Cymbeline is the King of Britain. He marries an unpleasant woman who has an arrogant son called Cloten. Cymbeline arranges the marriage of his beautiful daughter, Imogen, to Cloten but she defies him and marries the poor but worthy Posthumus Leonatus.

Cymbeline banishes Posthumus, who goes to Rome. Before he goes Imogen gives him a diamond ring and he gives her a bracelet.

Several plot lines follow, involving disguises, mistaken identity, deceit, treachery and poison. The villain of the play is Iachimo, who bets a large sum of money against Postumus’ ring that he can seduce Imogen.

The play has a traditional comic ending. Iachimo confesses to his misdemeanours, the characters reveal themselves, all the misunderstandings are resolved and the lovers are reunited.


Cymbeline, King of Britain
Cloten, son to the Queen by a former husband
Posthumus Leonatus, a gentleman, husband to Imogen
Belarius, a banished lord, disguised under the name of Morgan
Arviragus, sons to Cymbeline, disguised under the names of Polydote and Cadwal, supposed sons to Morgan
Philario, friend to Posthumus,
Iachimo, friend to Philario, Italians.
Caius Lucius, general of the Roman forces
Pisanio, servant to Posthumus
Cornelius, a physician
A Roman captain
Two British captains
A Frenchman, friend to Philario
Two Lords of Cymbeline’s court
Two Gentlemen of the same
Two Gaolers
Queen, wife to Cymbeline
Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline by a former queen
Helen, a lady attending on Imogen

Lords, ladies, Roman senators, tribunes, a soothsayer, a Dutchman, a Spaniard, musicians, officers, captains, soldiers, messengers, and other attendants.