Cymbeline

Cymbeline

Belarius/Morgan Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Belarius is a nobleman and soldier. Twenty years prior to the play’s action, Cymbeline banished Belarius because of court gossip alleging Belarius’ ties to Rome. In retaliation, Belarius kidnapped Cymbeline’s sons Guiderius and Arviragus as infants, and has raised them under aliases in a Welsh cave. Going by the name Morgan, Belarius prizes the natural landscape and his simple life. He feels conflicted about that his adopted sons’ nobility is beginning to show in their behavior; he doesn’t think that their royal nature can be concealed, even in spite of their upbringing in the countryside. Even though he felt the sting of the King’s banishment, Belarius works alongside Arviragus and Guiderius to save Cymbeline from Roman captivity during the battle, and they inspire the other British soldiers with their courage. After the battle, when the King plans to execute Guiderius for killing Cloten, Belarius is willing to give up his own life to save his son’s. He reveals the whole truth to Cymbeline in the hopes that he will spare Guiderius once he realizes Guiderius is his son. Thus, Belarius shows that he values telling the truth and the safety of his adoptive sons over his own life, ennobling a character with a checkered past. Cymbeline rewards Belarius with a pardon.

Belarius/Morgan Quotes in Cymbeline

The Cymbeline quotes below are all either spoken by Belarius/Morgan or refer to Belarius/Morgan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Cymbeline published in 2003.
Act 3, Scene 3 Quotes

How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
These boys know little they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think they are mine; and though train’d
up thus meanly
I’ the cave wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them
In simple and low things to prince it much
Beyond the trick of others.

Related Characters: Belarius/Morgan (speaker), Guiderius/Polydor, Arviragus/Cadwal
Page Number: 3.3.86-94
Explanation and Analysis:
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Belarius/Morgan Character Timeline in Cymbeline

The timeline below shows where the character Belarius/Morgan appears in Cymbeline. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Scene 3
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Meanwhile, in Wales, Belarius (under the pseudonym of Morgan) leaves the cave he calls home with his adoptive sons... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Belarius insists that the brothers aren’t missing out on much. He describes the city as corrupt,... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
After the brothers have left, Belarius delivers a monologue about Guiderius and Arviragus’ true identities. He explains that their royal nature... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Despite the fact that Guiderius and Arviragus don’t know that they are really royals, Belarius thinks that they exhibit warrior-like, noble qualities. The brothers are ambitious, carry themselves well, and... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
...Imogen says, but the thought of him revives her for a moment. Imogen comes across Belarius and his sons’ cave dwelling. When she calls out and receives no reply, she draws... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Returning to the cave, Belarius praises Guiderius’ abilities as a hunter. Tired and hungry, Guiderius and Arviragus feel eager to... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Falling for Imogen’s disguise as a boy, Belarius asks Imogen about “his” identity. She tells him that her name is Fidele, and that... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Belarius and the brothers notice how sad Fidele looks. Imogen comments on the men’s honest living... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Fidele feels unwell, so Belarius and Arviragus urge him to rest in the cave while they hunt. Guiderius says he... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...says Fidele told him the same thing, and that he might reveal more later on. Belarius tells Fidele that he hopes he’ll get better soon, since he’ll have to act as... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Belarius says he finds Fidele noble, and Arviragus adds that he has a good singing voice.... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Belarius interprets Cloten’s remark to mean that he knows that the boys are the kidnapped princes—and... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Belarius and Arviragus return, having found no other men around their cave. Arviragus wonders if Belarius... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Carrying Cloten’s head and calling him a brainless fool, Guiderius comes back. Belarius asks him what he’s done; Guiderius tells him how Cloten insulted him and threatened to... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Belarius no longer feels like hunting, and he worries about Fidele. While Guiderius goes to a... (full context)
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Guiderius comes back from the creek. Suddenly, Belarius hears music playing from his instrument back at the cave. Guiderius notes they haven’t heard... (full context)
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
...would give up his youth to avoid seeing this sight. Guiderius praises Fidele’s beauty, and Belarius calls his melancholy bottomless upon seeing Fidele dead. Belarius asks how Arviragus found Fidele; he... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
...Guiderius fears he’ll cry if he tries to sing. They vow to recite it, but Belarius reminds them that they’ve forgotten all about Cloten’s body—even though he was their enemy, he... (full context)
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Belarius returns and lays Cloten’s body next to Fidele’s. He tells the brothers to strew some... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Nobility Theme Icon
...Welsh cave, Guiderius notes that the noise of battle now surrounds their formerly quiet home. Belarius wants to flee, but Arviragus urges him to find pleasure in “action and adventure.” Guiderius... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
...Britons will be preoccupied with the Roman troops, and not with finding the missing Cloten. Belarius insists, though, that many soldiers in the British army will recognize Belarius from his fighting... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
...war to find honor and fame in battle. Guiderius agrees, and the brothers ask for Belarius’ blessing so that they won’t go into battle as disobedient sons. Finally, Belarius relents, saying... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
...on. The British soldiers retreat, and the Romans capture Cymbeline. All seems lost when suddenly Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus enter to rescue the British King. Belarius encourages his sons to fight—they... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arviragus, Pisanio, soldiers and attendants enter with Roman captives. The British captains present Posthumus... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
At Cymbeline’s court, the King asks Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus to stand next to his throne. He only wishes that the British... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Cymbeline asks about Belarius and his sons’ origins. Belarius says that they’re gentlemen from Cambria, nothing more. Cymbeline asks... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
...Iachimo. Fidele asks the King to speak privately about Iachimo. While Fidele and Cymbeline confer, Belarius and his sons marvel that Fidele has come back to life. They hang back to... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Belarius intervenes, stopping the guard from tying up Guiderius and hinting at Guiderius’ nobility. He tells... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
...of events and he asks for the long version of the story. Instead of punishing Belarius, Cymbeline says he will consider him a brother for raising his sons, and Imogen says... (full context)