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Œuvres complètes : Les jaloux 3 : Cymbeline (1609)

par William Shakespeare

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

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1,561289,504 (3.52)44
Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus.
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Anglais (26)  Suédois (1)  Catalan (1)  Toutes les langues (28)
Affichage de 1-5 de 28 (suivant | tout afficher)
This play is not greatly to my taste. But it does work on stage, and is a surviving work of the great writer. Imogen, the King's daughter is falsely accused of adultery, by the machinations of Iachimo, who creates an appearance of the deed. Imogen flees her father's court, but does recover her position by an unlikely series of events. the play did not give birth to the usual number of later clichés in language. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 5, 2022 |
A Comedy in the sense that most of the characters come out alive, but not much humor to it. A love tragedy which ends Happily Ever After.

I enjoyed the reading of this, and watching the BBC production of it. I would like to have a talk with Imogen about her everlasting love for a man who put out a hit on her because of circumstantial evidence, no matter how damning, but other than that it was one of the more satisfying plays I've read recently. I love the part of Pisanio, the servant. In my eyes, he is the man who deserves all praise. If I were ever to direct this play, he would be the focus. A level-headed man amongst all the flighty nobility. ( )
  MrsLee | Feb 11, 2022 |
This is definitely my favorite Shakespeare plays. It serves as a mashup of all of them, in terms of plot content, and I think that it has some of Shakespeare's most vivid characterizations. It also seems to have fewer vulgar jokes, so that makes it much more enjoyable. Altogether, a tough read, but an excellent one. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
"What shalt thou expect, To be depender on a thing that leans?" (pg. 29)

There's a strange, placid satisfaction in enjoying something that most people have dismissed, a sort of positive, constructive counterpart to schadenfreude; an assurance that, having appreciated something, you appreciated it according to your own lights and not because you were told it was great. Like Iachimo in the play's famous bedchamber scene, I approached Cymbeline with scepticism and with pen in hand, ready to note down any errors, only to leave unaccountably charmed.

I really don't understand the dismissal of this play. I thought it was rather great. Shakespeare's reputation has been forged on his perfection of various forms of established drama: his tragedies, most notably, but also his comedies and his histories. (I should also mention his satires, The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew, though many people tend to misunderstand them.) He took the time-tested conventions and laced them with his own incomparable genius, giving depth to heroes, shade to villains, and ringing eloquence to characters who, in other hands, would be relegated to plot devices.

Cymbeline, on the other hand, belongs to a small stable that Shakespeare sought to construct from scratch, late in his career. Neither comedies nor tragedies nor histories, this group of plays (including the likes of The Tempest and The Winter's Tale) are more freewheeling, more experimental. And like most experiments, the results are of mixed success (with The Tempest widely considered the most successful), and most of the commentary on them tends to be apologetic. Sometimes the apologies are generous (the Introduction to my Arden edition of the play describes it as "a comprehensive piece of impressionism, that… finally expresses something which Shakespeare never quite achieves elsewhere" (pg. lxxviii)), but they're apologies nonetheless. Cymbeline isn't generally seen as being able to stand on its own, unlike, say, the inarguable brilliance of Macbeth or Hamlet.

However, while Cymbeline is one that the academics and the iamb-counters will break their lances on, those who recognise that Shakespeare was an entertainer (and an erudite one, at that) will wonder what all the confusion is about. As one of those strangest of creatures, someone who reads Shakespeare for fun, in his spare time, I found Cymbeline quite straightforward and thrilling.

Despite three plotlines, it's easy to follow. In one, the exiled Posthumus lays a wager with Iachimo that his wife Imogen is virtuous and incorruptible; Iachimo's attempts to undermine this are the cause of much of the destruction in the play. In the second plotline, tensions between the British kingdom and Rome are inflamed by manoeuvrings in the court of Cymbeline, king of the Britons. In the third (and weakest), Cymbeline's kidnapped sons have come of age in the wilderness, and the play primes itself for their return. We get the usual Shakespearean doses of scheming, cross-dressing and soliloquising, and if Cymbeline is never a match for Shakespeare's more well-known works, it certainly shines bright for such a lesser light.

The play has a lot of energy right from the start, and carries it through right to the end (the final scene has the daunting technical task of wrapping up three plotlines simultaneously, and unlike, say, The Winter's Tale, it pulls it off). Cymbeline himself is a bit-part player, with seemingly little understanding of what is going on around him (perhaps one of the reasons Shakespeare didn't steer this play into outright comedy was to avoid the dangerous business of mocking a king). Guiderius and Arviragus might be the king's sons, but Imogen, his daughter, is the sun around which the play orbits. She enters the play unpromisingly, like a grain of sand enters an oyster, and emerges, layered by the various happenings of the plot, as a bona fide pearl.

Unlike some of his other great heroines, I don't think Shakespeare intended for Imogen to be this good a character. In this, an experimental play, she is accidental; and the reason I believe this is so is because she has no worthy counterpart. Cleopatra had her Antony, Juliet her Romeo, Lady Macbeth her Macbeth – and, as far as father/daughters go, Cordelia had her Lear. Imogen, however, stands among inferiors. Posthumus, her husband, is a bit of a drip, and Iachimo is a venal trickster (though the latter is irresistibly moved by her, he is too dulled in his morality to process it). Her father Cymbeline has no hold over her, nor indeed any sense that she is already outside his grasp, and it is only Pisanio who comes closest to deserving to stand alongside her.

It is nevertheless these interactions which result in Cymbeline emerging as a fine piece of drama, and one much better than its critical dismissal suggests. The play lacks the iconic lines that can draw the punters in to, say, Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet, but it makes up for this lack with some truly fine moments of drama. Scenes like the one between Imogen and Pisanio at Milford-Haven (a tense encounter which wouldn't be out of place in The Sopranos"What shall I need to draw my sword? the paper Hath cut her throat already" (pg. 90)) are, if not among Shakespeare's best, are only not so because his best is so high, and are comfortably among the second rank. Others are truly special: the famous encounter in Imogen's bedchamber might be one of the most erotic scenes in literature.

This latter scene is, quite brilliantly, for the most part a single soliloquy, and this fact reminds me that Cymbeline, while not iconic, has its fair share of lines too. Imogen's fatalistic replies to Pisanio in the afore-mentioned Milford-Haven scene are deliciously curt, and her romantic lament after her husband departs for Italy carries real poetry ("I would have broke mine eye-strings, crack'd them, but To look upon him, till the diminution Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle: Nay, followed him, till he had melted from The smallness of a gnat, to air: and then Have turn'd mine eye, and wept" (pg. 16)). Even Posthumus gets his moment, with a bracing soliloquy on man's frustrations with womankind (pp71-73). The play might not be peopled with characters to stand with Imogen, but it is peopled with moments, and these are enough for the play to resist the leanings of even the most misguided critic. ( )
1 voter MikeFutcher | Nov 14, 2021 |
My favorite Shakespeare play so far! ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 28 (suivant | tout afficher)
I confess to a difficulty in feeling civilized just at present. Flying from the country, where the gentlemen of England are in an ecstasy of chicken-butchering, I return to town to find the higher wits assembled at a play three hundred years old, in which the sensation scene exhibits a woman waking up to find her husband reposing gorily in her arms with his head cut off. Pray understand, therefore, that I do not defend Cymbeline. It is for the most part stagey trash of the lowest melodramatic order, in parts abominably written, throughout intellectually vulgar, and, judged in point of thought by modern intellectual standards, vulgar, foolish, offensive, indecent, and exasperating beyond all tolerance.
ajouté par SnootyBaronet | modifierThe Saturday Review, George Bernard Shaw (Sep 26, 1896)
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (191 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Shakespeare, Williamauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Cajander, PaavoTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Dowden, EdwardDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Göhler, GerhartPostfaceauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Hudson, Henry N.Directeur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Kredel, FritzConcepteur de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Nosworthy, J. M.Directeur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Rolfe, William JamesDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Tieck, DorotheaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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You do not meet a man but frowns: our bloods

No more obey the heavens then our courtiers

Still seem as does the king.
First Gentleman. You do not meet a man but frowns.
our bloods
No more obey the heavens than our courtiers
Still seem as does the King.
Second Gentleman. But what’s the matter?
First Gentleman. His daughter, and the heir of his
kingdom, whom
He purposed to his wife’s sole son—a widow
That late he married—has referred herself
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman. She’s wedded,
Her husband banished, she imprisoned; all
Is outward sorrow; though I think the King
Be touched at very heart.
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No, 'tis slander,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world.
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(Cliquez pour voir. Attention : peut vendre la mèche.)
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This work is for the complete Cymbeline only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or simplifications (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus.

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Penguin Australia

2 éditions de ce livre ont été publiées par Penguin Australia.

Éditions: 0140714723, 0140707425

 

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