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Cymbeline
Act 4, 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 Cymbeline, Lords, Pisanio, and Attendants.

CYMBELINE 
 Again, and bring me word how ’tis with her.
An Attendant exits.
 A fever, with the absence of her son;
 A madness, of which her life’s in danger. Heavens,
 How deeply you at once do touch me! Imogen,
5 The great part of my comfort, gone; my queen
 Upon a desperate bed, and in a time
 When fearful wars point at me; her son gone,
 So needful for this present. It strikes me past
 The hope of comfort.—But for thee, fellow,
10 Who needs must know of her departure and
 Dost seem so ignorant, we’ll enforce it from thee
 By a sharp torture.
PISANIO  Sir, my life is yours.
 I humbly set it at your will. But for my mistress,
15 I nothing know where she remains, why gone,
 Nor when she purposes return. Beseech your
 Highness,
 Hold me your loyal servant.
LORD  Good my liege,
20 The day that she was missing, he was here.
 I dare be bound he’s true and shall perform
 All parts of his subjection loyally. For Cloten,
 There wants no diligence in seeking him,
 And will no doubt be found.
CYMBELINE 25 The time is troublesome.
 To Pisanio. We’ll slip you for a season, but our jealousy
 Does yet depend.
LORD  So please your Majesty,
 The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn,
30 Are landed on your coast with a supply
 Of Roman gentlemen by the Senate sent.

193
Cymbeline
ACT 4. SC. 4

CYMBELINE 
 Now for the counsel of my son and queen!
 I am amazed with matter.
LORD  Good my liege,
35 Your preparation can affront no less
 Than what you hear of. Come more, for more you’re
 ready.
 The want is but to put those powers in motion
 That long to move.
CYMBELINE 40 I thank you. Let’s withdraw,
 And meet the time as it seeks us. We fear not
 What can from Italy annoy us, but
 We grieve at chances here. Away.
They exit. Pisanio remains.
PISANIO 
 I heard no letter from my master since
45 I wrote him Imogen was slain. ’Tis strange.
 Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise
 To yield me often tidings. Neither know I
 What is betid to Cloten, but remain
 Perplexed in all. The heavens still must work.
50 Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
 These present wars shall find I love my country,
 Even to the note o’ th’ King, or I’ll fall in them.
 All other doubts, by time let them be cleared.
 Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
He exits.