David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s CYMBELINE: A Retelling in Prose — Act 4, Scene 1

— 4.1 —

Cloten, wearing Posthumus’ clothing, stood near Belarius’ (Morgan’s) cave.

Alone, he said to himself, “I am near the place where Posthumus and Imogen should meet, ifPisanio has mapped the place truly and correctly. How fittingly his garmentsserve me! Why shouldn’t his mistress, who was made byHim — God — Who made the tailor, be fitting for me, too? I fit in Posthumus’ clothing, so why shouldn’t I fit in his wife? Pardon the sexual puns, but it is said a woman’s fitness — readiness for a sexual workout — comes by fits and starts. Therein I must play the skilled workman and make sure that I fit in her.

“I dare to say this to myself — for it is not vainglorious for a man and his mirror to confer privately in his own bedchamber — I mean, the lines of my body are as well drawn as those of Posthumus’ body. I am no less young, I am stronger, I am not beneath him in fortunes, I am superior to him in having the advantage of social connections, I am above him in birth, I am equally experienced as him in general military services, and I am more remarkable in single combat and duels.

“Yet this stubborn and blind thing — Imogen — loves him instead of me. What a thing human nature is!

“Posthumus, your head, which now is growing upon your shoulders, shall within this hour be cut off. Your wife shall be raped, your garments shall be cut to pieces before her face, and when all this is done, I will kick her home to her father. He may perhaps be a little angry for my very rough treatment of your wife, who is his daughter, but my mother, who has the power to change his testiness, shall turn all his criticisms of me into commendations of me.

“My horse is tied up safely. Out, sword, because I will use you for a grievous purpose! Fortune, put Posthumus and Imogen into my hands! This place matches the exact description of their meeting place, and that fellow Pisanio does not dare to deceive me.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: