Study Guide

Cymbeline, King of Britain Act 2, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 1

Read the full text of Cymbeline Act 2 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • Poor Cloten. He's in the palace bowling with two lords and complaining about his life. He has the worst luck of anyone alive, he says.
  • The lords agree with everything Cloten says, but behind his back, they're making fun of him: what an idiot; he's got no wit; he's a fool, a "capon" (idiot), a sucker. We think you get the idea.
  • The conversation turns to an Italian who has just come to town. (That would be Iachimo). Cloten lost to him at bowls, but he's sure he'll win tonight.
  • As Cloten and the first lord leave, the second lord stays behind to share some thoughts with the audience. In case we didn't catch on, he says he thinks Cloten is just about the stupidest guy he's ever met.
  • The second lord is shocked that the "crafty devil" Queen has a son who has such a small brain. Then he thinks of poor Imogen, who has to endure a dumb suitor and a father governed by a wicked stepmother.

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