Cyrano was unconscious with a gash in his head.
Roxane waited for Cyrano outside while she embroidered. Cyrano was late for the first time then. He acted as if nothing was wrong with him, but sister Marthe saw something was wrong with him. He told her not to tell Roxane, though. Cyrano asked Roxane if he could read the letter that Christian had on him when he died. Roxane gave him the letter and he began reading aloud. Roxane realized that Cyrano wrote that letter. She confronted him and he denied it but she knew the truth.
Le Bret and Ragueneau show up looking for Cyrano. They find him there and tell Roxane what happened. Cyrano becomes seized by some mania and goes on about how lies, compromise, prejudice, stupidity, and cowardice have robbed him of glory and love but the one thing they could never touch was his white plume.