Cornelius is a physician at Cymbeline’s court who has been teaching the Queen the medicinal use of plants.
He does not trust her when she begins to question him about more dangerous concoctions, and disbelieves her insistence that she merely wishes to poison rats, cats and dogs. He therefore tricks her by given her powerful sleeping potions instead of poisons. He later forgets about having done so. He is unable to save the Queen when she falls ill, but hears her confession and reports it to the King.