Want to know where Cymbeline is set? See each setting Shakespeare used in the play on the map below.
Shakespeare was ‘thinking deep’ in setting Cymbeline. It’s set in the middle ages in a mythical England and a Rome that is very different from the Rome of Shakespeare’s great Roman plays. It is more like the Renaissance cities Shakespeare creates in other plays, such as Verona in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare reminds us all the time of the setting by referring to the two places. He uses the word Britain rather than England because in this play the idea of Empire is central. It is to some extent about the tension between the two empires of Rome and Britain, the first in a decadent state and the second beginning to flourish. The old and the new. The play’s major ambiguity is that Rome is the ruler of Britain and its equal at the same time.
The map below shows all the locations Shakespeare used for Cymbeline. You can zoom in on the map for a more detailed view of an area, and click the icons on the map for more information. Text in the more info box are the specific locations Shakespeare references in his Cymbeline text.
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