List iconCymbeline:
Act 1, scene 3
List icon

Act 1, scene 3



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Entire Play

Cymbeline, which takes place in ancient Britain, is filled with hidden identities, extraordinary schemes, and violent acts. Long ago, the…

Act 1, scene 1

At the court of King Cymbeline, the princess, Imogen, has secretly married a gentleman named Posthumus Leonatus. Imogen is the…

Act 1, scene 2

An encounter between Cloten and Posthumus, reported in 1.1, is here discussed by Cloten and two lords.

Act 1, scene 3

Posthumus’s servant, Pisanio, describes to the grieving Imogen the departure of Posthumus toward Rome.

Act 1, scene 4

Posthumus arrives in Rome, where an Italian gentleman, Iachimo, maneuvers him into placing a bet on Imogen’s chastity. Posthumus bets…

Act 1, scene 5

The queen obtains a box that she is told contains poison. (The audience is told that the box actually contains…

Act 1, scene 6

Iachimo arrives in Britain and begins his attempt to seduce Imogen by telling her that Posthumus is betraying her with…

Act 2, scene 1

Cloten and two lords discuss the arrival of Iachimo. The Second Lord, in soliloquy, expresses the hope that Imogen will…

Act 2, scene 2

As Imogen sleeps, the trunk that she is keeping for Iachimo opens, and Iachimo emerges. Before climbing back into it,…

Act 2, scene 3

Cloten serenades Imogen in an attempt to win her love. Imogen enrages Cloten by saying that he is not as…

Act 2, scene 4

Iachimo returns to Rome with his proofs of Imogen’s unfaithfulness: descriptions of her bedroom and of private marks on her…

Act 2, scene 5

Posthumus, in soliloquy, attacks women as the embodiment of all that is vicious.

Act 3, scene 1

Caius Lucius arrives as ambassador from Augustus Caesar, demanding that Cymbeline pay the tribute Britain owes to Rome. With the…

Act 3, scene 2

Pisanio receives two letters from Posthumus—one in which Pisanio is instructed to kill Imogen, and another written to Imogen, telling…

Act 3, scene 3

Three men enter as if from a cave, the two younger men protesting the limitations of their mountain lives. When…

Act 3, scene 4

On the journey to Milford Haven, Pisanio reveals to Imogen that he is supposed to kill her. She is so…

Act 3, scene 5

When Imogen’s absence from court is discovered, Cloten forces Pisanio to tell him where she is. Pisanio shows him the…

Act 3, scene 6

Imogen, disguised as a boy named Fidele, stumbles, exhausted and famished, into the cave of Belarius and the two young…

Act 3, scene 7

A Roman senator announces that the Roman army attacking Britain will be under the control of Caius Lucius and that…

Act 4, scene 1

Cloten, dressed in Posthumus’s garments, arrives at the spot where he plans to cut off Posthumus’s head and rape Imogen.

Act 4, scene 2

Imogen, not feeling well, takes the potion given her by Pisanio, thinking it is a restorative; the potion puts her…

Act 4, scene 3

Cymbeline finds himself alone in the face of the Roman attack, with Imogen and Cloten both missing and the queen…

Act 4, scene 4

The young princes persuade Belarius that the three of them should join with the Britons against Rome.

Act 5, scene 1

Posthumus, in Britain as part of the Roman army, repents Imogen’s (reported) murder and decides to seek death by joining…

Act 5, scene 2

In a series of battles, Posthumus (disguised as a peasant) defeats and disarms Iachimo; the Britons flee and Cymbeline is…

Act 5, scene 3

Posthumus, still seeking death and failing to find it as a poor British soldier, reverts to his earlier role as…

Act 5, scene 4

Posthumus, in chains, falls asleep and is visited by the ghosts of his dead family and by the god Jupiter,…

Act 5, scene 5

Cymbeline knights Belarius and the two young men in gratitude for their valor, and sends in search of the poor…

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Scene 3
Enter Imogen and Pisanio.

 I would thou grew’st unto the shores o’ th’ haven
 And questionedst every sail. If he should write
 And I not have it, ’twere a paper lost
 As offered mercy is. What was the last
5 That he spake to thee?
PISANIO  It was his queen, his queen!

ACT 1. SC. 3

 Then waved his handkerchief?
PISANIO  And kissed it, madam.
 Senseless linen, happier therein than I.
10 And that was all?
PISANIO  No, madam. For so long
 As he could make me with this eye or ear
 Distinguish him from others, he did keep
 The deck, with glove or hat or handkerchief
15 Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ’s mind
 Could best express how slow his soul sailed on,
 How swift his ship.
IMOGEN  Thou shouldst have made him
 As little as a crow, or less, ere left
20 To after-eye him.
PISANIO  Madam, so I did.
 I would have broke mine eyestrings, cracked them,
 To look upon him till the diminution
25 Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle;
 Nay, followed him till he had melted from
 The smallness of a gnat to air; and then
 Have turned mine eye and wept. But, good Pisanio,
 When shall we hear from him?
PISANIO 30 Be assured, madam,
 With his next vantage.
 I did not take my leave of him, but had
 Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him
 How I would think on him at certain hours
35 Such thoughts and such; or I could make him swear
 The shes of Italy should not betray
 Mine interest and his honor; or have charged him
 At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight

ACT 1. SC. 4

 T’ encounter me with orisons, for then
40 I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
 Give him that parting kiss which I had set
 Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father,
 And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
 Shakes all our buds from growing.

Enter a Lady.

LADY 45 The Queen, madam,
 Desires your Highness’ company.
IMOGEN, to Pisanio 
 Those things I bid you do, get them dispatched.
 I will attend the Queen.
PISANIO  Madam, I shall.
They exit.