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10 thoughts on “Cymbeline

  1. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    I've read this play three times and I've found that the longer since I last read it the better I imagine it to be In theory it's a great play the political situation involving the tribute an emerging British nation must pay to a Roman empire has interesting Jacobean parallels in continental politics involving a Roman Church; the theological implications the way Shakespeare finds a place for compassion in the merciless world of Lear's gods and flies is instructive and attractive; and the cavalier manner in which the bard treats stage conventions from the anonymous two lords in the first scene who only exist to present the necessary exposition to the eventual appearance of a literal deus ex machina in the person of Jupiter shows a master of form thumbing his nose at his own expertise for his particular metaphysical purposesSure this all sounds great in retrospect but the characters themselves are petty and cold and and when they are fresh in my mind they with the exception of Imogen fail to move me Iachimo little Iago is too pathetic and irresolute in his villainy Posthumous Leonatus is too easily persuaded of his love's infidelity and too abruptly murderous in his intentions and even Imogen is much much too ready to forgive Also the play is so full of misunderstandings that it takes one of the longest final scenes in Shakespeare merely to straighten out all the loose ends And yet Cymbeline is full of marvels and immortal poetry including a dirge that is one of the finest lyrics in the English language and it is graced with a heroine Imogen who is as admirable lovable and brave as any the poet has created

  2. Amalia Gavea Amalia Gavea says:

    “Fear no the heat o' the sunNor the furious winter's rages;Thou thy worldly task hast doneHome art gone and ta'en thy wages;Golden lads and girls all mustAs chimney sweepers come to dustFear no the frown o' the great;Thou art past the tyrant's strokeCare no to clothe and eat;To thee the reed is as the oakThe sceptre learning physic mustAll follow this and come to dustFear no the lightning flashNor the all dreaded thunder stone;Fear not slander censure rash;Thou hast finished joy and moan;All lovers young all lovers mustConsign to thee and come to dustNo exorciser harm theeNor no witchcraft charm theeGhost unlaid forbear theeNothing ill come near theeuiet consummation have;And renownéd be thy grave”

  3. James James says:

    Book Review 3 out of 5 stars to Cymbeline a play written in 1611 by William Shakespeare I read this during a Shakespeare course in college and then watched a film version My review covers both There seems to be a very dark aura surrounding the characters and the setting All of the characters seem to be angry with each other as though they do not like each other Cymbeline didn’t get along with his wife nor with his daughter Cymbeline as suppose to be an anxious and frustrated man yet he appeared to be sickly and weak instead The forces in the play were controlled by some other figure instead of how they were in the actual words of the play The set was mostly back with gold trim and the characters were often in silhouette This darkness about the set and characters made the emotions and psychology of the play seem dark also Moshinsky director wanted the characters to appear as though they were alone I definitely got this impression When Imogen was locked in her room trying to find her bracelet the camera went back and forth between her and Cloten serenading her They weren’t in the same room yet there was a divider between them Neither seemed close to anyone They were separate entities The psychological interpretation of these behaviors as directed by Moshinsky was somewhat confusing It seemed as though the director was focusing on optimism as in the death songs of Imogen I suppose the behaviors then would be forgiveness and helpfulness and kindness All three are evident in the play and shown in the film we saw The unraveling scene at the end showed the forgiveness of Iachimo etc It was light hearted by that point As for the meaning of the play it was definitely challenging to me especially after watching the video and seeing a different interpretation than I thought it was When I saw Cloten’s bloody head dripping and Imogen lying next to the bloody body bathing herself in it etc I then saw the dark emotions of death and it’s repercussions However within the death it was portrayed as though it was nothing The psychology here could be shown as the director believing that the play was very dark when in my opinion it was light and happy The only horrible part was the death of Cloten In the text it seemed bloody but not disgusting In the video it was horrific So it was of a murky version than what I expected it to be I was thrown by these dark emotional scenes which was the opposite of how I interpreted the play About Me For those new to me or my reviews here's the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you'll also find TV Film reviews the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the whowhatwhenwhere and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by

  4. Michael Michael says:

    Sprawling and dreamlike Shakespeare's lesser known romance mixes some of his most stunning verse with a convoluted narrative and wooden characters The plot is so intricate that it thwarts attempts to effectively condense or summarize it it takes its inspiration from a tale in Holinshed's Chronicles about the Roman empire's demand that Celtic Britain begin to pay tribute The setting has clear parallels to Jacobean England but the narrative's messiness prevents any thoughtful political takeaways from emerging Many characters populate the world of Cymbeline some of them disposable; all of them though feel secondary to the lines they recite The play's less interested in capturing the audience's attention with a well plotted story or nuanced characters than it is in entrancing viewers with ethereal poetry set against the backdrop of fantastical environments

  5. leynes leynes says:

    When I first started reading this play another reviewer pointed out that it's like Shakespeare just said fuck it I'm using every good idea I ever had in one play and damn she was right Cymbeline is such a wild ride from start to finish that never ceases to be thrilling It has elements of Othello The Winter's Tale King Lear and many of Shakespeare's most revered plays Cymbeline is set in Ancient Britain and concerns itself with the Celtic British King Cymbeline not gonna lie when I started this play I thought Cymbeline would be a woman lmao just goes to show the amazing knowledge that I have of British history The play has been considered a tragedy in the First Folio but modern critics often classify it as a romance or comedy which I would agree with as well In case you're up for a little background knowledge on the whole uarto versus folio spiel that you can whip out at parties to impress absolutely no one Shakespeare was uite popular with his contemporaries but his commitment to the theatre and to the plays in performance is demonstrated by the fact that only about half of his plays appeared in print in his lifetime in slim paperback volumes known as uartos so called because they were made from printers' sheets folded twice to form four leaves eight pages None of them show any sign that he was involved in their publication For him performance was the primary means of publication Luckily for us in 1623 seven years after he died his colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell published his collected plays including the 18 that had not previously appeared in print in the First Folio whose name derives from the fact that printers' sheets were folded only once to produce two leaves four pages Anyways let's get back to Cymbeline It is one of Willie's last plays and a very perplexing work of art It was probably written in the middle of 1610 and managed to connect the primary genres of tragedy and comedy through the phenomenon of wonder It is the story familiar in all Western literature of how children struggle to get free from their parents In Cymbeline all these traditional rites of passage that allow children to detach themselves from their parents without being too damaged in the process are abruptly and disastrously interrupted The mysterious snatching away of the baby princes Guiderius and Arvirargus Britain's break with Rome Imogen's sudden wedding and flight from her father Seen this way a good deal of suffering in Cymbeline can be attributed to fathers and father figured whether it's the kidnapper and substitute father Belarius or the Roman Emperor denying Britain full nationhood or Cymbeline himself peevishly trying to block his daughter's marriage Fathers fail their children in Cymbeline or get in the way or simply become unimportant as they do in most of Shakespeare's work In the play Imogen's exiled husband Posthumus meets Iachimo who challenges the prideful Posthumus to a bet that he can seduce Imogen whom Posthumus has praised for her chastity and then bring Posthumus proof of Imogen's adultery Iachimo heads to Britain where he aggressively attempts to seduce the faithful Imogen who sends him packing Iachimo then hides in a chest in Imogen's bedchamber and when the princess falls asleep emerges to steal from her Posthumus's bracelet He also takes note of the room as well as the mole on Imogen's partly naked body to be able to present false evidence to Posthumus that he has seduced his bride What the audience will ask is whether any harm has been done to Imgoen by his gazing at her and turning her into an image beyond the damage he plans to do to her reputation with Posthumus Has he in any sense raped her or transformed her? Shakespeare opens up several disturbing things in this scene about men and their sexual desires Iachimo is a voyeur and when Imogen falls asleep she becomes vulnerable to his exploitation Due to their similar actions and functions within the play Iachimo naturally reminded me of Othello's Iago remember that damn handkerchief? However I think it is preparedness that ultimately distinguishes the two In Othello Iago's opportunism – his ability to exploit new circumstances and to relish taking a risk even after a temporary setback – differs from the subtle and cautious planning implied by Iachimo arriving with a conjurer's trick boy and fancy explanation about a gift for the Emperor Both men are villains who know how to manipulate their victims' insecurities and jealousies but Iachimo's villainy looks like a careful instrument of some design than the embodiment of capricious and anarchic malice Returning to Italy Iachimo convinces Posthumus that he has successfully seduced Imogen In his wrath Posthumus sends two letters to Britain one to Imogen telling her to meet him at Milford Haven on the Welsh coast; the other to the servant Pisanio ordering him to murder Imogen at the Haven Cloten's main function in the play is to suffer the insults and death that Posthumus deserves Shakespeare breaks with the established image of the blameless hero or husband who in the source material of the play and in all earlier versions of the wager story goes unpunished even though he orders the murder of his own wife Posthumus is naive even beyond what normally happens in this type of test a wife story so easily deluded in fact that his outbursts suffuse he had never fully trusted Imogen Later in the play the departure from this convention of the impeccable hero is even startling when Posthumus regents and feels suicidal that he ordered Pisanio to murder Imogen Posthumus' hysterical loss of self control points to a deep rooted distrust of womenTo protect Posthumus from the ultimate penalty for his crime Shakespeare invented a surrogate for him and then played a joke on the surrogate by giving him an especially appropriate name Cloten – the clot that is the thick lump the clod poll the blockish head But Cloten is linked to Posthumus by than his name The characters significantly never appear onstage together and there are disturbing similarities in the things they plan to do to Imogen to take revenge on her The consensus now is that they are Jekyll and Hyde doubles and that a single actor may have played both parts on the Jacobean stage The closely Cloten resembles Posthumus the darker the play will be Meanwhile Cloten learns of the meeting between Imogen and Posthumus at Milford Haven Dressing himself enviously in Posthumus's clothes he decides to go to Wales to kill Posthumus and then rape abduct and marry ImogenImogen has now been travelling as Fidele through the Welsh mountains her health in decline as she comes to a cave the home of Belarius along with his sons Polydore and Cadwal whom he raised into great hunters These two young men are in fact the British princes Guiderius and Arviragus who themselves do not realise their own origin The men discover Fidele and instantly captivated by a strange affinity for him become fast friends Outside the cave Guiderius is met by Cloten who throws insults leading to a sword fight during which Guiderius beheads Cloten Imogen believing the corpse to be her husband driven by the extremity of her grief bloodies her face from the severed arteries in the man's neck so that together she and he may seem 'the horrid' to those who will chance to find them This is awful and it is awful in a way that goes beyond the horrors of classical tragedy Some of Shakespeare's contemporaries believed that the world of Ancient Britain was purer and primitive than their own because closer in time to the lost Golden Age and not corrupted by Rome and the Pope so perhaps in Cymbeline he set out to show them just how wrong they wereThe play ends with pardons reunions and settled uarrels and with the prophecy explained The concluding lines close in a moment of stasis just before all good things are about to begin If we take a closer look at the reunion between Imogen and Posthumus though we will find another image of dependency fixed for ever When Imogen embraces Posthumus he lifts her up and says Hang there like fruit my soulTill the tree die Tennyson wanted these lines with him on his deathbed he thought them so beautiful but they also tell us something uncomforting about this couple Posthumus says he is the tree and Imogen is the fruit so she will hang pendant from him for ever never ripening and falling always his wife and always his daughter This is especially sickening since Posthumus is such bad weak evil man who blames everyone but himself for his own shortcomings and uestionable actions like ordering the murder of Imogen herself ugh Indeed the rehabilitation of Posthumus at the end of the play is the most difficult task that Shakespeare set himself in Cymbeline and I'm not uite sure if he succeeded not in my book at least Favorite uote Sir I would advise you to shift a shirt; the violence of action hath made you reek as sacrifice is basically Shakespeare's fancy way of saying You stink put on some fresh clothes And I love him for that Favorite stage direction Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning sitting upon an eagle He throws a thunderbolt The ghosts fall on their knees I mean you can't make that shit up Just imagining how they must've staged that in the early 17th century makes me cackle so much What a mess

  6. Corbin Corbin says:

    Imagine that characters from previous plays have ganged up on Shakespeare and threatened to sue him for libel clearly they would never behave in the way he suggests They demand the real story be told He offers a compromise rather than go to the trouble and expense of rewrites and retractions he will write a special play just for them and not interfere at all in the execution of plot In fact the deus ex machina gets to be a character too since it was threatening to report him to OSHA over its use in past plays The characters haul along their favorite plot devices from previous plays and clearly bicker about setting and timeframe Roman Britain Renaissance Italy republican Rome and Henry V's England all manage to coexist without invoking paradox while travel across physical distance seems to take no time at all One is left suspecting the offscreen involvement of Dr Who and his TARDIS contraption Nonetheless the play turns out surprisingly well with rather realistic characters and a plot that is comely and well formed The story goes something like thisTwenty years ago King Lear unjustly banished Prospero who took revenge by stealing the king's two infant sons Lear's wife dies so he remarries; Lady Macbeth Gertrude and Tamora agree to share this character and get up to no end of trouble in their attempts to put their son Chiron Demetrius Troilus on the throne Lear's remaining daughter now grown is a pragmatic mix of Viola and Juliet who occasionally channels Cressida's propensity for mouthing off; she refuses to marry Troilus instead marrying Othello a foundling in the court without permission Under the urging of the ueen Lear imprisons Viola and exiles Othello to Medici Italy Punishment indeed Meanwhile Lady Macbeth acuires what she thinks is a deadly poison but actually turns out to be Juliet's famed sleeping draft and gives it to Viola's loyal servant Benvolio Horatio as medicine In Italy Othello strikes a Merchant of Venice bargain with Iago who is also Puck and Harleuin betting fat stacks of cash that Harleuin can't seduce his wife Harleuin travels to Roman Britain and attempts to do so Viola turns into an offended Wendy Wellesley and later Harleuin sneaks into Viola's bedchamber to and catch a look at her boobies Presenting the ring and intimate knowledge of said boobies as evidence Harleuin convinces Othello that he really has slept with his wife Othello spurts out two scenes of mysogynistic doggerel and orders Horatio to kill Viola Instead Horatio spirits Viola away to Wales helps her disguise herself as a man and hatches a mad scheme to fake her death offer her service as a page to Marc Antony who is headed to Lear's court to discuss tribute payments to Rome Viola gets lost in the Welsh wilderness but falls in with Prospero and her two brothers She would have stayed there of course but falls ill and takes Horatio's medicine which causes her to fall into a coma for a while Taken for dead she is given a proper funeral by her brothers Meanwhile Troilus whines Lady Macbeth flatters Lear into playing Henry V Lear is Lear so he really can't pull it off They refuse to pay tribute Marc Antony vaguely attempts to reason with them and they end up at war with Rome Troilus pursues Viola to Wales intent on seeing her boobies in the Biblical sense Naturally he gets himself lopped in half by one of the lost princes which is how Troilus and Cressida should have ended Viola wakes up after the funeral to find Troilus's dead body sans head dressed in her husband's clothes; she concludes that it's all a nasty plot of Horatio's that he has killed Othello and meant the poison to kill her Marc Antony and his retinue pass by and seeing her grief at a slain captain offers to take her on as a page; she consents though she is no longer trying to emigrate to Italy Meanwhile Othello feels some remorse for having his wife slain Seeing no further point in living and bound by anachronistic Catholic notions regarding suicide everybody goes to war with everybody British forces very nearly lose but then Prospero and the two renegade princes show up and the three of them defeat the entire Roman army Othello Marc Antony Viola and Horatio are taken as prisoners of war Just in time for the last scene Deus Ex Machina gets to dress up as Zeus for a scene bumbles through his first real lines in the entire corpus of Shakespearean literature and uses magic tricks to make everyone listen to one another's explanations Lady Macbeth dies of a fever not a broken heart since she doesn't have one never suffers madness or remorse and makes her deathbed confessions only because Zeus compels her to do so Everybody forgives everybody Lear issues official pardons Viola and Othello are named next in line for the throne Britain starts paying Rome tribute again despite winning the war and everybody lives happily every after Except Troilus Which is as it should beAll in all I can't help thinking that Shakespeare would have been better off giving his characters freer rein They were clearly better at plotting though they relied on him for snappypoetic dialogue This might have been an exceptional play in fact if only the characters and author had been on speaking termsexit stage left followed by a bear

  7. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    I cannot sing I'll weep and word it with theeFor notes of sorrow out of tune are worseThan priests and fanes that lie William Shakespeare CymbelineNot a great Shakespeare play It has a few good lines and seems to follow the path cut by earlier jealousy plays like The Winter's Tale and Othello I think if grouped with these two it is the runt of the jealous litter My favorite uote about this play or this point in Shakespeare's life comes from Lytton Strachey who said it is difficult to resist the conclusion that he Shakespeare was getting bored himself Bored with people bored with real life bored with drama bored in fact with everything except poetry and poetical dreams I tend to agree This seems a bit dashed off A bit loose and ended a bit too happy While I don't need everyone to die like in Hamlet I prefer my Shakespeare endings to be complex uneven human The deaths in this play still seemed to contain very little drama to them And to be sure the IDEA of the play was an interesting one I think if Shakespeare had written this earlier in his life or if he had energy toward the end of his life this might have been able to achieve something between Winter's Tale and Othello One note I might have even given it only 2 stars but Act IV Scene 2 is amazing Belarius has some great lines and the funeral song is amazing I'm normally not a fan of Shakespeare's songs but this one was amazingFavorite lines “I am glad I was up so late for that's the reason I was up so early” Act 2 Scene 3 “The game is up” Act 3 Scene 3 Fear no the heat o' the sunNor the furious winter's rages;Thou thy worldly task hast doneHome art gone and ta'en thy wagesGolden lads and girls all mustAs chimney sweepers come to dust Act 4 Scene 2 The ground that gave them first has them again Their pleasures here are past so is thie pain Act 4 Scene 2 “Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered” Act 4 Scene 3

  8. Alan Alan says:

    Cymbeline I considered a difficult play to stage until a surprisingly coherent version at the Huntington Theater in 1991 directed by Larry Carpenter My grad school classmate Peter Altman ran the Huntington back then But reading it under the Trumpster makes all Iachimo’s lies problematic; our context changes the register of the play disenchants it Wonder about the Boston Shakespeare Project production the matinee on Boston Commons today 3 Aug 19 directed by my favorite director of all Fred Sullivan of the Gamm and Trinity Suare in Pawtucket and Providence His comedies are especially effective but I shall miss this because of prior commitments So many Shakespeare villains articulate truths like Iago and here the clod Cloten whose assault on the married Imogen gave me the title to my book on Shakespeare and popular culture which I called Meaner Parties Cloten says of her marriage to Leonatus “It is no contract none;And though it be allowed in meaner partiesto knit their souls On whom there is no dependency But brats and beggary in self figur’d knot Yet you are curbedby the conseuence of a crown”IIiii116ff He refers to canon law’s accepting in York Minster's Dean Swinburne’s Of Spousals handshake marriages—as long as there were witnesses to the vows spoken along with the ring or token By the way three centuries before DeBeers engagement and marriage rings weren't distinct; both could be military or wax sealrings I first read Swinburne’s Of Spousals written in 1604 published in 1680's in the Harvard Law School Library Treasure Room My brother who went to Harvard Divinity said Swinburne’s book had been in the Divinity Library which did not have ample funds to protect it I applied Swinburne and Lawcourt studies to plays with handfast marriages MFM All's Well and Cymbeline A couple scenes prior to Cloten here Iachimo comes to England with a letter of endorsement part of a bet from Posthumus Leonatus Ivi Posthumus had been exiled to Italy by Cymbelene for displacing the new ueen’s execrable son Cloten in Imogen’s affection—in fact marrying her As in Merchant of Venice where Shylock compares his daughter and his ducats his dearest possessions Posthumous compares Imogen’s gift ring and herself; to Iachimo’s taunt “I have not seen the most precious diamond that there is nor you the lady” Posthumus rejoins “I praised her as I rated her so do I my stone” Iachimo even refers to Imogen as “she your jewel” to accompany the diamond “this your jewel”Iiv153 Having set up so close a comparison—indeed an identity— between the token jewel and the lover jewel no wonder Posthumus falls apart when Iachimo brings back the bracelet he’d stolen from Imogen Posthumus’s friend Philario notes he is “uite beyond the government of patience”IIiv150—rather like a certain new Supreme Court judge Later confessing to King Cymbeline’s inuiry “How came it yours?” about the diamond on his finger Iachimo blurts out that he defamed Imogen with token evidence “that he could not But think her bond of chastity uite crack’d I having taken this forfeit”Vv206 Posthumus need not have so concluded had he not merged token and person so strongly in his own mind But Renaissance marriage court records fill with rings and bracelets betokening contract whereas in fact it was the words accompanying the token the vow that counted in law What we call domestic court were then in church canon courts like Deacon Swinburne’s in York Minster the room still exists with three judge chairs on a raised dias now used as a vestry Shakespeare’s plays feature tokens and vows Cymbeline could have learned how to run a ring court from the King of France in All’s Well And of course Twelfth Night boasts the most rings of the Bard’s plays See my “Early Modern Rings and Vows in TN” in Twelfth Night New Critical Essays NY Routledge 2011 ed James Schiffer Note I uote from my old Harrison edition which uses Iachimo not Jachimo but I uote a bit from Wells and Taylor Compact edition 1992 I shall add on birds in the play Ruddock euro Robin and Puttock bird of prey and others meaner in Elizabethan usage lower status parties in the legal senseaverage Joes and Jo's

  9. Cindy Rollins Cindy Rollins says:

    Cymbeline is not one of Shakespeare's best known plays but it certainly one of the easiest to read It mostly takes place in Roman ruled Britain It has an evil stepmother and her unworthy son a princess and prince and two lost princes It has weird medicine intrigue and battles It is full of interesting characters and happenings But most of all it is satisfying in the way it handles sin and repentance Where there is repentance there is forgiveness for even the most heinous crimes Where there is lack of repentance there is death and agony Many of the characters make mistakes and most of them acknowledge them We are nearing the end of Shakespeare's plays as we reach this play It comes on the heels of that terror of a play King Lear I like to think Cymbeline shows a depth of understanding of the wages of sin and the availability of forgiveness in Shakespeare's own life It would be fun to translate all the Roman names I am sure they are all purposefully named beginning with the orphan Posthumous

  10. David Sarkies David Sarkies says:

    All Roads Lead to Milford Haven2 December 2017 Sydney Here I am sitting in a pub on my laptop though a part of me feels that maybe I shouldn't be sitting on my laptop in this pub though it isn't anywhere near as bad as some pubs I've been to Yep I'm still in Sydney wandering around the place and taking heaps of photos of old buildings that I'll probably never use after sorting them though they might land up on Flickr one of these days though that is a big maybe because my camera euipment is pretty shocking However since I've finished another book I probably better get around to writing a review before my thoughts flee my head Oh and while they do have free wifi the amount of info they want namely a Facebook checkin is a little too concerning so I'll just turn my phone into a wifi hotspot A friend of mine suggested that artists usually only have around a decade of gems and then they start to get a little old and tired Well that isn't always the case because you do have ueen and Pink Floyd though they did manage to reinvent themselves during their time in the sun However Shakespeare seemed to set a pretty high standard in that he was writing plays over a period of 25 odd years and seemed to just get better and better as time went on though his couple of comeback performances were pretty substandard – Henry VIII However a number of his later plays don't seem to be performed as much as say his great tragedies – I'm sure somewhere in the world at this very moment somebody is playing Macbeth well I'm probably exaggerating a little since the French really don't care for Shakespeare because they have their own playwrights that they adore So Cymbeline is one of the later plays but seems to be a combination of numerous other elements of his earlier plays For instance we have a woman fleeing into the forest and disguising herself as a boy in the process We have that same woman drinking a sleeping potion and then everybody mistaking her as being dead We even have numerous cases of mistaken identities jilted lovers and husbands being kicked out of the kingdom because they married somebody that they shouldn't have Throw in a wicked stepmother and an eually monstrous stepbrother and you have a play that pretty much has everything in it However as I have mentioned it doesn't seem to be performed anywhere near as much as some of the popular plays though the Royal Shakespeare Company did do it uite recently The play is mainly set in England during the reign of Augustus Caesar The titular character is the king of England or Britain as it was back then and discovers that his daughter Imogen has married a guy named Posthumous which means born after his father's death which displeases him somewhat so he kicks Posthumous out of the country All the while the ueen is attempting to get rid of Imogen since in doing so opens up the way for her son Clotus to take the throne Anyway Posthumous travels to Rome where he enters into a bet with a merchant Iachimo that his wife would be faithful to him so Iachimo travels to Britain attempts to seduce Imogen and fails So decides that he will cheat hide in a chest and wait for her to go to sleep and then not only steal the bracelet that Posthumous gave her but also have a sneak peak under her bodice so as to have something intimate to tell Posthumous Posthumous no doubt having been fooled by Iachimo sends a note to Imogen suggesting that she head off to the town of Milford Haven but sends a second letter ordering her to be killed on the way Well this is certainly starting to look pretty complex and we aren't even into the Milford Haven bit nor have I mentioned the fact that Imogen has two brothers but they vanished at birth and are believed to be dead Shakespeare does in his traditional style manage to bring everything together though the final scene where that happens and everything is forgiven and forgotten turns out to be one of the longest closing scenes in his canon It is also interesting in that it doesn't neatly fall into the category of comedy nobody gets married at the end and it certainly isn't a tragedy but it certainly is uite a lot of fun when you eventually see a good performance of it I have to comment on the character of Posthumous though because this whole idea of making a bet with somebody that his wife will be faithful to him is somewhat chauvinistic and probably proves that the partner is probably not worth spending all that much time with and it also sounds as if he is pretty possessive and untrustworthy since he believes Iachio at face value In fact I've heard of stories where one partner in an attempt to see if the other partner is faithful to basically set up a trap by having somebody attempt to seduce the partner and the report back the results However these particular relationships eventually come crashing down as soon as the partner finds out what is going on This concept of distrust in a relationship does seem to run deep in our psyche – a part of us seems to what to believe that our partner is being unfaithful to the point that we will even pay huge sums of money to place them under surveillance forget the Maltese Falcon this is where the big bucks are made with regards to private investigations We also see the idea of the centre and the fringe in this play though interestingly we have three main locations – Rome Britain and Milford Haven Whereas Britain is on the fringes of the Roman Empire Milford Haven lies outside the empire in the wilderness beyond In a way it is a wild and savage land and people travel there to get beyond the reach of the power of Rome This is particularly evident when the Roman Legions descend upon Milford Haven and are promptly defeated It is here that Imogen flees from the clutches of the ueen but in doing so disguises her self – just as Rosalind must disguise herself when she flees into the Forest of Arden Yet unlike the Forest of Arden Milford Haven doesn't seem to have this civilising calm on those who enter but rather it is a dangerous realm Clotus is killed upon entering the Romans are defeated and even Imogen falls sick In the end Cymbeline does not remain here but rather pulls back into London where there is at least a semblance of peace and order The version that I watched recently was interesting because they made connections between the play and Brexit In a way Rome could easily be substituted with Brussels and Milford Haven as the wilds of a post European Britain There is this constant struggle between a desire for stability and a desire for independence Cymbeline goes with the former despite the fact that the Romans were defeated since Rome offers a sense of security a situation that collapsed when they eventually pulled out centuries later In another sense though Rome is seen by the English at least at the time as being somehow related Monmoth wrote in his history of the Kings of Britain that the first king was actually a Trojan that chose not to settle with Aeneas but to continue on to another land and he also suggests that before the arrival of the Trojans the British Isles were ruled by giants I could go on about Brexit however I think I'll leave it at that and instead point you to a blog post that I wrote earlier on the RSC version of the play that I saw

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Cymbeline ❴Download❵ ➵ Cymbeline Author William Shakespeare – 2012 Academic eBook Edition with Interactive Table of Contents Incl Characters of the Play A Summary of the Play Themes of the Play Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V 200 Famous Shakespeare uotes a Sha Academic eBook Edition with Interactive Table of Contents Incl Characters of the Play A Summary of the Play Themes of the Play Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V Famous Shakespeare uotes a Shakespeare A Z Word Dictionary.

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  • 239 pages
  • Cymbeline
  • William Shakespeare
  • English
  • 05 October 2014

About the Author: William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare baptised April was an English poet and playwright widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre eminent dramatist He is often called England's national poet and the Bard of Avon or simply The Bard His surviving works consist of plays sonnets two long narrative poems and several other poems His plays have been tr.