Monthly Archives: December 2013

“‘Cymbeline’ offers the chance to take on an utterly transporting text, sing a song, dance a jig, have a sword fight, play lovers, villains, and fools, and have another sword fight, all before the intermission.”

Cymbeline Act Four, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————- Before we probe deeply into Act Five after our New Year’s break and try to figure out exactly what Cymbeline is all about, I thought it might be nice to share … Continue reading

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“Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun/…Thou thy worldly task hast done,/Home art gone and ta’en thy wages./Golden lads and girls all must,/As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.”

Cymbeline Act Four, Part One By Dennis Abrams —————————- Act Four:  While out hunting, Belarius and his “sons” meet up with Cloten and kill him after he challenges them. Imogen, meanwhile, not feeling well, takes the Queen’s “medicine” provided by … Continue reading

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“We have almost as great an affection for Imogen as she had for Posthumus; and she deserves it better. Of all Shakespeare’s women she is perhaps the most tender and the most artless.”

Cymbeline Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams —————————— From Bloom: “Posthumus, even as an ideogram, is no fun. Shakespeare knew that a play must give pleasure, yet he portrays Posthumus as a very painful character, whose name refers both … Continue reading

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“For mine’s beyond beyond…”

Cymbeline Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————– Act Three:  In Britain, Cymbeline has refused to pay the annual tribute to Rome, to which the Roman ambassador Lucius responds by declaring war. Meanwhile, Pisanio has received a letter from … Continue reading

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“Cymbeline is a pungent self-parody on Shakespeare’s part: we revisit King Lear, Othello, The Comedy of Errors, and a dozen other plays, but we see them now through a distorting lens.”

Cymbeline Act Two, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————————————- To continue with Harold Bloom, who strongly disagrees with Tanner’s admiration of the play: “Shakespeare gives a very vivid instance of antithetical technique in Act II, set in Imogen’s bedchamber, where … Continue reading

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“I lodge in fear./Though this is a heavenly angel, hell is here.”

Cymbeline Act Two, Part One By Dennis Abrams  ——— Act Two:  Determined to win his bet, Iachimo asks Imogen to safeguard a large trunk which he (surprise!) hides in, coming out as she sleeps and stealing her bracelet. Returning to … Continue reading

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“Imogen is one of the great women of Shakespeare or the world.”

Cymbeline Act One, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ——————————– From Harold Bloom first, whose dislike for the play I find rather bewildering: “Cymbeline begins with a conversation at court between two unnamed gentlemen, one a stranger, thus allowing Shakespeare to … Continue reading

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