A complex play that is neither tragedy nor comedy, Cymbeline is a story of love, deception and jealousy. Imogen is in love with Posthumus, but her father, the king, wants her to marry Cloten, the son of his second wife, the Queen. After Posthumus is banished and tricked, Imogen disguises herself as a boy and runs after him. Desperate to have her son become king, the Queen plots to kill her husband and Imogen. In the end, only the bad characters are punished, while good comes to the others.
Cymbeline, a play of uncertain date by William Shakespeare, was produced as early as 1611. It has been described as a tragi-comedy or a romance and is set in pre-Roman Britain.
His steeds to water at those springs
On chalic'd flowers that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin
To ope their golden eyes;
With everything that pretty is,
My lady sweet, arise:
Than is the full-wing'd eagle.
And sing our bondage freely.
Is certain falling, or so slippery that
The fear’s as bad as falling.
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world.
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion.
Finds the down pillow hard.
No elder than a boy.
I'll sweeten thy sad grave; thou shall not lack
The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azur'd harebell, like thy veins.
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.
When I was but your sister; I you, brothers,
When you were so indeed.