Cymbeline | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Cymbeline | Act 4, Scene 4 | Summary



The war between Britain and Rome is now in full swing. There is fighting near the home of Belarius. The three men can hear the battle raging. Belarius says they should hide farther up in the mountains, but the two young men are eager for battle. They persuade Belarius to come with them as they join the fight against the Romans.


This scene brings Belarius and the two princes one step closer to being revealed. The nearness of the British army causes different reactions among the men. Belarius is not enthusiastic about joining the battle, and he spends most of this scene worrying. He thinks if he joins the battle he will be recognized, and the death of Cloten might be discovered. He wants to run away.

The two brothers, however, want to run toward the sounds of fighting. They are excited for the adventure and excitement of battle. The enthusiasm of Guiderius and Arviragus to join the battle was previously noted by Belarius as a sign of their inherent nobility, and in this scene he echoes that sentiment in more visceral language, saying their blood will show them to be princes, as it will "fly out and show them princes born."

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