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Shakespeare's Characters: Cymbeline and his Queen

From The Works of William Shakespeare. Vol. 18. Ed. Evangeline Maria O'Connor. J.D. Morris and Co.

The Queen — whose guilty machinations threaten to be the ruin of Posthumus, who holds the reins of government in her own hands, and has the intention of directing the fortunes of all, in accordance with her own resolves — lives to see all her plans thwarted, and in the end herself falls a victim to the destructive power of her own wickedness. Cymbeline, the husband, father and king — who is more or less directly affected by the complications in the lives of all the others, hence as it were, the point where all the radii of the wide circle meet, and from which they in the first instance proceed, and upon whom everything turns although he himself appears the least active — forms the quiescent centre of the action, and in his undutiful lassitude and passiveness regulates the fortunes of all, but is ultimately obliged to take all their fortunes upon himself. The drama, therefore, very justly bears his name.
Ulrici: Shakspeare's Dramatic Art.


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