Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday: Imogen/Innogen from “Cymbeline” (Shakespeare)

So I’m still under the weather, but Monologue Monday must still go on.

And I know for a blog called “Unknown Playwrights” we do use monologues from Shakespeare from time to time. Sorry about that.

However, this is from Shakespeare’s most bonkers play. In fact the following exchange is from an interview with a production company:

EL: Cymbeline is crazy. Because it’s less well known, it allows KCST to really make the production its own and make it an extremely unique, entertaining Shakespeare show.

DG: Cymbeline has got it all, and it’s hysterical.

CR: Think of all of the crazy devices used in Shakespeare’s plays – armies, combat, potions, evil royalty, gender flopping – they all appear in “Cymbeline”. You’re guaranteed to be entertained!

Guaranteed. Not even Hamlet can do that. What is at the heart of this bit of theatrical insanity you (probably don’t) ask?

Let’s take the plot, which is so psychotically convoluted that the plot summary would take an entire night at the theatre to read. Seriously. Look here, here or here.

Did you notice some places spelled her name “Innogen” and some as “Imogen.” yeah, it’s that type of play.

I’ll attempt to paraphrase the plot.

Roman Britain. Imogen‘s dad (and client king for the Romans) Cymebline has a hot new wife (the aptly-named Queen) and wants his daughter to marry her himbo stepbrother Cloten; she secretly marries her true love Posthumus.  Cymbeline goes nuts and banishes Posthumus.

The lovers exchange a ring (for her) and a bracelet (for him). Then they seperate.

Cymbeline wants to imprison Imogen up until she agrees to marry Cloten. The wicked stepmother gives poison to Imogen’s servant Pisanio for future use.  Cloten tries to serenade Imogen.

A grade-A douche-sprocket named Iachimo shows up from Rome. He’s like if Othello’s friend Iago was an even bigger wad. He makes a bet with Posthumus that he can make Imogen cheat on him.  Great guy…

You know what? the play doesn’t get any better. If we were to give Shakespeare the benefit of the doubt, it could be a comedy taking on all the tropes he used. People more important than me believe so.

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.20.31 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.20.07 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.19.35 PM

But others stick with tragedy:

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.23.48 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.22.36 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-18 at 3.22.06 PM

Maybe it’s a tragedy because it’s just so bad. Or Shakespeare’s buddies were playing a joke on future English Lit majors all around the world.

But enough of Shajespearean doggerel. Let’s get down to some monologues, which seem to be popular on Youtube. I consider Immogen/Innogen to be a strong character simply because she has to tolerate all the nonsense from the other characters.

This first monologue of Imogen’s comes from Act III, Scene 2. She wants a horse with wings, because who DOESN’T want a horse with wings????

ACT III, Scene 2

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

F

 

G

 

H

 

Now we’re on Act III, Scene 4 where Imogen mentions she’s not gonna not never has cheated on her husband, though I think she should with that bet and all.

ACT III, Scene 4

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

F

 

G

H

 

I

 

J

 

K

 

The next monologue comes from Imogen talking about how a man’s life is a tedious one. So is a theatre blogger’s. Sigh. One actor chose to do this from a sleeping position. Interesting contrast.

Act III, Scene 6

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

F

 

So now we skip back to Act I, Scene 3. Imogen talks about taking leave. One actor chooses to incoporate the previous line as well.

ACT I, Scene 3

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B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

And since that was a misogynistically brutal era, of course Imogen begs Pisanio to kill her if he wants to be a good servant, because suicide will send you to Hell or something. Act III, Scene 4

ACT III, Scene 4

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

F

We’re almost done! This scene is Act I, Scene 6. Imogen tells someone to leave her alone.

Act I, Scene 6

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B

 

So now we’re closing in. Act IV, Scene 2. I’m just gonna call this “Imogen waking up” because that’s exactly what she’s doing. She’s going to Milford Haven, not Milford, Utah. Let’s check it out!!!

Act IV, Scene 2

A

A

 

B

 

And that is the end of Imogen in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. To celebrate, let’s watch the trailer for the weird biker adapatation of the play:

 

Join us on Thursday for another unknown playwright and be sure to check out other Monologue Mondays.

Please check out Shakespeare’s other monologues that we’ve featured:

Henry IV, part 2

Titus Andronicus

The Two Noble Kinsmen

For a COMPLETE list of monologues, click here.

Cheers!!!!!

3 thoughts on “Monologue Monday: Imogen/Innogen from “Cymbeline” (Shakespeare)”

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