Cymbeline | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Cymbeline | Act 2, Scene 1 | Summary



Meanwhile, Cloten has been gambling. He's lost a good deal, but he manages to keep bragging anyway. He describes an altercation with another man and complains that no one will engage in a fight with him because he's the queen's son. Again, one of the lords ridicules him in a series of asides. Cloten also remarks he wants to gamble with Iachimo. When Cloten and the flattering first lord leave, the second lord elaborates on Cloten's foolishness—he cannot believe a woman as shrewd as the queen is a mother to this idiot—and Imogen's virtues.


Cloten continues to be characterized as a moody braggart who boasts about getting in fights only after others refuse to fight him. In this scene his two lords fulfill their roles as flatterer and ridiculer. For example, when Cloten complains he could have fought with the other man if only he'd been of the same "rank," the second lord makes a pun on rank to insult him in an aside: "To have smelled like a fool."

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