CYMBELINE by William Shakespeare

With this one, I have to plead some very serious bias. I acted in this play in college, playing the roles of Cornelius and the second lord attending Prince Cloten. The experience was wonderful and I can’t even think of Cymbeline without remembering old friends and some great times. That being said, this is not a perfect play. Some parts just don’t gel with others and several characters are either cookie cutter stereotypes or just plain boring. Overall however, I do think Cymbeline works. It really shouldn’t but it does. Part of the reason why is Shakespeare’s audacity. His casual mixing of British legends, Italian fables, Classical mythology and Roman history is deliciously bizarre. If Shakespeare had shown the slightest doubt or hesitation, the whole thing would have collapsed. He doesn’t, however. He just plows right ahead and expects us to follow and we do. Of course, a few great characters, memorable scenes and some gorgeous poetry help. Bottom line, I love it but I fully confess that I can’t NOT love it. 

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