Cymbeline | Critical Essay by Joan Hartwig

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of Cymbeline.
This section contains 12,819 words
(approx. 43 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lila Geller

Critical Essay by Joan Hartwig

SOURCE: "Cymbeline: 'A Speaking Such as Sense Cannot Untie'," in Shakespeare's Tragicomic Vision, Louisiana State University Press, 1972, pp. 61-103.

In the essay below, Hartwig contends that while Cymbeline is characteristic of Shakespeare's tragicomedies, it has an unprecedented complexity stemming from shifting perspectives and the juxtaposition of reality and illusion.

To move from Pericles to Cymbeline is to move from majestic simplicity to bewildering complexity. Cymbeline has three basic plot lines, but each of these has many subsidiary plots and their interweaving is more intricate than the two plot lines in Pericles. First, there is the suit for the hand of Imogen, which includes Iachimo's "wager" and Cloten's "revenge" as well as Posthumus' banishment and return. A second plot concerns the lost sons of Cymbeline and their abductor-guardian Belarius; and the third is the separation and reunion of Britain and Rome...

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This section contains 12,819 words
(approx. 43 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lila Geller