Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 4
From Cymbeline. A.W. Verity. Cambridge, University Press.
6. revolts, rebels (i.e. to Cymbeline).
7-14. Belarius has his own reasons for keeping out of the way;
cf. 21-24. a render, an account.
13. whose answer. "The retaliation of the death of Cloten would
be death" -- Johnson.
18. their quarter'd fires; "fires in the respective quarters of the Roman army" -- Steevens. A camp-scene like Henry V. Prologue IV. (on the eve of Agincourt).
19. importantly, importunately; see Glossary.
27. The certainty; "the certain consequence of this hard life" -- Malone. Perhaps 'the certain continuance.' (F.)
33. o'ergrown, i.e. with hair, beard. This seems to me the key to V. 5. 319, where age = 'aged appearance.'
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Cymbeline. Ed. A.W. Verity. Cambridge, University Press, 1899. Shakespeare Online. 10 Dec. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/cymbel_4_4.html >.
How to cite the sidebar:
Mabillard, Amanda. Notes on Shakespeare. Shakespeare Online. 10 Dec. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/cymbel_4_4.html >.
Shakespeare relied upon Holinshed's Chronicles for the setting of the play and the name of the main character, Cymbeline. Holinshed reports on a king named Kymbeline, a descendant of King Lear, who ruled Britain from 33 B.C. to 2 A.D. The main plot of Cymbeline is an old and well-known story, retold time and again throughout the ages. Shakespeare no doubt had heard the tale, in many forms, of a man wagering that his lover is virtuous only to be made the fool. It seems that Shakespeare liked best the rendition of this timeless story told in Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron (second day, ninth novel), written in 1353. Read on...
Richard Shakespeare, Shakespeare's paternal grandfather, was a farmer in the small village of Snitterfield, located four miles from Stratford. Records show that Richard worked on several different farms which he leased from various landowners. Coincidentally, Richard leased land from Robert Arden, Shakespeare's maternal grandfather. Read on...
Shakespeare acquired substantial wealth thanks to his acting and writing abilities, and his shares in London theatres. The going rate was £10 per play at the turn of the sixteenth century. So how much money did Shakespeare make? Read on...
Henry Bolingbroke, the eldest son of John of Gaunt and the grandson of King Edward III, was born on April 3, 1367. Henry usurped the throne from the ineffectual King Richard II in 1399, and thus became King Henry IV, the first of the three kings of the House of Lancaster. Read on...
Known to the Elizabethans as ague, Malaria was a common malady spread by the mosquitoes in the marshy Thames. The swampy theatre district of Southwark was always at risk. King James I had it; so too did Shakespeare’s friend, Michael Drayton. Read on...
Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most captivating and complex figures in history. In 1152, Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet (later to become Henry II). Their son, John, was born in 1167 and is the title character of Shakespeare's history play.