A scene for 3 characters from the play "Cymbeline" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Characters: Cloten?Imogen?Lady??
  • Scene type / Who are: Flirting, Master/Servant
  • Type: Comic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Romance, Tragedy, Drama, Comedy
  • Description: Cloten declares his love to Imogen, only to be teased
  • Location: ACT II, Scene 3

Summary

Cymbeline is Britain's king. His daughter Imogen was supposed to marry Cymbeline's new Queen's son, Cloten. Imogen, however, marries a poor gentleman, Posthumus. When the king finds out he decides to exile Posthumus to Italy and has his daughter locked away. Pisanio, Posthumus loyal servant, remains in England and becomes Imogen's servant. Cloten continues to court Imogen but has no success as she is not interested in him and vows to remain faithful to her husband.

In this scene Cloten knocks on Imogen's door to talk to her. He tries to bribe one of her maids to get to her but Imogen comes out of her room. Cloten ...

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Excerpt

[Imogen's bedchamber in Cymbeline's palace.]

CLOTEN
If she be up, I'll speak with her; if not,
Let her lie still and dream.

[Knocks]

By your leave, ho!
I Know her women are about her: what
If I do line one of their hands? 'Tis gold
Which buys admittance; oft it doth; yea, and makes
Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
Their deer to the stand o' the stealer; and 'tis gold
Which makes the true man kill'd and saves the thief;
Nay, sometime hangs both thief and true man: what
Can it not do and undo? I will make
One of her women lawyer to me, for
I yet not understand the case myself.

[Knocks]

By your leave.

[Enter a Lady]

Lady
Who's there that knocks?

CLOTEN
A gentleman.

Lady
No more?

CLOTEN
Yes, and a gentlewoman's son.

Lady
That's more
Than some, whose tailors are as dear as yours,
Can justly boast of. What's your lordship's pleasure?

CLOTEN
Your lady's person: is she ready?

Lady
Ay,
To keep her chamber.

CLOTEN
There is gold for you;
Sell me your good report.

Lady
How! my good name? or to report of you
What I shall think is good?--The princess!

[Enter IMOGEN]

CLOTEN
Good morrow, fairest: sister, your sweet hand.

[Exit Lady]

IMOGEN
Good morrow, sir. You lay out too much pains
For purchasing but trouble; the thanks I give
Is telling you that I am poor of thanks
And scarce can spare them.

CLOTEN
Still, I swear I love you.

IMOGEN
If you but said so, 'twere as deep with me:
If you swear still, your recompense is still
That I regard it not.

CLOTEN
This is no answer.

IMOGEN
But that you shall not say I yield being silent,
I would not speak. I pray you, spare me: 'faith,
I shall unfold equal discourtesy
To your best kindness: one of your great knowing
Should learn, being taught, forbearance.

CLOTEN
To leave you in your madness, 'twere my sin:
I will not.

IMOGEN
Fools are not mad folks.

CLOTEN
Do you call me fool?

IMOGEN
As I am mad, I do:
If you'll be patient, I'll no more be mad;
That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir,
You put me to forget a lady's manners,
By being so verbal: and learn now, for all,
That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce,
By the very truth of it, I care not for you,
And am so near the lack of charity--
To accuse myself--I hate you; which I had rather
You felt than make't my boast.

CLOTEN
You sin against
Obedience, which you owe your father. For
The contract you pretend with that base wretch,
One bred of alms and foster'd with cold dishes,
With scraps o' the court, it is no contract, none:
And though it be allow'd in meaner parties--
Yet who than he more mean?--to knit their souls,
On whom there is no more dependency
But brats and beggary, in self-figured knot;
Yet you are curb'd from that enlargement by
The consequence o' the crown, and must not soil
The precious note of it with a base slave.
A hilding for a livery, a squire's cloth,
A pantler, not so eminent.

IMOGEN
Profane fellow
Wert thou the son of Jupiter and no more
But what thou art besides, thou wert too base
To be his groom: thou wert dignified enough,
Even to the point of envy, if 'twere made
Comparative for your virtues, to be styled
The under-hangman of his kingdom, and hated
For being preferred so well.

CLOTEN
The south-fog rot him!

IMOGEN
He never can meet more mischance than come
To be but named of thee. His meanest garment,
That ever hath but clipp'd his body, is dearer
In my respect than all the hairs above thee,
Were they all made such men. How now, Pisanio!

[Enter PISANIO]

CLOTEN
'His garment!' Now the devil--

IMOGEN
To Dorothy my woman hie thee presently--

CLOTEN
'His garment!'

IMOGEN
I am sprited with a fool.
Frighted, and anger'd worse: go bid my woman
Search for a jewel that too casually
Hath left mine arm: it was thy master's: 'shrew me,
If I would lose it for a revenue
Of any king's in Europe. I do think
I saw't this morning: confident I am
Last night 'twas on mine arm; I kiss'd it:
I hope it be not gone to tell my lord
That I kiss aught but he.

PISANIO
'Twill not be lost.

IMOGEN
I hope so: go and search.

[Exit PISANIO]

CLOTEN
You have abused me:
'His meanest garment!'

IMOGEN
Ay, I said so, sir:
If you will make't an action, call witness to't.

CLOTEN
I will inform your father.

IMOGEN
Your mother too:
She's my good lady, and will conceive, I hope,
But the worst of me. So, I leave you, sir,
To the worst of discontent.

[Exit]

CLOTEN
I'll be revenged:
'His meanest garment!' Well.

[Exit]



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