In theory, it's a great play: the political situation, involving the tribute an emerging British nation must pay to a "Roman" empire has interesting Jacobean parallels in continental politics involving a "Roman" Church; the theological implications, the way Shakespeare finds a place for compassion in the merciless world of Lear's gods and flies, is instructive and attractive; and the cavalier manner in which the bard treats stage conventions--from the anonymous two lords in the first scene who only exist to present the necessary exposition to the eventual appearance of a literal "deus ex machina" in the person of Jupiter--shows a master of form thumbing his nose at his own expertise for his particular metaphysical purposes.
Book Review 3 out of 5 stars to Cymbeline, a play written in 1611 by William Shakespeare. I read this during a Shakespeare course in college and then watched a film version. This darkness about the set and characters made the emotions and psychology of the play seem dark also. All three are evident in the play and shown in the film we saw. As for the meaning of the play - it was definitely challenging to me, especially after watching the video and seeing a different interpretation than I thought it was. I then saw the dark emotions of death and its repercussions. The psychology here could be shown as the director believing that the play was very dark, when in my opinion it was more light and happy. I was thrown by these dark emotional scenes which was the opposite of how I interpreted the play.
The play's less interested in capturing the audience's attention with a well-plotted story or nuanced characters than it is in entrancing viewers with ethereal poetry set against the backdrop of fantastical environments.
The characters haul along their favorite plot devices from previous plays, and clearly bicker about setting and timeframe: Roman Britain, Renaissance Italy, republican Rome, and Henry V's England all manage to coexist without invoking paradox, while travel across physical distance seems to take no time at all. Lear's wife dies, so he remarries; Lady Macbeth, Gertrude, and Tamora agree to share this character, and get up to no end of trouble in their attempts to put their son Chiron Demetrius Troilus on the throne. Lear's remaining daughter, now grown, is a pragmatic mix of Viola and Juliet, who occasionally channels Cressida's propensity for mouthing off; she refuses to marry Troilus, instead marrying Othello (a foundling in the court) without permission. Instead, Horatio spirits Viola away to Wales, helps her disguise herself as a man, and hatches a mad scheme to fake her death offer her service as a page to Marc Antony, who is headed to Lear's court to discuss tribute payments to Rome. They refuse to pay tribute, Marc Antony vaguely attempts to reason with them, and they end up at war with Rome. Viola wakes up after the funeral to find Troilus's dead body, sans head, dressed in her husband's clothes; she concludes that it's all a nasty plot of Horatio's, that he has killed Othello and meant the poison to kill her. Othello, Marc Antony, Viola, and Horatio are taken as prisoners of war. Everybody forgives everybody, Lear issues official pardons, Viola and Othello are named next in line for the throne, Britain starts paying Rome tribute again despite winning the war, and everybody lives happily every after.
It has a few good lines and seems to follow the path cut by earlier jealousy plays like The Winter's Tale and Othello. My favorite quote about this play (or this point in Shakespeare's life) comes from Lytton Strachey, who said it is "difficult to resist the conclusion that he Shakespeare was getting bored himself. I think if Shakespeare had written this earlier in his life, or if he had more energy toward the end of his life, this might have been able to achieve something between Winter's Tale and Othello.
5/5 Bir arkadamn övgüleri üzerine bu kitab çok merak ederek almtm ve o kadar memnun kaldm ki umarm yorumumda yeterince anlatabilirim. Tiyatro metni eklinde yazlan kitaplarn bu kadar houma gidecei aklmn ucundan geçmezdi. Kesinlikle herkese hitap eden, ucundan bile merak edenlerin hemencecik bulduklar gibi okumaya balamalarn önereceim harika bir kitapt.
I like to think Cymbeline shows a depth of understanding of the wages of sin and the availability of forgiveness in Shakespeare's own life. It would be fun to translate all the Roman names.
So many Shakespeare villains articulate truths, like Iago, and here, the clod Cloten, whose assault on the married Imogen gave me the title to my book on Shakespeare and popular culture, which I called "Meaner Parties."* Cloten says of her marriage to Leonatus, It is no contract, none;/ And though it be allowed in meaner partiesto knit their souls,/ On whom there is no more dependency/ But brats and beggary, in self-figurd knot,/ Yet you are curbedby the consequence of a crown(II.iii.116ff) He refers to canon laws accepting, in York Dean Swinburnes Of Spousals, handshake marriagesas long as there were witnesses to the vows spoken along with the ring or token. Iachimo even refers to Imogen as she your jewel to accompany the diamond, this your jewel(I.iv.153). Having set up so close a comparisonindeed, an identity between the token jewel and the lover jewel, no wonder Posthumus falls apart when Iachimo brings back the bracelet hed stolen from Imogen. But Renaissance marriage-court records fill with rings and bracelets betokening contract, whereas in fact it was the words accompanying the token, the vow, that counted in law.
However, a number of his later plays don't seem to be performed as much as say his great tragedies I'm sure somewhere in the world, at this very moment, somebody is playing Macbeth (well, I'm probably exaggerating a little since the French really don't care for Shakespeare because they have their own playwrights that they adore). Anyway, Posthumous travels to Rome where he enters into a bet with a merchant Iachimo that his wife would be faithful to him, so Iachimo travels to Britain, attempts to seduce Imogen and fails. Posthumous, no doubt having been fooled by Iachimo, sends a note to Imogen suggesting that she head off to the town of Milford Haven, but sends a second letter ordering her to be killed on the way. Well, this is certainly starting to look pretty complex, and we aren't even into the Milford Haven bit, nor have I mentioned the fact that Imogen has two brothers, but they vanished at birth and are believed to be dead. I have to comment on the character of Posthumous though, because this whole idea of making a bet with somebody that his wife will be faithful to him, is somewhat chauvinistic, and probably proves that the partner is probably not worth spending all that much time with (and it also sounds as if he is pretty possessive, and untrustworthy, since he believes Iachio at face value). We also see the idea of the centre and the fringe in this play, though interestingly we have three main locations Rome, Britain, and Milford Haven. In a way Rome could easily be substituted with Brussels, and Milford Haven as the wilds of a post-European Britain. Cymbeline goes with the former, despite the fact that the Romans were defeated, since Rome offers a sense of security, a situation that collapsed when they eventually pulled out centuries later.
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.