Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cymbeline” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition


3.57  ·  Rating details ·  5,974 Ratings  ·  367 Reviews

This is the first new, full-scale edition of Cymbeline in 37 years. One of Shakespeare's final works, Cymbeline uses virtuoso theatrical and poetic means to dramatize a story of marriage imperiled by mistrust and painfully rebuilt in the context of international conflict. Roger Warren's commentary emphasizes the play's theatrical impact and pays close attention to its comp

Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 30th 1965 by Penguin Classics (first published 1611)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cymbeline, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cymbeline

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
"I cannot sing. I'll weep, and word it with thee,
For notes of sorrow out of tune are worse
Than priests and fanes that lie."

- William Shakespeare, Cymbeline


Not 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 quote about this play (or this point in Shakespeare's life) comes from Lytton Strachey, who said it is "diffic
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bir şeyler söyle, okuduğumda
Beni öldürecek darbelerin şiddetini azaltır belki sözlerin.
Bir arkadaşımın övgüleri üzerine bu kitabı çok merak ederek almıştım ve o kadar memnun kaldım ki umarım yorumumda yeterince anlatabilirim. Açıkçası kitabı şiir kitabı olarak hep aklımda tutmuştum. Yazarın şiir kitabı var mı onu bile bilmiyorum. Shakespeare benim için sadece Romeo ve Juliet eserinin sinema versiyonlarını bildiğim kadardı. Kitaplarını okumak da sanırım roman türünde olmadıkları için pek
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.
David Sarkies
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
All Roads Lead to Milford Haven
2 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 equipm
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Shakespeare to date. The female lead was an absolute delight.
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
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Well that was fairly crazy! Convoluted plotting, humourous scenes reminiscent of the major comedies, preposterous coincidences reminiscent of Pericles, potions a la Romeo and Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing, girls dressed as boys like...almost every other Shakespeare play...reversals of fortune, repentant confessions, name a non-Tragic Shakespeare trope it's probably in here and it's all pretty daft. Nevertheless the last two Acts are fun if you can tolerate the silliness and just see how Shake ...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
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
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I finished this one in a day. I actually liked this better than I thought. For starters my name is a Shakespeare name. Well it's not the character actual name, but better than seeing Morgan just associated with King Author stuff. Hear is another play I'm wondering were a movie adaptation is located. Than again, this play isn't well known at all. Maybe they might have a hard with adding Jupiter and ghost in a play that seems like a History at first. At times I thought this play was beautiful ...more
What a surprise to read a Shakespeare play--a dark romance, to boot--I've never heard of before for a reading challenge and find that I quite liked it even though it isn't a comedy. Fact: I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan, other than some of his comedies and perhaps Romeo and Juliette. It's too bad that is this is so little known and studied. True, it's not as melodramatic as Hamlet, but I'm not a fan of that play--even if you are, that doesn't mean this isn't a play for you. But reading it might n ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
weird, convoluted and the plot is all over the place - but it's honestly amazing; I enjoyed this way more than I prolly should have (maybe because of the weirdness); even though it employed the usual comedic devices it felt quite different (maybe because they were applied a little more self-aware than in the previous comedies); def. one of my favorite comedies so far
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
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this play as a fairy tale, and why not? There's a wicked stepmother, an oppressed princess, a creepy suitor, and a secret marriage.

As always, Shakespeare's phrases compel me to laugh, sigh, sing, groan, and shake my head in wonder.
[he] took such sorrow that he quit being.

Oh melancholy! Who ever get could sound thy bottom?

Poison in the ear, that staple of Hamlet, makes a metaphorical appearance when Imogen's supposed infidelity is reported to her husband. The husband's servant doubts it.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a *good* play but at this point Shakespeare is kind of self-parodying himself and there are SO MANY PUNS (including like everyone's names) and references it's just BIZARRE. It has every Shakespeare trope but just doesn't go quite as expected because the characters don't really act like regular people.
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
Diana Long
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this play, from the start though the ending. In my reference book “Shakespeare for Dummies”, it's said this is the author's most complicated play, and I can attest to that. I can imagine that it keeps the audience's attention as it bounces from one scenario to another. Comedy, tragedy, history or romance? This could be any of them, but we do have a happy ending, at least for some of the actors.
Overall I enjoyed this story, in my schooling life we were assigned & read all the tragedies. It’s wasn’t until college that I really understood that Shakespeare wrote other things, besides tragedy & sonnets. So I always find myself pleasantly surprised when I reach an actual happy ending.😂
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, classics
Unexpected twists and turns. Interesting.
Sandra Miksa
Cymbeline is such a fun and eerie read. Shakespeare made sure to include all of his tropes and twist them around in this one. I love Innogen, definitely one of his stronger female character. All the other characters go through a redeeming arc or if not die, which is at once satisfactory and not for those of us that enjoy a bit more of justice. Overall, a great, fast, play to watch/read.
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
What even? This was pure soap opera
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, hörspiele
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Cymbeline, by William Shakespeare 1 6 Apr 24, 2018 07:46AM  
Play Book Tag: Cymbeline by William Shakespeare 4 stars 3 9 Nov 07, 2017 07:24PM  
Fine introduction 2 15 Aug 11, 2013 04:44AM  
  • Tamburlaine
  • The Spanish Tragedy
  • The Changeling
  • The Shoemaker's Holiday
  • The Alchemist
  • 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and Other Plays
  • The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets
  • Heartbreak House
  • Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare After All
  • The Rover
  • The Malcontent
  • The School for Scandal and Other Plays
  • The Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles' Antigone
  • Tiny Alice
  • The Fifteen Minute Hamlet
  • The Master Builder
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
More about William Shakespeare

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Take Me with You
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Her Sister's Shoes (Sweeney Sisters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rock Harbor Collection: Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Cry in the Night, and Silent Night (Rock Harbor #1-5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Thousand Tomorrows (Cody Gunner, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Shoeless Joe
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Death in Venice
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Blonde
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ever After (Lost Love, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Rescue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Lords of Discipline
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Sheltering Sky
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Gena/Finn
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Charles Martin Collection: When Crickets Cry, Chasing Fireflies, and Wrapped in Rain
    $14.99 $3.99
  • Remember Tuesday Morning (9/11, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Scavenger's Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Under the Udala Trees
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Streets Have No King
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Passion
    $11.00 $1.99
  • The Language of Hoofbeats
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Not Perfect: A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Seekers (Kent Family Chronicles, #3)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Don Quixote
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Essex Serpent
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Storycatcher
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Domestic Violets
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Devil Wears Prada
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Half a Heart
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Golden Notebook
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Life of Christ
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Good Mother
    $5.74 $1.99
  • The Palest Ink (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Prequel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Go: A Coming of Age Novel
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Child in Time
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Lowcountry Stranger (Sweeney Sisters Series Book 2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Man in 3B
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Save Me
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Time Bomb
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Heat and Light: A Novel
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Reunion
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Stay Up With Me
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
    $9.99 $3.99
  • You Know Me Well
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Skeletons at the Feast
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Even Now (Lost Love, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Sackett's Land: The Sacketts (Sacketts, #1)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • This Bright Beauty
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Intervention (An Intervention Novel)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Star Sand
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Nanreath Hall
    $11.74 $1.99
  • The Sugar Queen
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Birth House
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Open City
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Out of Sorts
    $5.99 $0.99
  • The Hearts of Men: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Revolutionary Road
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Blessings
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Bachelor Girl
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Wednesday Sisters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Allie and Bea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • After the War Is Over: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • What Belongs to You
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The History of Bees: A Novel
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Love Goddess' Cooking School
    $10.99 $2.99
  • All the Summer Girls
    $8.74 $1.99
  • The Girl From the Train
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bitter Winds (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Grass Is Singing
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Misremembered Man (Tailorstown #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Odyssey
    $9.99 $1.99
  • And After the Fire
    $11.49 $1.99
  • The House of Impossible Beauties
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Varina
    $14.99 $3.99
  • The Living Reed: A Novel of Korea
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Flood Tide
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto: A Novel
    $10.24 $2.99
  • Unsaid
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wake Up
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Post Office
    $11.24 $1.99
  • For Every Season: Book Three in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series
    $11.99 $2.99
  • One Night in Winter: A Novel (P.S.)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Those Who Save Us
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tangled Vines (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Book 2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lake House
    $11.99 $2.99
  • No One Can Pronounce My Name
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Hate List
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Husbands and Other Sharp Objects
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hidden
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Mystery Walk
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Galway Bay
    $11.99 $3.99
  • What Remains True
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Funny: A Middle School Story
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Tin Horse
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The King Must Die: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Red Skies (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Book 4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Ultimate Betrayal (A Reverend Curtis Black Novel Book 12)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Distant Echoes, Black Sands, Dangerous Depths, Midnight Sea, and Holy Night (Aloha Reef #1-4)
    $7.99 $3.99
  • Between Sundays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Worthy
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Queen of This Realm (Queens of England, #2)
    $11.99 $11.99
“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…