The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.054  Tuesday, 7 February 2012


From:        Brian Bixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 6, 2012 10:09:31 PM EST

Subject:     Cymbeline: What have I missed?


In the Wager scene (1.4 in the Oxford edition) of Cymbeline, Posthumus says to Giacomo (l.137-140): “I shall but lend my diamond till your return . . . . Here’s my ring.” After Giacomo has been to Cymbeline’s court and gathered his evidence for Innogen’s faithlessness, he meets once more with Posthumus who says: “Sparkles this stone as it was wont, or is’t not too dull for your good wearing?” (2.4. 40-1) So it would appear that Giacomo has been in possession of Posthumus’s ring during this interval, an interval that includes his meeting with Innogen. Later in 2.4 Giacomo ‘shows the bracelet’ that Posthumus had given to Innogen, and says, “It must be married to that your diamond, I’ll keep them,” (l.97-8) which suggests he already has the ring. 


But then at 2.4. 106, we have the stage direction, ‘He (Posthumus) gives Giacomo his ring.’ Is there an inconsistency, some forgetfulness here?


Brian Bixley


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