Quotes

Cymbeline/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “The eldest of them at three years old, ‘i
th’ swathing clothes the other, from their nursery, were stol’n.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 66-68.  First Gentleman to Second Gentleman.  Cymbeline is king of Britain. The time of the play was at the time of the shift from B.C. to A.D. As babies, the king and his former queen’s two sons had been stolen from their nursery. This quote, some twenty years or so after the theft of the king’s two sons, is the response by the First Gentleman to the Second Gentleman’s question “But pray you tell me, is she sole child to th’ king?” The she is Imogen, the daughter of the king and his former queen. Through the quote, the First Gentleman was letting the Second Gentleman know that Imogen isn’t the king’s sole child and that, concerning the sons, “to this hour no guess in knowledge which way they went.”

Cymbeline/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “This diamond was my mother’s.  Take it, heart, but keep it till you woo
another wife when Imogen is dead.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 1,
Lines 130-133.  Imogen to Posthumus.  Imogen and Posthumus have secretly married. Cymbeline, her father, has banished Posthumus to Rome. Posthumus had been raised in the king’s court by the king and his current queen. In a touching moment, Imogen offers her sweetheart-husband this quote. He puts her ring, her mother’s, on his finger.

Cymbeline/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “For my sake, wear this.  It is a manacle of love.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1. Lines 142-143.  Posthumus to Imogen.  Posthumus gives his wife Imogen a bracelet, she having given him her mother’s ring. Speaking of the bracelet, he says “I’ll place it upon this fairest prisoner.” He offers this quote. He places the bracelet on her wrist just as he is about to leave for Rome.

Cymbeline/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “She shines not upon fools, lest the
reflection should hurt her.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 2,
Lines 32-33.  Second Lord to
himself.  Cloten has been bragging about his fight with Posthumus, two lords believing not a word he says. Cloten is the queen’s son by her prior marriage. He has a one-way love interest in Imogen. He says rhetorically “that she should love this fellow and refuse me!” This is when this Second Lord makes this aside comment.

Cymbeline/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “My mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness
of your unworthy thinking.  I dare you to
this match.  Here’s my ring.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 4,
Lines 152-154.  Posthumus to
Iachimo.  A gullible Posthumus is in Rome, in questionable company, banished to Italy by Cymbeline, following his queen’s suggestion. Iachimo, an Italian Lothario, has convinced Posthumus that he can prove that Posthumus’ wife is unfaithful, confident as he is in his womanizing skills. Posthumus bets his ring that Iachimo cannot prove it so, the quote. A confident Iachimo says “my ten thousand ducats are yours, so is your diamond too if I come off and leave her in such honor as you have trust in.” This moment is central to the play.

Cymbeline/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “There is no danger in what show of death it makes, more than the locking-up
the spirits a time, to be more fresh, reviving.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 5,
Lines 46-49.  Cornelius to himself.  The queen has asked her doctor for certain poisonous “drugs.” Cornelius, the doctor, responds “you have commanded of me these most poisonous compounds, which are the movers of a languishing death, but though slow, deadly.” He hands her a box of drugs. Once she exits the stage, Cornelius offers us this quote.

Cymbeline/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “You do seem to know something of me or what should concern me.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 6,
Lines 112-113.  Imogen to Iachimo.  Iachimo, the Roman Lothario, is now in London. He has effectively planted the thought in Imogen’s mind that her husband has not been faithful to her. She offers this quote. Being a very good confidence man, Iachimo convinces her to trust him.

Cymbeline/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The crickets sing, and man’s
o’erlabored sense repairs itself by sleep.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 14-15.  Iachimo to himself.  Iachimo easily convinces Imogen that he has a trunk full of valuables that he and his friends have purchased for the Roman Emperor while they were in France. In the trunk are “silver and gold and jewels of rich and exquisite form,” he says. To safe keep the valuables, she agrees to store the trunk in her bedroom that night. She has read in bed “for three hours.” She falls asleep. He emerges from the trunk. He offers this quote.

Cymbeline/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Tis her breathing that perfumes the chamber thus.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 21-22.  Iachimo to himself.  Having emerged from the trunk, determined to remember everything he sees and every scent in the room, Iachimo is taken by the moment and the beauty of Imogen. He lets us know that he is certain that what he learns during this brief time in her bedroom will be the extent of the evidence he can use to support his case against Posthumus when he returns to Rome.

Cymbeline/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “This secret will force him to
think I have picked the lock and ta’en the treasure of her honor.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 44-46.  Iachimo to himself.  During his brief time in Imogen’s bedroom, outside of the time he spent in the trunk that is, he removes the bracelet from her wrist. He also notes that there is “on her left breast a mole with five spots.” He says to himself “Here’s a voucher stronger than ever law could make.” He then offers us this quote.