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Group Readings > CYMBALINE, Act 5, May 22

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message 1: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
We can discuss At 5 of Cymbeline here...

I am still working on Act 4 right now and have several ideas to post in that thread....but here iis this Act coming up on the horizon....and I'll try to get some comments posted under Act 4 and get on to this Act too.

So far I am loving the reading of this play!

message 2: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Cymbeline is the last play of the First Folio.

Imogen = I'm gone (a perfect anagram)
Fidele = defile
Leonatus = to unseal
Posthumus Leonatus = posthumus to unseal

The two names as one says:
Imogen is being defiled and gone.
The truth can only be posthumous to unseal.

This is realized in Act 5 (and opens the SAQ).

* * *

The Tempest is the first play of the First Folio.

Miranda = in drama
Prospero = O Prosper
The two names as one says: O! Prosper in drama.

This is to bless Shakespeare, a tempest in the drama world.

* * *

Naming is Shakespeare's secret.

message 3: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Why "meanest Garment"?

Cloten can spell clot, or clot is a one-way anagram of Cloten;
clothen can spell Cloten;
clothen has the definition of cloth; made of cloth (OED).
This is hinted by "I have sent Cloten's Clot-pole down the stream."

Garment can spell anagram.
Anagram is the meanest art (taken by the orthodox, even today).

In The Tempest, Prospero needs his "magic garment" to perform his art.

message 4: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments

Thou Villain base,
Know'st me not by my Clothes?

"Clothes" hints at clothen. This word play of
clothen-Cloten-clot is similar to
Threnos-threne-three in The Phoenix and the Turtle, and
Malvolio-Olivia-Viola in Twelfth Night.
(Malvolio pursues Olivia; Olivia pursues Viola; both will fail.)

message 5: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 583 comments Intriguing, Jim. Cloten is certainly connected with clothes, as you say; 'his meanest garment.'
I am glad that Posthumus outrages the conventions of his day by saying as he tortures himself over the cloth, that Imogen' s supposed adultery isn't so very important.
'Yes, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I wish'd
Thou shold be coloured thus. You married ones,
If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves.
For wrying but a little? '
The editor of my 1960 Arden version doesn't, seemingly, accept it. As far as judging a woman's whole 'honesty' by her physical fidelity goes,he seems to be more patriarchal than Posthumus! This editor argues: 'As he still believes in Imogen's guilt, his attitude towards her should remain unchanged, however much he may repent of her murder.'
I think Shakespeare is being really radical in having Posthumus say this, and even to change sides in the battle in a belated effort to make amends:
'Tis enough
That, Britain, I have killed thy mistress; peace,
I'll give no wound to thee...
So I'll die
For thee, O Imogen., even for whom my life
Is, every breath, a death...
Let me make me men know
More valour in me than my habits show...'

message 6: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Lucinda wrote: "Intriguing, Jim. Cloten is certainly connected with clothes, as you say; 'his meanest garment.'

The question is, why would Shakespeare play with names?

Shakespeare has three targets the same time: audiences, readers, decoders (for plays, riddles, anagrams). For readers, this play is about the War between the Protestant and Roman Catholic shown in the last line:
Never was a War did cease
(Ere bloody hands were washed) with such a Peace.

Decoders will check "the confusion of the names" (Samuel Johnson) to see what Shakespeare tried to hide. The most intriguing name in Shakespeare is Richard du Champ.
Thy Master in bleeding: say his name, good Friend.

Richard du Champ: If I do lie, . . .
I'll hide my Master from the Flies, as deep
As these poor Pickaxes can dig:
. . .
And make him with our Pikes and Partisans
A Grave:

This scene is pictured in Guercino's Et in Arcadia Ego.
One of the Flies is on Cloten's skull on the fake tomb (sarcophagus). Richard can spell Arcadia like Cloten can spell clot.

message 7: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments There are other names can spell Arcadia, why Richard?
Richard is a rich-hard name, a very hard name riddle (with rich content).

Champ has the definition of a field, the cloth which forms the ground on which the embroidery is worked, and the ground in painting (OED).

Four paintings are related to Et in Arcadia Ego and Shakespeare, two by Nicolas Poussin, two by Guercino.

Guercino: Et in Arcadia Ego (1618–1622)
Guercino: The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo (1618–1622) (a painting within a painting)
Poussin: Et in Arcadia ego (c.1627)
Poussin: Et in Arcadia ego (c.1637)

message 8: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments
Which I gave him for Cordial, she is served,
As I would serve a Rat.
Cornelius prepares poisons (for the Queen) that he "would serve a Rat"; that rat is not dead but around Cloten's skull now:

message 9: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Three paintings of Et in Arcadia Ego (with shepherd and shepherdess checking the tomb) can lead to The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, a romance by Philip and Mary Sidney (i.e. Pyrocles and Musidorus).

Blue and Gold

Poussin's Et in Arcadia Ego has a shepherdess in just blue and gold:

Blue and gold are colors of Sidney's coat of arms.
. . . [Pyrocles] who sat (as on horse back) having nothing upon him but his shirt, which being wrought with blue silk and gold . . . —The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (1593)

message 10: by Lucinda (last edited Jun 13, 2018 02:48AM) (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 583 comments It all goes to show how rich Shakespeare's unconscious was,Jim.
My blasted PC crashed again after microsoft updates. *&$%^!
I haven't been on as much as I would have liked.
What do you, and others, make of the dream sequence and the events leading to Posthumous' redemption?
The editor of my ancient Arden edition says the quote where he calls her 'my soul' and tells her to hang about his neck 'like fruit' is one of the tenderest in Shakespeare. Well, I think he needed it, particularly after knocking her down (even though he thought her a cheeky boy). I'm not sure what I make of the ending, overall. All the 'loose ends' are tied up, and the (married) lovers are reconciled and the status quo restored. But all the while, this is a fairy tale, with the King not even bearing much of a grudge against B for making off with his heirs.

message 11: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Lucinda wrote: "... he calls her 'my soul' and tells her to hang about his neck 'like fruit' is one of the tenderest in Shakespeare. Well, I think he needed it, particularly after knocking her down..."

Posthumus is evil, basically.
Hang there like fruit, my soul,
Till the Tree die.
It's "among the tenderest lines in Shakespeare (Tennyson)"?

Posthumus mistreats his wife twice and is unpredictable (as shown in "there lie thy part"). Another metaphor of Tree and Fruit may tell the true intention of this line.
. . . then was I as a Tree
Whose boughs did bend with fruit. But in one night,
A Storm, or Robbery (call it what you will)
Shook down my mellow hangings: nay, my Leaves,
And left me bare to weather.
Tree has the definition of the cross on which Christ was crucified (OED). A Fruit that hangs on a Tree faces unpredictable "Storm or Robbery" to prove the Fruit's faith "till the Tree die."

message 12: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 583 comments That is certainly fascinating, Jim. That would certainly make for a grim version of a traditional fairy tale ending, with Imogen reconciled to an abusive man. But if Posthumous is evil - as distinct from a stupid warrior who doesn't deserve such a wife - I am puzzled as to why the god Jupiter favours him, as he says he does in a dream, unless that dream, of course, is a delusion of Posthumous'. I am assuming here, that Shakespeare would make Jupiter have some features in common with the Christian Deity, even in pagan Britain.

message 13: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Lucinda wrote: "why the god Jupiter favours him..."

Posthumus has reasons (seemingly) to defile his wife, but that hurts an innocent woman. Many ways can reveal Fidele's true identity, but he strikes her and almost kills her. Pisanio can recognize her, her husband can't?

Shakespeare used tricks to set up clues for readers, that "good man" Posthumus is essentially evil (his wife experienced that); but why this arrangement?

I need many lines to prove my answer. A summary:

1. Imogen reflects Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke.
2. Posthumus reflects her husband Henry Herbert.
3. She was inflected syphilis from her evil husband (a kind of murder).

4. Queen Elizabeth knew and told her to keep quiet; for that,
5. Mary Sidney owned the silent permission to venture in men's drama world.
6. Mary's Wilton poets sealed her and their stories in Shakespeare.

7. They set up a front man to be sacrificed when needed (Martin Marprelate).
8. The Shakespeare project ended in "Peace," the last word of the First Folio.
9. Jupiter reflects Queen Elizabeth, who supported the husband. The Herberts were powerful then and faithful to the Queen.

Above are based on word's logic, riddles and anagrams.

Cymbeline is more valuable for decoders (less for audiences), especially the fake tomb of Richard du Champ.

... unless that dream, of course, is a delusion of Posthumous ...

That dream is not a delusion because Jupiter left a "Tablet" on his breast; the word tablet appears only once in the First Folio.

message 14: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Why a scene of ghosts?

Jupiter sacrificed Imogen to satisfy Leonatus' ghosts.

* * *

A tablet on Posthumus' breast by Jupiter changes the play's nature suddenly. It combines a dream with reality, i.e., a stage play with real life. Why would Shakespeare do that?
This Tablet lay upon his Breast, wherein
Our pleasure, his full Fortune, does confine,

"This Tablet" can spell Elisabeth;
"upon his Breast" can spell Henry Herbert.

* * *

Why Milford Haven?

Milford Haven is in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Pembroke is a town in south of Milford Haven.
At Pembroke, or at Hertford West in Wales.—Richard III

Haven has the definition of a place of shelter (OED). "Milford Haven, Wales" can spell Mary Sidney; Pembrokeshire hints at Countess of Pembroke (by name).
To this same blessed Milford. And by the way
Tell me how Wales was made so happy . . .

message 15: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments The name Syenna appears only once in the First Folio.
The Senate hath stirred up the Confiners,
And Gentlemen of Italy, most willing Spirits,
That promise Noble Service: and they come
Under the Conduct of bold Iachimo,
Syenna's Brother.
Syenna is an unnecessary name. The capitalized "Brother" can spell Henry Herbert except letter y (i) and n. Many names can do that, why Syenna?

Syenna (Sienna or Siena) contains sin. Syenna equals to insane.

Iachimo equals to joy-mach; mach is an obsolete form of match. Joy-match alludes to the joy of a contest (match) of matching, which is insane.

message 16: by Lucinda (last edited Jun 19, 2018 01:20AM) (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 583 comments Intruging comments, Jim, exploring the goldmine of Shakespeare's unconscious.
It is sad that these days, Milford Haven is so prosaic a place...

message 17: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
Incredible decoding of the names Jim. I have loved reading these and I am so impressed at your sleuthing.

I like that you mention wood....because moving towards THE TEMPEST....I was thinking about a previous discussion where readers noticed wood was mentioned a few times (6?) in The Tempest.

The word timber...and the forest is healing in several plays...Milford Haven is a return to the forest or nature for healing....but timber is also a sound of a voice. And the Globe was made from trees. Trees are easy anthropomorphic plants. Tree is crucifix, and it is a verticality which is always an orientation motif.

Walking the timber and the wood that resounds actors and the play....connects the forest to Shakespeare and plays.

I have other thoughts....and I just wanted to say I have finally finished reading CYMBLINE and catching up on this discussion. With more ideas.

message 18: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Candy wrote: "THE TEMPEST....I was thinking about a previous discussion where readers noticed wood was mentioned a few times (6?) in The Tempest."

Glad you like that. Wood has the definition of the material of an idol or image (OED n.1.II.6e), in sonnet 128 specially; and insane, lunatic, passionate, of rage, pain; madness (OED a, n.2).

Perhaps you can try interpreting wood by fitting one of the above. I believe it's the reason Shakespeare mentioned wood repeatedly. A Midsummer Night's Dream has the most interesting use of the word:
Thou told'st me they were stolen into this wood;
And here am I, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

You draw me, you hard-hearted Adamant,
But yet you draw not Iron, for my heart
Is true as steel.
You are right; in The Tempest, wood (or wooden) appears six times in dialogue, one in stage direction. Here is a fun one:
Do not torment me prithee:
I'll bring my wood home faster.

He's in his fit now;
and does not talk after the wisest; . . .
Later Caliban brings Stephano and Trinculo, the two lunatics as his wood, to home.

message 19: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
These are very tricky. I sort of think of wood as noggin...and perhaps they are "simpletons" with wood heads.

I need to analyze these a bit more "wood in my wood" is mysterious...let me think...

In other things though Jim...why is there such an interest in summoning and incantatory uses of the Magellan connection? I would believe that Shakespeare and Magellan were part of a unique special that possible? Why did Shakespeare use word play...referencing Magellan? I have no doubt and am greatly convinced by your posts...but what was he working towards?

message 20: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Candy wrote: "... what was he working towards?

Shakespeare needed enough word plays to convince future readers, that playing with names (riddles) was his intention, not a coincidence. By solving them we can find hidden stories, no matter true or false (which has more fun than arguing who wrote Shakespeare).

Let's see how Ben Jonson did that. To cope with "Bote-swaine" in the first line of the First Folio, Jonson sealed his name again in the last line:
Neuer was a Warre did cease
(Ere bloodie hands were wash'd) with such a Peace.
"Bloodie hands" can spell Ben Jonson. We can affirm better now that the First Folio was handled by him. (Some modern editors remove the parentheses.) It has the same logic as "Mary Sidney is heard no more" (Macbeth) in Wilton House Shakespeare statue.

Bloody hand is tricky here. OED's quote:
1598 J. Manwood Lawes Forest xviii. §9 Bloudy hand is, where a man is found coursing in the Forest . . . and is any manner of way imbrewed with bloud, . . .

Ephraim Chambers' note (1728):
Bloody-hand, one of the four kinds of Trespasses in the King's Forest, by which the Offender being taken with his Hands or other Part bloody, is judg'd to have killed the Deer, tho he be not found Hunting or Chasing.
Ben Jonson is not found writing Shakespeare, but he owned the "bloodie hands."

message 21: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod

Are you suggesting "tho he be not found" is a scramble....or is hinting at the scrambles?


I don't know I'm just trying to keep up with the unscrambling! It challenges my dyslexia LOL

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