List iconCymbelineList icon

Cymbeline
Act 5, scene 2

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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 2
Enter Lucius, Iachimo, and the Roman army at one
door, and the Briton army at another, Leonatus Posthumus
following like a poor soldier. They march over and
go out.
 Then enter again, in skirmish, Iachimo and
Posthumus.
 He vanquisheth and disarmeth Iachimo,
and then leaves him.


IACHIMO 
 The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
 Takes off my manhood. I have belied a lady,
 The Princess of this country, and the air on ’t
 Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
5 A very drudge of nature’s, have subdued me
 In my profession? Knighthoods and honors, borne
 As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.
 If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
 This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
10 Is that we scarce are men and you are gods.
He exits.

205
Cymbeline
ACT 5. SC. 3

The battle continues. The Britons fly; Cymbeline is
taken. Then enter, to his rescue, Belarius as Morgan,
Guiderius as Polydor, and Arviragus as Cadwal.


BELARIUS, as Morgan 
 Stand, stand! We have th’ advantage of the ground.
 The lane is guarded. Nothing routs us but
 The villainy of our fears.
GUIDERIUS, as Polydor, and ARVIRAGUS, as Cadwal  Stand, stand, and fight!

Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons. They rescue
Cymbeline and exit.
 Then enter Lucius, Iachimo, and
Imogen as Fidele.


LUCIUS, to Fidele 
15 Away, boy, from the troops, and save thyself,
 For friends kill friends, and the disorder’s such
 As war were hoodwinked.
IACHIMO  ’Tis their fresh supplies.
LUCIUS 
 It is a day turned strangely. Or betimes
20 Let’s reinforce, or fly.
They exit.