Study Guide

Cymbeline, King of Britain Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By William Shakespeare

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Shadow of Darkness

It seems like no one is happy at the beginning of Cymbeline. Imogen has to say goodbye to her husband for no real reason other than the Queen wants her to marry someone else. Posthumus has to leave his home and travel to a foreign land by himself. Cymbeline, the Queen, and Cloten are all ticked off at Imogen for marrying someone other than the foolish Cloten. There isn't much hope for happiness in sight.

Pressure of Darkness

Sometimes things have to get worse to get better. And boy do they get a lot worse. Posthumus accuses Imogen of adultery and orders her death. Cloten threatens revenge on Imogen for making fun of him and really means it. Imogen accidentally drinks poison from the Queen and appears dead. Oh and did we mention Rome was invading Britain? Yep, that's the pressure of darkness all right.

Everything Comes to Light

All's well that ends well, we suppose. Imogen is discovered alive and well and reunites with her husband. All beef between them is gone once Iachimo reveals his lies and schemes to separate them. The evil characters—the Queen and Cloten—are dead so they can't harm anyone anymore. To top it all off, the kidnapped princes, Guiderius and Arviragus are found and reunited with their father and sister.

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