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Cymbeline :: Characters

Cymbeline Characters

Cymbeline, King of Britain, is a cranky old man led by the nose by his second wife. 

 
 

Cloten is Cymbeline’s stepson, the Queen’s son by her first marriage, and a remarkably stupid man. 

 
 

Posthumus Leonatus is a young man of good family whose father died before his birth. 

 
 

Belarius is a banished lord who calls himself Morgan. Once one of Cymbeline’s greatest generals, he was falsely accused of treason and in revenge kidnapped the King’s two young sons with the help of their nurse Euriphile, whom he married.

 
 

Guiderius, known as Polydore, is Cymbeline’s eldest son, but is unaware of this fact as he was kidnapped at the age of three by Belarius and brought up by him as a hunter in a cave along with his younger brother Arviragus.

 
 

Arviragus, known as Cadwal, is Cymbeline’s second son, but is aware of this fact as he was kidnapped at the age of two by Belarius and brought up by him as a hunter in a cave along with his elder brother Guiderius. 

 
 

Philario is an old Roman nobleman who was a friend of Posthumus’s father and welcomes the son as an honored guest when he is banished to Rome. 

 
 

Jachimo is a young Italian nobleman, the brother of the ruler of Sienna, and a rascal with a low opinion of women’s morality. 

 
 

Caius Lucius is a noble Roman, an ambassador to the British court who is later given command of the invading Roman army. 

 
 

Pisanio is Posthumus’s servant, a loyal man who acts in his master’s best interests even when commanded otherwise. 

 
 

Cornelius is a physician at Cymbeline’s court who has been teaching the Queen the medicinal use of plants. 

 
 

Philharmonus the Soothsayer accompanies Lucius when the latter invades Britain, providing divinations, though he manages to completely misinterpret his premonitory dream. 

 
 

The Roman Captain reports to Lucius on the progress of the reinforcements the general has asked for, and sees whether Fidele/Imogen is alive when the Romans find him/her asleep on a headless corpse.

 
 

A Frenchman is one of Philario’s friends, who met Posthumus once in France, where he managed to stop a quarrel between the Briton and some other Frenchmen. 

 
 

The Queen is Cymbeline’s second wife, a beautiful widow, and a rather classic evil stepmother. 

 
 

Imogen is Cymbeline’s daughter and the heir to his throne. 

 
 

Helen is a lady attending on Imogen, who has no use for Cloten but is not averse to taking his gold, though she does him no favors in return.

 
 

British Soldiers [mute roles] seize Posthumus at their captain’s command when he claims to be a Roman.

 
 

A British Lord fled from the battle against the Romans, and is amazed to find that the battle was won after his departure. He is taken aback at Posthumus’s rage.

 
 

The First Jailer is very familiar with taverns, and does not think of death as any great evil; in fact, he thinks death something of a convenience. 

 
 

The Second Jailer is not a particularly sympathetic man.

 
 

Jupiter is King of the Gods, and does not appreciate being told by a pack of ghosts that he is unjust.

 
 

Apparition of Sicilius Leonatus is the ghost of Posthumus’s father, and thinks that Jupiter really ought to have better things to do than make Posthumus miserable.

 
 

Apparition of the Matron is the ghost of Posthumus’s mother, who died in childbirth; she thinks that Jupiter really ought to have better things to do than make Posthumus miserable.

 
 

Apparition of First Brother of Posthumus is the ghost of Posthumus’s eldest brother, who died in the war and still bears his wounds. 

 
 

Apparition of Second Brother of Posthumus is the ghost of Posthumus’s second-older brother, who died in the war and still bears his wounds. 

 
 

A Guard [mute role] seizes Guiderius when the latter admits to having killed Cloten.

 
 

First British Captain is deeply gratified at the British victory, and properly grateful to the mysterious men who achieved it.

 
 

Second British Captain noticed the presence of the rather poor-looking man who helped the other three that won the battle. He does not like Romans much.

 
 

A Tribune double-checks the Emperor’s orders with the Senators, and clarifies the reasoning behind them.

 
 

The First Gentleman has been at Cymbeline’s court for many years, knows most of the gossip, and does not mind sharing it.

 
 

The Second Gentleman is apparently newly-arrived at court, for he does not know either the latest gossip or the old.

 
 

The First Lord is one of Cloten’s sycophants, following him about and fawning on him, boosting his self-esteem. 

 
 

The Second Lord is one of Cloten’s sycophants, though he much prefers mocking him behind his back. 

 
 

Lady Attendant on the Queen gathers flowers and plants for the Queen’s ‘medical’ experiments.

 
 

Other Ladies attending on the Queen gather flowers and plants for the Queen’s ‘medical’ experiments.

 
 

A Dutchman [mute role] is one of Philario’s friends.

 
 

A Spaniard [mute role] is one of Philario’s friends.

 
 

A Singer and musicians sing an aubade to Imogen at Cloten’s command. 

 
 

A Messenger announces Caius Lucius’s approach to Cymbeline. 

 
 

First Senator announces the Emperor’s decision to send the nobility to fight in Britain rather than the professional soldiers, who are busy elsewhere.

 
 

Second Senator confirms that Lucius will lead the invasion of Britain.

 
 
 
 
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