Cymbeline

Imogen/Fidele Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Imogen is the British princess. After her brothers were abducted from the nursery as infants, Imogen became Cymbeline’s sole heir. To consolidate power, he wants her to marry his stepson Cloten, but headstrong Imogen is unwilling to be an instrument of her father’s political machinations. She follows her own conscience, evidenced in her marrying the suitor of her choosing: the low-born but wealthy Posthumus. Imogen prizes loyalty, and she maintains her fidelity to her husband even amidst Iachimo’s trickery. While Imogen is sleeping, Iachimo steals jewelry (which she received from her husband) and reports details about Imogen’s bedchamber and her body to Posthumus to convince him of her infidelity. Even when Posthumus orders their servant Pisanio to kill Imogen for this alleged unfaithfulness, Imogen holds fast to her sense of loyalty, asking Pisanio to follow through with the order. Luckily, Pisanio talks her out of the idea, and offers her an alternative—to dress in disguise as a male servant named Fidele in order to find her husband among the Roman soldiers. Through her disguise and her pursuit of her husband, Imogen demonstrates her bravery, showing that she will stop at nothing to follow her heart. She is generous and courageous, navigating the Welsh wilderness and developing a close friendship to Belarius and his adopted sons who are (unbeknownst to them) her brothers. Despite her streak of independence, Imogen is glad to ultimately reconcile with her father and reunite with Posthumus and her brothers once all their lies and misconceptions are unraveled.

Imogen/Fidele Quotes in Cymbeline

The Cymbeline quotes below are all either spoken by Imogen/Fidele or refer to Imogen/Fidele . 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 1, Scene 1 Quotes

His daughter, and the heir of’s kingdom, whom
He purposed to his wife’s sole son—a widow
That late he married—hath referr’d herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman: she’s wedded;
Her husband banish’d; she imprison’d: all
Is outward sorrow; though I think the king
Be touch’d at very heart.

Related Characters: Gentlemen (speaker), Cymbeline, Imogen/Fidele
Page Number: 1.1.5-11
Explanation and Analysis:
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No, be assured you shall not find me, daughter,
After the slander of most stepmothers,
Evil-eyed unto you: you’re my prisoner, but
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys
That lock up your restraint.

Related Characters: The Queen (speaker), Imogen/Fidele
Page Number: 1.1.82-86
Explanation and Analysis:
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IMOGEN
…This diamond was my mother’s: take it, heart;
But keep it till you woo another wife,
When Imogen is dead.

POSTHUMUS
How, how! another?
You gentle gods, give me but this I have,
And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!
…for my sake wear this;
It is a manacle of love; I’ll place it
Upon this fairest prisoner.

Related Characters: Imogen/Fidele (speaker), Posthumus Leonatus (speaker)
Related Symbols: Gold and Jewelry
Page Number: 1.1.132-145
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him
How I would think on him at certain hours
Such thoughts and such, o I could make him swear
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest and his honour…

Related Characters: Imogen/Fidele (speaker), Posthumus Leonatus
Page Number: 1.3.31-36
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 1, Scene 4 Quotes

POSTHUMUS
What lady would you choose to assail?

IACHIMO
Yours; whom in constancy you think stands so safe.
I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring,
that, commend me to the court where your lady is,
with no more advantage than the opportunity of a
second conference, and I will bring from thence
that honour of hers which you imagine so reserved.

Related Characters: Posthumus Leonatus (speaker), Iachimo (speaker), Imogen/Fidele
Related Symbols: Gold and Jewelry
Page Number: 1.4.122-128
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

That such a crafty devil as is his mother
Should yield the world this ass! a woman that
Bears all down with her brain; and this her son
Cannot take two from twenty, for his heart
And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
Thou divine Imogen, what thou endurest,
Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern’d,
A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
More hateful than the foul expulsion is
Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act
Of the divorce he’ld make! The heavens hold firm
The walls of thy dear honour, keep unshaked
That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand,
To enjoy thy banish’d lord and this great land!

Related Characters: The Second Lord (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , The Queen, Cloten
Page Number: 2.1.54-67
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
'Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly,
As strongly as the conscience does within,
To the madding of her lord. On her left
A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
I' the bottom of a cowslip: here's a voucher,
Stronger than ever law could make: this secret
Will force him think I have pick'd the lock and ta'en
The treasure of her honour. No more. To what end?
Why should I write this down, that's riveted,
Screw'd to my memory? She hath been reading late
The tale of Tereus; here the leaf's turn'd down
Where Philomel gave up. I have enough:
To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
May bare the raven's eye! I lodge in fear;
Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.

Related Characters: Iachimo (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , Posthumus Leonatus
Page Number: 2.2.36-52
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 3 Quotes

…I am much sorry, sir,
You put me to forget a lady’s manners,
By being so verbal: and learn now, for all,
That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce,
By the very truth of it, I care not for you,
And am so near the lack of charity—
To accuse myself—I hate you; which I had rather
You felt than make’t my boast.

Related Characters: Imogen/Fidele (speaker), Iachimo
Page Number: 2.3.124-131
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 4 Quotes

…Let there be no honour
Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance; love
Where there’s another man: the vows of women
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing.
O, above measure false!

Related Characters: Posthumus Leonatus (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , Iachimo
Page Number: 2.4.140-145
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 5 Quotes

…For there’s no motion
That tends to vice in man, but I affirm
It is the woman’s part: be it lying, note it,
The woman’s; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers;
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenge, hers;
Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain,
Nice longing, slanders, mutability,
All faults that may be named, nay, that hell knows,
Why, hers, in part or all; but rather, all;
For even to vice
They are not constant but are changing still
One vice, but of a minute old, for one
Not half so old as that.

Related Characters: Posthumus Leonatus (speaker), Imogen/Fidele
Page Number: 2.5.20-32
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

How? of adultery? Wherefore write you not
What monster’s her accuser? Leonatus,
O master! what a strange infection
Is fall’n into thy ear! What false Italian,
As poisonous-tongued as handed, hath prevail’d
On thy too ready hearing? Disloyal! No:
She’s punish’d for her truth, and undergoes,
More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults
As would take in some virtue. O my master!
Thy mind to her is now as low as were
Thy fortunes. How! that I should murder her?
Upon the love and truth and vows which I
Have made to thy command? I, her? her blood?
If it be so to do good service, never
Let me be counted serviceable.

Related Characters: Pisanio (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , Posthumus Leonatus
Page Number: 3.2.1-15
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

Why, I must die;
And if I do not by thy hand, thou art
No servant of thy master’s…
Thus may poor fools
Believe false teachers: though those that
are betray’d
Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe.
And thou, Posthumus, thou that didst set up
My disobedience ‘gainst the king my father
And make me put into contempt the suits
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find
It is no act of common passage, but
A strain of rareness: and I grieve myself
To think, when thou shalt be disedged by her
That now thou tirest on, how thy memory
Will then be pang’d by me. Prithee, dispatch:
The lamb entreats the butcher: where’s thy knife?
Thou art too slow to do thy master’s bidding,
When I desire it too.

Related Characters: Imogen/Fidele (speaker), Posthumus Leonatus, Pisanio
Page Number: 3.4.80-106
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

You must forget to be a woman; change
Command into obedience: fear and niceness—
The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
Woman its pretty self—into a waggish courage:
Ready in gibes, quick-answer’d, saucy and
As quarrelous as the weasel; nay, you must
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek,
Exposing it—but, O, the harder heart!
Alack, no remedy!—to the greedy touch
Of common-kissing Titan, and forget
Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein
You made great Juno angry.

Related Characters: Pisanio (speaker), Imogen/Fidele
Page Number: 3.4.178-189
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

…How fit his garments
serve me! Why should his mistress, who was made by
him that made the tailor, not be fit too? the
rather—saving reverence of the word—for ‘tis said
a woman’s fitness comes by fits. Therein I must
play the workman. I dare speak it to myself—for it
is not vain-glory for a man and his glass to confer
in his own chamber—I mean, the lines of my body are
as well drawn as his; no less young, more strong,
not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the
advantage of the time, above him in birth, alike
conversant in general services, and more remarkable
in single oppositions: yet this imperceiverant
thing loves him in my despite. What mortality is!
Posthumus, thy head, which now is growing upon thy
shoulders, shall within this hour be off; thy
mistress enforced; thy garments cut to pieces before
thy face: and all this done, spurn her home to her
father; who may haply be a little angry for my so
rough usage; but my mother, having power of his
testiness, shall turn all into my commendations.

Related Characters: Cloten (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , Posthumus Leonatus
Related Symbols: Disguise
Page Number: 4.1.2-22
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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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Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

I heard no letter from my master since
I wrote him Imogen was slain: ‘tis strange:
Nor hear I from my mistress who did promise
To yield me often tidings: neither know I
What is betid to Cloten; but remain
Perplex’d in all. The heavens still must work.
Wherein I am false I am honest; not true, to be true.
These present wars shall find I love my country,
Even to the note o’ the king, or I’ll fall in them.
All other doubts, by time let them be clear’d:
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.

Related Characters: Pisanio (speaker), Cymbeline, Imogen/Fidele , Posthumus Leonatus
Page Number: 4.3.46-56
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

Yea, bloody cloth, I’ll keep thee, for I wish’d
Thou shouldst be colour’d 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! O Pisanio!
Every good servant does not all commands:
No bond but to do just ones. Gods! If you
Should have ta’en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had lived to put on this: so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
Me, wretch more worth your vengeance. But, alack,
You snatch some hence for little faults; that’s love,
To have them fall no more: you some permit
To second ills with ills, each elder worse,
And make them dread it, to the doers’ thrift.
But Imogen is your own: do your best wills,
And make me blest to obey!

Related Characters: Posthumus Leonatus (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , Pisanio
Page Number: 5.1.1-17
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 5, Scene 4 Quotes

No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you ghosts
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know,
Sky-planted batters all rebelling coasts?
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence, and rest
Upon your never-withering banks of flowers:
Be not with mortal accidents opprest;
No care of yours it is; you know ‘tis ours.
Whom best I love I cross; to make my gift,
The more delay’d, delighted. Be content;
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift:
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star reign’d at his birth, and in
Our temple was he married. Rise, and fade.
He shall be lord of lady Imogen,
And happier much by his affliction made.
This tablet lay upon his breast, wherein
Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine:
and so, away: no further with your din
Express impatience, lest you stir up mine.
Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline.

Related Symbols: Eagles
Page Number: 5.4.Lines 96-116
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

CORNELIUS
…She did confess she had
For you a mortal mineral; which, being took,
Should by the minute feed on life and lingering
By inches waste you: in which time she purposed,
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
O’ercome you with her show, and in time,
When she had fitted you with her craft, to work
Her son into the adoption of the crown:
But, failing of her end by his strange absence,
Grew shameless-desperate; open’d, in despite
Of heaven and men, her purposes; repented
The evils she hatch’d were not effected; so
Despairing died…

CYMBELINE
Mine eyes
Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;
Mine ears, that heard her flattery; nor my heart,
That thought her like her seeming; it had
been vicious
To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter!
That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!

Related Characters: Cymbeline (speaker), Cornelius (speaker), Imogen/Fidele , The Queen, Cloten
Page Number: 5.5.62-84
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

IMOGEN
Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?
Think that you are upon a rock; and now
Throw me again.

Embracing him

POSTHUMUS LEONATUS
Hang there like a fruit, my soul,
Till the tree die!

Related Characters: Imogen/Fidele (speaker), Posthumus Leonatus (speaker)
Page Number: 5.5.315-320
Explanation and Analysis:
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Imogen/Fidele Character Timeline in Cymbeline

The timeline below shows where the character Imogen/Fidele appears in Cymbeline. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
...son of her own, named Cloten, whom Cymbeline planned to marry to his own daughter Imogen. However, Imogen secretly married Posthumus, a “poor but worthy gentleman.” Enraged at this disobedience, Cymbeline... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
The gentlemen exit when they notice the Queen, Posthumus, and Imogen approaching. As the Queen enters, she assures Imogen that she will take care of her.... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Once the Queen has left, Imogen exclaims that her stepmother’s promises are nothing more than “dissembling courtesy.” She then tells Posthumus... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Alone once again, Posthumus and Imogen can’t make themselves say goodbye. Imogen gives Posthumus her mother’s diamond ring to pledge her... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Just as Imogen wonders aloud when they will meet again, Cymbeline enters in a rage, attended by several... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Imogen exclaims that death must hurt less than this forced separation. This only enrages Cymbeline more,... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
The Queen returns, and Cymbeline scolds her for allowing Imogen and Posthumus to be alone together. The Queen pleads for Cymbeline to leave her alone... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
...that no one was hurt because Posthumus merely played with Cloten rather than fighting back. Imogen mocks Cloten, then asks Pisanio why he didn’t leave with Posthumus. Pisanio responds that Posthumus... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
...hadn’t been separated so that they could have fought in earnest, and he marvels that Imogen could ever chose Posthumus over him. The Second Lord interjects that if Cloten and Posthumus... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
At their arranged meeting, Imogen tells Pisanio that she misses her husband already. She asks Pisanio about Posthumus’ last words... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Imogen asks when they will hear from Posthumus, and Pisanio assures her that Posthumus will send... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
One of the Queen’s ladies arrives, and tells Imogen that the Queen wants to see her. Imogen asks Pisanio to do as she has... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Nobility Theme Icon
Iachimo thinks that because Posthumus has married the princess Imogen, he will seem more worthy than he actually is; people will now judge him to... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Imperialism vs. Independence Theme Icon
...are all that good or beautiful. Iachimo says he might believe Posthumus if he saw Imogen with his own eyes and she proved to be as lustrous as Posthumus’ diamond ring.... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...love now, but he warns Posthumus that while he is away, another man may tempt Imogen. Just as a thief could steal Posthumus’ ring, an “accomplished courtier” could steal his lover... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Cornelius leaves on the Queen’s urging. She then asks Pisanio if Imogen is still crying over Posthumus, wondering if, in time, Imogen will get over her foolishness... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Queen asks Pisanio to give Imogen an accurate picture of how bad her situation is with Posthumus in exile, as though... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...alone onstage, the Queen remarks that Pisanio is sneaky, and his loyalty to Posthumus and Imogen is hard to shake. She thinks that Pisanio is spying for his banished master and... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 6
Nobility Theme Icon
Imogen laments that she has a cruel father, a lying stepmother, a foolish suitor in Cloten... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Imogen sees Pisanio coming in with Iachimo, and asks who the stranger is. Pisanio tells her... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Iachimo says to himself that Imogen is, on the outside, quite beautiful. If her mind is as great as her beauty,... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Imogen reads aloud Posthumus’ letter praising Iachimo; he writes that Iachimo has a wonderful reputation, and... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Offering Imogen thanks, Iachimo asks if men are crazy. He wonders if nature has given them eyes... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...more likely to feel attracted to “neat excellence” instead of wasting their desire on sluttishness. Imogen remains confused, and asks Iachimo what he means. Iachimo says that lust can never be... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
After reassuring Imogen that he’s fine, Iachimo asks Pisanio to leave and find Iachimo’s servant. Pisanio leaves, saying... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Imogen asks Iachimo if Posthumus is well, and Iachimo assures her he is. She asks if... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Imogen replies that she hopes her husband isn’t one such man, but Iachimo says that Posthumus... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Imogen believes Iachimo knows more than he lets on. She asks him to tell her plainly... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Imogen asks Iachimo to cut off the conversation, but Iachimo insists that he is heartbroken for... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Alarmed, Imogen calls for Pisanio. Iachimo tries to kiss Imogen, but she tells him to go away.... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Mentioning how lucky Posthumus is to have such a wife, Iachimo swears that Imogen is trustworthy and perfectly good. He prays for blessings on Posthumus, and praises his virtue.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
...left, the Second Lord berates Cloten, calling him an “ass.” He expresses his sorrow for Imogen, bemoaning how her father and stepmother undermine her. He prays that her honor remains intact... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Gods and Fate Theme Icon
After reading in bed, Imogen starts to nod off, so she asks her lady to mark her page and leave... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Lucretia in Roman legend) in the way he sneaks quietly across the floor. Iachimo compares Imogen to Aphrodite, and praises her fair skin, red lips, and sweet-smelling breath. He wishes he... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Iachimo observes the bedchamber’s physical layout and prays that Imogen will stay asleep. He steals the bracelet Posthumus gave her, noting that showing it to... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Having obtained all his proof, Iachimo observes Imogen’s book: she was reading the story of Tereus and the rape of Philomela. Iachimo asks... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
In the ante-chamber outside of Imogen’s rooms, the First Lord compliments Cloten on how well he bears losses—he keeps his cool... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
The musicians arrive, and Cloten hopes that they can “penetrate” Imogen with their song. If not, he swears to never give up. He instructs the musicians... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Cymbeline and the Queen coming their way. Cymbeline asks if Cloten is still waiting on Imogen, and if she refuses to see him. Cloten tells him that he tried to woo... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Queen tells Cloten that he owes a lot to Cymbeline for attempting to get Imogen to look favorably on him. She encourages Cloten to try hard, to not take no... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Cloten knocks on Imogen’s door. He knows that her ladies are attending her, and he plans to bribe one... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Imogen arrives, and Cloten tries to kiss her hand, but she tells him that he’s trying... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Cloten says he can’t leave Imogen in her madness, and Imogen, in reply, calls Cloten a fool. Imogen says she’s sorry... (full context)
Nobility Theme Icon
Imogen calls Cloten rude, and says he is lowlier than Posthumus because of his behavior. Cloten... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
As Cloten reels from Imogen’s comparison, Pisanio arrives, and Imogen asks him to fetch her serving-woman since Cloten is pestering... (full context)
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Theme Icon
Cloten complains that Imogen was rude to him by comparing him to Posthumus’ “mean’st garment,” but Imogen doesn’t take... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
...the speed with which Iachimo returned, and hopes that he came back so quickly because Imogen refused him swiftly. Iachimo claims that Imogen is one of the most beautiful women he’s... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
...is. Iachimo replies that he would travel a long way to enjoy another night with Imogen. Posthumus is incredulous: it would be too hard to win the ring he wagered, since... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
...to go pale with shock. Posthumus asks if that is the bracelet he left with Imogen, and Iachimo confirms it, saying that Imogen gave it to him freely—which made it all... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...nothing. But Philario still clings to hope: he tells Posthumus to take the ring back. Imogen probably lost her bracelet, or maybe one of her women stole it. Posthumus thinks that’s... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Iachimo swears he got the bracelet from Imogen, which makes Posthumus believe that his story is true. Imogen wouldn’t have lost the bracelet... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Posthumus takes this as final confirmation that Iachimo has stained Imogen’s honor, and exclaims that Imogen’s sins are as big as any hell could contain. Iachimo... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...that his mother appeared to his father like the chaste Diana, and so too did Imogen appear chaste to him. He swears revenge. He comments that Imogen would often prevent Posthumus... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Nobility Theme Icon
Posthumus wonders how long it took for Imogen and Iachimo to go from just meeting to having sex—was it an hour, or less?... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
...a letter from his master, Pisanio feels dismayed by its contents. Posthumus has asserted that Imogen was unfaithful to him, and has ordered Pisanio to kill Imogen for her transgression. But... (full context)
Morality and Loyalty Theme Icon
Pisanio can hardly believe that Posthumus is ordering him to kill Imogen, which leaves Pisanio is in a quandary: should he remain loyal to his master, or... (full context)
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Pisanio hands Posthumus’ second letter to Imogen. She recognizes the handwriting, and asks the gods for her husband to write that he’s... (full context)
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Imogen finds this a slow speed, and feels impatient to go. She bids Pisanio to have... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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Having arrived at Milford Haven, Imogen asks Pisanio why she doesn’t see Posthumus there. She thinks that Pisanio looks confused and... (full context)
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Imogen reads the letter aloud. Posthumus writes that Imogen has been unfaithful, and that he has... (full context)
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Posthumus’ accusations shock Imogen. If being unfaithful means weeping for her husband and lying awake missing him, then she... (full context)
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Pisanio tries to interject, but Imogen continues her speech, citing examples of famous men who betrayed their lovers. She recalls Aeneas... (full context)
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Despite her distress with Posthumus, Imogen intends to die according to his order. She takes out Pisanio’s sword, hands it to... (full context)
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Pisanio tells Imogen that Posthumus’ command disturbed him so much that he hasn’t slept since receiving it. Imogen... (full context)
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Imogen does not like the idea of going back to court, because she doesn’t want to... (full context)
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...her fair skin. 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... (full context)
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Pisanio explains that he must return to court to avoid the charge of abducting Imogen. Before he goes, he hands Imogen the medicine which the Queen has given him; Pisanio... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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The Queen describes how Imogen has isolated herself since Posthumus left, and that she needs time to get over him.... (full context)
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...that Pisanio is absent because he swallowed the poison she gave him. She wonders where Imogen went, but hopes that Imogen, in despair, has fled to find Posthumus, or to meet... (full context)
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By himself onstage, Cloten explains that he admires Imogen’s beauty, but he hates how she disdains him in favor of Posthumus. Pisanio enters, and... (full context)
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...his plan to the audience: disguised as Posthumus, Cloten will go to Milford Haven, rape Imogen, and kill Posthumus. He explains, “I’ll be merry in my revenge.” (full context)
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...only pretend to be loyal to Cloten, but will really stay true to Posthumus and Imogen. He explains that since Imogen will by now be under Lucius’ command, Cloten won’t be... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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Disguised as a boy, Imogen stumbles onstage, exhausted, lost, and very hungry. She laments how everyone lies—rich and poor alike.... (full context)
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...go back into the cave, but Belarius stops them: he senses that someone is inside. Imogen emerges from the cave, asking them not to hurt her. She tells them that she... (full context)
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Falling for Imogen’s disguise as a boy, Belarius asks Imogen about “his” identity. She tells him that her... (full context)
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Belarius and the brothers notice how sad Fidele looks. Imogen comments on the men’s honest living in the cave, so unlike the court,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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Back in Britain, Cloten has reached Wales, near the spot where Imogen and Posthumus were supposed to meet, according to Pisanio. Alone, Cloten rages against Imogen’s choice... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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Fidele feels unwell, so Belarius and Arviragus urge him to rest in the cave while they... (full context)
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Guiderius says that he couldn’t get Fidele to open up about his identity: he just said that he was a poor, honest... (full context)
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Belarius says he finds Fidele noble, and Arviragus adds that he has a good singing voice. Guiderius praises Fidele’s excellent... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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...Euriphile’s death, and he fears it’s a bad omen. Arviragus then enters, carrying a limp Fidele in his arms. (full context)
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Arviragus explains that he found Fidele lying dead in the cave, and says he would give up his youth to avoid... (full context)
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The men plan to prepare a grave for Fidele, and decorate it with flowers as beautiful as his appearance and as sweet-smelling as his... (full context)
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Belarius returns and lays Cloten’s body next to Fidele’s. He tells the brothers to strew some flowers on the corpses and they leave to... (full context)
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Imogen wakes up from a deep sleep babbling about finding the way to Milford Haven. Reviving,... (full context)
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Imogen curses Pisanio. She’s sure that the servant must have plotted with Cloten to kill Posthumus... (full context)
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While Imogen grieves, prostrate on the ground, Lucius and his troops enter. A captain says that the... (full context)
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Lucius asks Fidele what happened to the dead man, and Fidele responds that the dead man was his... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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...son Cloten missing, she has developed a fever, and shows signs of madness. Cymbeline wishes Imogen were there to give him comfort. He threatens to torture Pisanio for information about Imogen’s... (full context)
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...not heard from Posthumus since he sent the bloody handkerchief as “proof” that he killed Imogen. Further, he’s unsure about what happened to Cloten, but he knows the gods will work... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...alone, holding a bloody handkerchief—the “proof” that Pisanio followed through with the order to kill Imogen. Posthumus promises to hold onto it because he once wanted Imogen dead, but now he... (full context)
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...avenged all of his misdeeds, then he would never have lived long enough to have Imogen killed. In addition, since the murder he ordered was unexpected, he wishes that Imogen would... (full context)
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Posthumus comforts himself with the fact that Imogen is with the gods in peace, away from the cruel world. He asks the gods... (full context)
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...enough violence to Britain by ordering the murder of its sole heir and future ruler, Imogen. Therefore, he decides to discard his Italian clothes and disguise himself as a British peasant... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...that even the harsh British climate is trying to take revenge on him for betraying Imogen. If the air hadn’t made him weak, he would have been able to defeat the... (full context)
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Lucius, Iachimo, and Imogen (still disguised as Fidele) enter. Lucius urges Fidele to run away from the fighting to... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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...head-on were killed, too. Posthumus was actively seeking death to end his remorseful suffering for Imogen’s murder, but even though he was surrounded by death, Posthumus survived. He is amazed how... (full context)
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...but doesn’t feel so loyal to one or the other—he now only feels loyal to Imogen, and wants nothing but to die, atoning for ordering her death. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
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...doesn’t want that sort of opportunity. He wants a fair exchange: his own life for Imogen’s. Posthumus thinks that her life was more precious than his, but his is still a... (full context)
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Because Posthumus is without equal, the First Brother asks who else could have caught Imogen’s eye—especially since she knew his worth better than anyone. On the subject of his and... (full context)
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...had a special connection to Posthumus. Posthumus was born under Jupiter’s star and he married Imogen in Jupiter’s temple. Promising that Posthumus will be better off having suffered now, and that... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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Cornelius continues, saying that the Queen hated Imogen, and would’ve poisoned Imogen if she hadn’t run away. Further, she had prepared a poison... (full context)
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Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other Romans enter, along with Posthumus and Imogen (still disguised as Fidele). Cymbeline takes a jab at Lucius, saying he and his army... (full context)
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Cymbeline agrees to Lucius’ request, and swears he’s seen Fidele before, telling Fidele that he will grant him one favor. Lucius asks Fidele to beg... (full context)
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Cymbeline invites Fidele to make his demands, and asks Iachimo to step forward. Fidele asks Iachimo where he... (full context)
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Imogen steps forward to calm Posthumus, but Posthumus hits her, thinking that she is just a... (full context)
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Reunited at last, Imogen and Posthumus embrace and swear never to go apart from each other. Cymbeline asks Imogen... (full context)
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...and how Cloten demanded to 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... (full context)
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Cymbeline is overjoyed to have his three children together, but he is sad to inform Imogen that she has lost her place as sole heir now that her brothers have returned.... (full context)
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...punishing Belarius, Cymbeline says he will consider him a brother for raising his sons, and Imogen says she will think of Belarius as a father for helping her survive as Fidele.... (full context)