Cymbeline

Guiderius/Polydor Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
One of Cymbeline’s sons, stolen by Belarius from the nursery as a baby. Belarius raised Guiderius with the Welsh pseudonym “Polydor.” Like his brother Arviragus, Guiderius is hearty and inherently noble. The two yearn to make contact with the wider world after growing up in the remote countryside of Wales. Belarius worries that Guiderius’ will to fight and his desire for fame will reveal him for the royal that he is. Guiderius fights for honor, and does not stand Cloten’s insults, killing and beheading Cloten to preserve his own reputation. Guiderius is a fierce warrior, and he helps save Cymbeline’s life during the battle with the Romans. He freely admits to killing Cloten, not shying away from admitting to a crime committed for the sake of honor. Belarius’ confession that Guiderius is the King’s kidnapped son saves Guiderius from execution.

Guiderius/Polydor Quotes in Cymbeline

The Cymbeline quotes below are all either spoken by Guiderius/Polydor or refer to Guiderius/Polydor. 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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Guiderius/Polydor Character Timeline in Cymbeline

The timeline below shows where the character Guiderius/Polydor 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
...(under the pseudonym of Morgan) leaves the cave he calls home with his adoptive sons Guiderius (known as Polydor) and Arviragus (known as Cadwal). The trio greet the nature around them,... (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 is hard to hide. Even... (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,... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
Nobility Theme Icon
Returning to the cave, Belarius praises Guiderius’ abilities as a hunter. Tired and hungry, Guiderius and Arviragus feel eager to go back... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...tired to carry on. Belarius welcomes Fidele to rest for the night at the cave. Guiderius says he might be attracted to Fidele if Fidele were a woman. For his part,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
...unwell, so Belarius and Arviragus urge him to rest in the cave while they hunt. Guiderius says he will stay behind, but Fidele tells him to go since he’ll be all... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Guiderius says that he couldn’t get Fidele to open up about his identity: he just said... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...says he finds Fidele noble, and Arviragus adds that he has a good singing voice. Guiderius praises Fidele’s excellent cooking. The trio notice that Fidele seems sad but also patient, enduring... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Cloten as the Queen’s son, and urges the brothers to hurry away since they’re outlaws. Guiderius tells Belarius and Arviragus to scout for any men accompanying Cloten. (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Cloten asks who Guiderius is, calling him and the other men “villain mountaineers.” He insults Guiderius, calling him a... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
...about who he saw, but Belarius is adamant that it was Cloten. Arviragus hopes that Guiderius deals with Cloten before too long, since Belarius says he’s dangerous and reckless. (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... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Belarius no longer feels like hunting, and he worries about Fidele. While Guiderius goes to a creek to dispose of Cloten’s head, Belarius encourages Arviragus to return to... (full context)
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Guiderius comes back from the creek. Suddenly, Belarius hears music playing from his instrument back at... (full context)
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
...the cave, and says he 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... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
...his breath. Arviragus wants to reprise the mourning tune they sang when Euriphile died, but Guiderius fears he’ll cry if he tries to sing. They vow to recite it, but Belarius... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Nobility Theme Icon
Near the Welsh cave, Guiderius notes that the noise of battle now surrounds their formerly quiet home. Belarius wants to... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
...says that he wants to go to 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... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
...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 have... (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 to... (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 peasant... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
...disguise himself in Posthumus’ clothes so that he could rape Imogen and kill her husband. Guiderius steps in to finish the story; he confesses to killing Cloten. Cymbeline asks Guiderius to... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Belarius intervenes, stopping the guard from tying up Guiderius and hinting at Guiderius’ nobility. He tells Cymbeline he will prove his sons’ worth, even... (full context)