Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Helen Mirren As Imogen
Here is a scene from the BBC adaptation of Cymbeline. This play begins with a beautiful Princess married to a man of lower birth but with great personality and character. King Cymbeline, the Princesses father is angry about this secret marriage and banishes the Groom. Meanwhile the Groom has made a bet with a Roman soldier who says he can tempt the Princess, Imogen, to commit adultery.
In these clips we see the Princess, Imogen, when she first meets this Roman soldier named Iachimo...
A father cruel, and a step-dame false;
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
That hath her husband banish'd;--O, that husband!
My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
Vexations of it! Had I been thief-stol'n,
As my two brothers, happy! but most miserable
When Iachimo first sees the Princess, he is very surprised by her beauty and her strong character...and he suddenly has doubts about whether she is as flighty as he assumed...
[Aside] All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight;
Rather directly fly.
Iachimo tells the Princes sthat her husband is sleeping with all kinds of women in Europe. A real dog and player. But the Princess doesn't buy it......the Roman soldier is not able to trick Imogen into commiting adultery. Imogen defends her husband and says she will tell King Cymbeline about all his lies. Iachimo quickly tells her it was all a test of her loyalty. Iachimo is a jerk and lying. He wants to win his bet. So he sneaks into her bedroom while she is sleeping, steals a bracelet to "prove" to the Groom that Imogen is unfaihthful...and looks at her naked sleeping body to also provide "proof" he saw her naked!
So...of course, the Princess must be put to death...