Cymbeline

Caius Lucius Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Most often referred to as Lucius throughout the play, he is the Roman ambassador to Britain who prizes honor and truth. Lucius is good friends with Cymbeline, and he is reluctant to start a war, lamenting the fact that he must inform the Emperor of Cymbeline’s decision not to pay the tribute owed to Rome. He is kind-hearted, and he takes up Fidele as a servant in battle, even negotiating for Fidele’s life after the Romans are defeated. Lucius has a symbolic dimension, since he’s welcome at court and is long-term friends with Cymbeline, so he underscores the closeness between Rome and Britain. The play’s conclusion suggests that a friendly relationship between Rome and Britain is preferable, and Lucius’ honor and kindness, as well as his close ties to Britain, embody this point.

Caius Lucius Quotes in Cymbeline

The Cymbeline quotes below are all either spoken by Caius Lucius or refer to Caius Lucius. 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 4, Scene 2 Quotes

IMOGEN
I’ll follow, sir. But first, an’t please the gods,
I’ll hide my master from the flies, as deep
As these poor pickaxes can dig; and when
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I ha’ strew’d his
grave,
And on it said a century of prayers,
Such as I can, twice o’er, I’ll weep and sigh;
And leaving so his service, follow you,
So please you entertain me.

CAIUS LUCIUS
Ay, good youth!
And rather father thee than master thee.
My friends,
The boy hath taught us manly duties…

Related Characters: Imogen/Fidele (speaker), Caius Lucius (speaker), Posthumus Leonatus, Cloten
Page Number: 4.2.479-491
Explanation and Analysis:
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Caius Lucius Character Timeline in Cymbeline

The timeline below shows where the character Caius Lucius appears in Cymbeline. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 3
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
A messenger enters with word that the Roman ambassador, Caius Lucius, has arrived at court. Cymbeline says that Lucius is a good man, even though he... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Philario thinks that Lucius must have reached Cymbeline by now, and that Cymbeline will prove faithful to the Roman... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Philario asks Iachimo if Lucius arrived at the British court. Iachimo informs Philario that Cymbeline was still waiting for Lucius.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
At court, Cymbeline asks the Roman ambassador Lucius what Emperor Augustus wants. Lucius reminds the Cymbeline that Cassibelan (Cymbeline’s uncle and a former... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
...and the freedom of Britain before Julius Caesar came to the island, the King tells Lucius that he will not pay the tribute. (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Lucius regrets that he will have to break the news of Cymbeline’s refusal to the Emperor,... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Cloten tells Lucius that Cymbeline still welcomes him at court, and asks him to spend a few more... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...and that she could make a life outside of Britain. This gives Pisanio an idea: Lucius is on his way to Millford Haven with the Roman troops. Imogen can disguise herself... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Pisanio has even brought male clothing with him, and he suggests that Imogen enter into Lucius’ service. Imogen agrees to the plan, saying that Pisanio is “all the comfort/ The gods... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Back at Cymbeline’s court, Lucius says goodbye to Cymbeline. The Emperor has ordered Lucius to leave his new enemy’s presence.... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Lucius asks for safe conduct to Milford Haven, and wishes the Queen well. Cymbeline orders men... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
The Queen notes that Lucius left frowning—she feels that making Lucius upset reflects well on their cause. Cymbeline gives an... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
...true to Posthumus and Imogen. He explains that since Imogen will by now be under Lucius’ command, Cloten won’t be able to find her in Milford Haven. Pisanio prays that the... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 7
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
...gentry must be recruited to fight the war against Cymbeline. The Second Senator confirms that Lucius will be the invading army’s general. He also says that the Emperor has given the... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
While Imogen grieves, prostrate on the ground, Lucius and his troops enter. A captain says that the Roman recruitment effort was a success,... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Lucius asks his Soothsayer for his prediction on the battle’s outcome. The Soothsayer reports having a... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Lucius asks Fidele what happened to the dead man, and Fidele responds that the dead man... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Led by Lucius, the Roman Army faces the British Army. The two sides march across the stage and... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Lucius, Iachimo, and Imogen (still disguised as Fidele) enter. Lucius urges Fidele to run away from... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
...British captains and soldiers enter. The first captain praises the gods that the Roman commander, Lucius, was taken captive. He repeats the rumor that the old man and his sons who... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other Romans enter, along with Posthumus and Imogen (still disguised as... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Cymbeline agrees to Lucius’ request, and swears he’s seen Fidele before, telling Fidele that he will grant him one... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
...Belarius as a father for helping her survive as Fidele. In his joy, Cymbeline orders Lucius’ release and wishes once again that he could reward the peasant soldier. Posthumus reveals that... (full context)
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Posthumus asks Lucius to call his Soothsayer to decipher the tablet. Philarmonus enters, and reads the prophecy. He... (full context)