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Cymbeline (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  5,463 Ratings  ·  322 Reviews
Not only is Imogen, King Cymbeline's daughter, persecuted by her evil stepmother, but her husband Posthumus has been told by his roguish friend Iachimo that Imogen has been unfaithful to him. Disguised as a boy, Imogen sets out to find Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the courts as infants and brought up in rustic innocence, un ...more
Audio CD, 27 pages
Published March 2nd 2005 by AudioGO (first published 1611)
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Bill  Kerwin

I've read this play three times, and I've found that the longer the time that has elapsed 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 instru
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-fiction
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
Jan 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 o ...more
Luís C.
Until last sunny days and as long as I live,
I will come true, perfume your tomb of the most beautiful flowers of summer:
The flower that resembles what had your face, pale primrose,
Do not miss; or hyacinth, were cerulean as your veins,
Neither the sheet rose hip floral, balmy least that was your sweet breath.
Liz Janet
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one dies, a guy named Posthumus marries the king’s daughter without permission, and then Jupiter comes down from heaven and shouts at people what the hell is going on.
Grace Crandall
For some reason, this read like a very odd, dystopian retelling of Snow White, with equal shares of witty one-liners and deep, soul-searching soliloquies.
The two things that confuse me most about this play are:
First, the fact that it is called 'Cymbeline'. King Cymbeline spends most of the play being a bit of a lump, while Imogen, Pisanio, Posthumus and Iachimo do many interesting things--being exiled, going into hiding, accidentally poisoning each other (but not fatally, thank heavens).
and s
Jan 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Lesser Shakespeare is still great poetry, wonderful dialogue and imaginative set pieces and very entertaining. Cymbeline has more improbable elements than several Shakespeare plays combined, including divine intervention, a woman disguised as a man, royal sons thought dead, a father who forbids his daughter to wed a worthy man whom she loves so she might marry an unworthy man she loathes, an evil step-mother, a naïve wager to test true love, a sister stumbling into the care and immediate affecti ...more
Vane J.
Imogen is the daughter of the king Cymbeline. She wants to marry a guy (Posthumus Leonatus), but her father wants her to marry another one. She secretly marries Posthumus, but Cymbeline banishes him. In his exile, he starts bragging about how chaste his wife is. This calls some men's attention. Well, to make a long story short, I'm just going to say that there are some lies, jealousy, mistakes and that in the end, there's a huge conflict to solve.

When I started this book, I thought it was going
Cindy Rollins
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Evi Routoula
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ένα από τα τελευταία έργα του βάρδου, δεν κατάφερε ποτέ να γίνει ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλές στον κόσμο, ίσως γιατί δεν είναι ούτε τραγωδία ούτε κωμωδία ούτε ανήκει στα ιστορικά του. Ο Κυμβελίνος παραπαίει ανάμεσα και από τα τρία προαναφερόμενα είδη: έχει στιγμές τραγικές, έχει ιδιαίτερα κωμικούς διαλόγους και διαθέτει και ιστορικό υπόβαθρο. Ξανασυναντάμε για άλλη μια φορά τα θέματα που ενδιέφεραν τον συγγραφέα: η γυναικεία πίστη που δοκιμάζεται, η μεταμόρφωση της ηρωίδας σε νεαρό αγόρι, οι δηλητηριώδει ...more
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Cymbeline is my favorite Shakespeare play. And I love Shakespeare, so that’s saying a lot. Really, what isn’t there to like in this Romance? It’s got star-crossed lovers, poison, war, cross-dressing, swordfighting, mistaken identities, a headless corpse, deaths, reunions, and some of the best and funniest lines Shakespeare ever wrote. Oh, not to mention the actual Deus Ex Machina. Does it get any better than that? No, I do not think it does.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to excite a youth's interest in Shakespeare, this is not the way to do it.
Jun 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The complete rejection of any pretense of plausability has a long and beautiful history.

I really enjoyed this one. I actually explained about half the plot to some of my co-workers (they asked! I swear!) and managed to interest them to the extent that they started to lean imperceptibly forward and start staring at a distant hole in the floor and nod, grunting little affirmative sounds of recognition as I laid out most of act 2 and 3...the important stuff, anyway. I ain't no freak.

I picked it up on whim because it wasn't one of Billy Shakes' more well-known texts and nobody really
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hörspiele, classics
Cymbeline gehört nicht zu den bekannten Stücken Shakespeares. Normalerweise ist das (für mich) ein Zeichen dafür, dass die Geschichte eher mäßig ist. Bisher traf das auch zu, nur in diesem Fall nicht.
Cymbeline spielt im Britannien zur Zeit der Römer. Cymbeline ist König von Britannien, der leider nur eine Tochter namens Imogen hat. Seine zweite Ehefrau, Imogens Stiefmutter, hat einen Sohn aus erster Ehe (kommt irgendwie bekannt vor, die klassische böse Stiefmutter). Nun muss Imogen einen Prinzen
Noor Ferdous
Mar 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Just ugh.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cymbeline is known as one of the "problem plays." It was classed as a tragedy in the First Folio and generally continues to be classed that way, but it's really defined by the way it bends genre. Like a History, it takes it's name for the King even though he doesn't play the lead role and is set in England (although the pagan England of Lear). Like a Comedy, it includes cross-dressing and mistaken identity and has three major concurrent narratives that reconcile at the end with a body count of o ...more
Alp Turgut
William Shakespeare’in Boccacio’nun “Decameron” başyapıtındaki ikinci günde anlatılan dokuzuncu hikayeden esinlenerek oyunlaştırdığı “Cymbeline”, yazarın tüm imzalarını taşıyan oldukça başarılı ve okuması keyifli romanslarından biri. Gücünü yine klasik Shakespeare tesadüflerinden alan oyunun okudukça daha da karışık bir hal alan olay örgüsü okuyucuyu merak içinde bırakmayı başarıyor. Her ne kadar hikayenin sonunun “Decameron” sayesinde biliyor olsam da sonunda neler olacağını öğrenmek için oyunu ...more
ნინო ქერდიყოშვილი
პოსტჰუმუსმა კი გაგვანადგურა ქალების მოდგმა, მიწასთან გაგვასწორა(ნწნწნწ;დდ ვხუმრობ,არაფერს ნიშნავს ეგ,თუმცაღა მაინც ;დდდ),მაგრააამ ეს მარტო ეს სიტყვები რად ღირს :
"გამოცდილებით იცით,რომ ხოჭოს ემუქრება ნაკლები საფრთხზე ,ვ
იდრე ფრთაგაშლილს ცაში არწივს;"

"მედილეგეზე უფრო თავისუფალო სახრჩობელაზე ჩამოკიდებული კაცია.მკვდარს ურდულო აღარ ეკითხება",
დააა სულ რომ არაფერი, 'ზოგჯერ დაცემა ამაღლების საწინდარია.'
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cymbeline is definitely one of Shakespeare's most underrated works. He takes a lot of plot devices that he used in his other plays, and combined them all to make this very entertaining, if slightly crazy, play.
Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
I should've had this read 2 weeks ago seeing as my final is this Saturday but oh well, better late than never! This was alright. Not my favourite, not my least favourite. It doesn't really stand out, it's just average.
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ask the average person who is well-versed in English literature to name all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays, and how far will they get? Most could probably name at least twenty plays. A fair number of people might even be able to name thirty.

Now consider which plays will be forgotten or not known to them. There is a reasonable chance that Cymbeline will fall on this list. This is surprising because the play is something of a hidden gem that has much to commend it.

There are a number of good reasons why
John Pistelli
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, early-modern
It seems obligatory when discussing Shakespeare’s late romance Cymbeline to begin with Samuel Johnson’s dismissal of it:
This play has many just sentiments, some natural dialogues, and some pleasing scenes, but they are obtained at the expense of much incongruity. To remark the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the conduct, the confusion of the names and manners of different times, and the impossibility of the events in any system of life, were to waste criticism upon unresisting imbecility,
Rachel Jackson
Cymbeline has a little of everything: strained familial relations, a bizarre love triangle, disguise and deceit and a war to top it all off. None of those things are particularly rare in a Shakespeare play, but the pace at which all of these things are introduced, complicated and resolved is so fast that none of them gets a chance to really develop long enough. Having read it only once thus far, I imagine it will be easier to understand everything the second and subsequent read-throughs.

Bill combines three elements here that you will not find elsewhere in Shakespearedom: 1- man is tricked into thinking his significant other has been unfaithful 2- person is thought to be dead after consuming some concoction 3- woman dressed like a man fools everybody
Ben Dutton
Cymbeline is a strange thing – it has many fans: hell, Tennyson had it buried with him! It has its detractors. It is something of a difficult play, for it is a complex beast, seemingly made up of parts of Shakespeare’s earlier works (switched identities here, faked deaths there), and glides between comedy and tragedy.

It is one of those works that I suspect improves upon a second reading. I’ve read it only once and it seemed there was so much going on, and such a vast cast of characters, subplot
Perchance I see why E. Bishop favored this tragedy, which is kinda modern in its happy ending ("Nobly doom'd!" V.v.420). Imogen, unlike Desdemona or Hermione, responds to charges against her virtue with indignation, without simpering, for her vision is so taken by Leonatus that

I see before me, man; nor here, nor here,
Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them,
That I cannot look through. (III.ii.77-9)

and her ethical foundations are in the sanctity of his being: "The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus
Jade Heslin
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a re-reading as I didn’t have time to fully enjoy this story when I was writing uni essays on it. Yuk.

Cymbeline is severely underrated and should be amongst Shakey’s most famous works. The characters are compelling, the storyline gripping and the language beautiful.
First of all take, Imogen –One of my favourite Shakepearean heroines – gutsy and bold, she dishonours her father (the King) by marrying the lowly Posthumous. Daddy finds out about this and goes mental, exiling Posthu
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jealousy, deception, disguises, romance. The work has elements similar to many Shakespearean comedies, and to tragedies, like "Othello." But it is not really a tragedy so much as a romance. Like Desdemona in Othello, Imogen unfairly earns the wrath of Posthumus, but, unlike Othello, Posthumus orders Imogen killed rather than doing the wretched deed himself. Posthumus' servant Pisanio, rather than taking Imogen's life as he is ordered, warns her and directs her to safety. The play, unlike most Sh ...more
I like the unsuccessful Shakespeare plays because they feel like they were written by a human being, not a deity. I could probably write a better play than Henry V. (I looked up “Shakespeare’s worst play” on the Internet, and that was the first result.) As a matter of fact, George Bernard Shaw re-wrote this one, entitling it Cymbeline Refinished.

I always thought Cymbeline was a woman. Probably everyone did. In fact, he was a king, who ruled England circa 9-42 AD. But he barely appears in this st
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Fine introduction 2 15 Aug 11, 2013 04:44AM  
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  • Heartbreak House
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) 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 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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“Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renownéd be thy grave!”
“Hang there like a fruit, my soul, Till the tree die!

-Posthumus Leonatus
Act V, Scene V”
More quotes…