Cartography of a queen: race, region and royalty in Cymbeline

Samantha Frénée-Hutchins

Samantha Frénée-Hutchins. "Cartography of a queen: race, region and royalty in Cymbeline". Early Modern Literary Studies 15.2 (2010-11): 2.1-40 <URL:>
  1.  In 1603 James VI of Scotland was proclaimed James I of England and Wales.  His Stuart claim to the throne was founded on his "descent lineally out of the loynes of Henry the seventh"[1] and on Elizabeth's testament when she named "our cousin of Scotland"[2] the new king of England.  Arriving in London in May 1603 he declared by royal proclamation his project to unite his two kingdoms under the ancient name of Great Britain.[3]  In Shakespeare's Cymbeline the plot is visibly framed by James's concerns to unite the kingdoms of Scotland, Wales and England into the harmonious and prosperous unit of Great Britain.  Furthermore, the playwright enters the historiographical debate on national origins and ethnic diversity by investing its protagonists, particularly that of Cymbeline’s queen, with a multiplicity of identities; identities which are shifting, vague and uncertain.

  2. Each character seems to symbolise or comment on competing narratives of nationhood and historiography, in which ethnic distinctions are unstable and national origins unclear.  Following the discovery of America in the fifteenth century, the lands of England, Scotland and Ireland were no longer on the fringes of Europe but were in the centre of a new mappa mundi and with Rome no longer the religious centre for England but the new Anglican Church of England, James found himself in the middle of a controversy over cultural and political autonomy, national unity and the question of precedence.  The English belief was that Scotland should be incorporated into England, whereas the prevailing expectation in Scotland was that the two countries were to be equal partners under the same king.[4]  It is interesting to compare the speeches made by the two female characters of Cymbeline;  Innogen's speech is one that marks a rupture between Britain's past insularity and its entrance onto the wider international scene of military rivalry and the quest for new markets and territory. When Pisanio tells Innogen that she must leave the court and Britain Innogen asks where she can go:
                                               Where then?
    Hath Britain all the sun that shines? Day, night,
    Are they not but in Britain? I' th' world's volume
    Our Britain seems as of it but not in 't,
    In a great pool a swan's nest.
                                                       (III, iv, 137-140)
    The image of Britain standing as an island in the world's ocean manages to integrate Britain into the bigger world of continental Europe and America which stands in contrast to "the Queen's radical Britocentrism" as Jodi Mikalachki terms it.[5]

  3. The patriotic speech of Cymbeline’s wife and queen on the other hand, is of great interest for its reference to Britain's noble past, its evocation of the island's natural strength and its isolation from the outside world when the queen appeals to Cymbeline to resist Roman rule:
    Remember, sir, my liege,
    The kings your ancestors, together with
    The natural bravery of your isle, which stands
    As Neptune’s park, ribbed and paled in
    With rocks unscalable, and roaring waters;
    With sands that will not bear your enemies’ boats,
    But suck them up to the topmast.
    (III, i, 16-22)
    The point concerning Britain's independent insularity is hammered home immediately afterwards by the addendum made by Cloten, the queen’s son, of "Britain's a world/ by itself" (III, i, 13-14), and although Welsh harbours such as Milford Haven[6] are represented as open doors for enemy attack, the island's physical topoi seems to exclude it from the civilised world of Rome. The queen's nationalistic position recalls that of the dying John of Gaunt in Shakespeare's Richard II in which Britain's insularity and island strength are also invoked in the form of "this sceptred isle" (II, I, 40), and again, in John Fletcher’s Tragedie of Bonduca, when Bonduca’s first daughter calls upon the god, Andate, to protect "this blessed Isle" (III, i, 36) from Roman incursions.  In all these speeches the island status of England becomes not only a focus of obstruction between England and Europe but also a celebration of England's imperial aspirations within the British union. "The island-empire of England," as Willy Maley terms it, was to become "the first 'British' Empire, what has been called 'the Atlantic Archipelago', [which] was fundamentally an anti-European phenomenon."[7]  Maley also points to Henry VIII's appropriation of the title; King of Ireland, in 1541 and England's Act of Restraint of Appeals in 1533 which declared England an 'empire,' and "a sovereign territorial state which was completely independent of the pope and all foreign princes."[8]

  4. However, in Cymbeline the elimination of the queen and her son marks a rejection of England's insularity and a plea for a more open European policy.  With this in mind it is possible to suggest an analogy between the position of Cymbeline's queen on foreign affairs and that of Elizabeth I which signals a movement away from Tudor England's insularity towards James's position of European cooperation and commercial competition. This idea has been suggested to me by Maley's comment regarding the social evolution of this period, of which he writes: "There are, traditionally, two ways of looking at Elizabethan society, as a beleaguered nation, insular and defensive, or as the embryo of an aggressively expansionist British Empire, as England writ large."[9] The closure of Cymbeline, which marks the reunion of family members, old friends and old enemies, also celebrates the re-unification of a once divided Britain and the beginning of a peaceful and expansionist English empire from its central hub at London. 

  5. Cymbeline's queen portrays, not only an unrealistic attachment to a false and self-aggrandising myth of origin but an insular and aggressive form of patriotism.  The most pertinent reflection of this position is to be found in her speech, already referred to, wherein she appeals to Cymbeline to "remember" Briton's nationalistic and heroic past, his royal heritage, and to rebel against the Romans by not paying the Roman tribute:
                                A kind of conquest
    Caesar made here; but made not here his brag
    Of “came, and saw, and overcame:" with shame
    (The first that ever touch’d him) he was carried
    From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping
    (Poor ignorant baubles!) on our terrible seas,
    Like egg-shells mov’d upon their surges, crack’d
    As easily ‘gainst our rocks: for joy whereof,
    The fam’d Cassibelan, who was once at point
    (O giglot fortune!) to master Caesar’s sword,
    Made Lud’s town with rejoicing fires bright,
    And Britons strut with courage.
                                                                                                  (III, i, 22-33)
    In this speech she appeals to Cymbeline's ancestors, the line of kings recounted in Geoffrey of Monmouth's history and repeats Monmouth's fiction that the Britons twice repelled Julius Caesar's forces, [10] a fiction which is also repeated, and exaggerated, in Gent's A Valiant Welshman when Octavian, the king of North Wales, says: "Great Julius Cesar, fortunate in armes,/ suffred three base reppulses from the Cliffes/ of chalky Dover."[11]

  6. Now the speech does recall moments of British glory; some Englishmen could still remember the defeat of the Spanish Armada, whose ships had been broken up by the terrible seas around Britain just "like egg-shells mov’d upon their surges, crack’d/ As easily ‘gainst our rocks."  However, Shakespeare's use of the Galfridian fiction, and his use of the queen's references to the Roman god of water when she compares Britain to "Neptune's park" are possibly meant to reflect an absurd attachment to the Galfridian legend which had invested the Britons with "a self-serving, long and glorious history,"[12] John Curran writes. The irony here is that the queen has appropriated the Roman god of Neptune and has incorporated the Roman founding of "Lud's town"[13] into British history whilst rejecting any Roman identity for Britain.  In placing the nation's identity on Geoffrey of Monmouth's line of mythological British kings Curran asserts that the queen's speech also reflects her "inordinate love of title and lineage - a love which represents an inappropriate adherence to an old fashioned Galfridian historical paradigm,"[14] a paradigm which is further reflected in the mythological names Shakespeare has chosen for his protagonists[15] and in the chronological confusion of the sources he exploits.

  7. The queen's patriotic speech clearly shows that she has no problem of national allegiance; her one and only fealty is to Britain.  However, in Cymbeline there is clearly an opposition between Britain and England, and between gendered forms of nationalism.  Shakespeare's plays, and others, show the Anglocentrism of British history as Baker and Maley warn us in their introduction to British Identities. When justifying the dominance of English texts in their examination of Renaissance Literature, they write: "Renaissance studies coalesce, and we suspect, will continue to coalesce, around iconic texts - 'Shakespeare' - that were and are implicated in a hegemonic “Englishness."[16] Whilst reminding their readers "of the specificity of literary culture as a key carrier of national identity"[17] they quote John Pocock in identifying this English hegemony as a "British problem"[18] in the identity of British culture and they try to focus their attention on the expressions of the different national identities within the British archipelago.

  8. It is highly significant that the queen, who bases her prestige and title on royal lineage and dynastic rule is the only character in the play to have no name and no past (a similar role is played by Lady/Queen Macbeth in another of Shakespeare’s plays).  We only know that she re-married Cymbeline after the death of her first husband.  Furthermore, Cymbeline’s queen has no place in Monmouth's History of the Kings of England, or in Holinshed's Scottish account of Kimbaline's reign.  However, whilst Cymbeline's queen cannot be traced back to Kymbeline's reign in England she does have one, or even two historical counterparts, that of Boudica, whose story Shakespeare found in Holinshed's Chronicles of England and in his Chronicles of Scotland, alongside the story of Cartimandua who, I argue further on, was also exploited as a source for Cymbeline.[19]  It is Jodi Mikalachki who connects Cymbeline’s queen to that of "Voadicia, or Boadicea," the warrior queen of the Iceni tribe who had rebelled against the Roman occupation of Britain in AD 60-61,[20] perhaps because both played the role of the empowered widow as well as that of mother and spokesperson for national identity. Boudica, though, is more often represented as the avenging mother and defender of her people and lands which explains her evolution into a national icon.

  9. Elements such as Voadicia's/Voada's[21] nationalistic speech, her opposition to the Roman conquerors, and her suicide may have been suggested to Shakespeare by the English and Scottish chronicles, though Mikalachki only refers to Holinshed's English chronicles as a source.[22]  Mary Floyd-Wilson notes that Mikalachki "overlooks the Scottish Chronicles in her discussion"[23]  and in another work she goes on to explore these sources further by referring to Arviragus's wife, Voada, as a source in Holinshed's Scottish chronicles.[24] Floyd-Wilson also investigates another source in more detail, that of Hector Boece's Chronicles of Scotland.  By citing Boece's Chronicles of Scotland, alongside Holinshed's Chronicles of Scotland, as  rival sources for the historiographical and ethnological tensions in the play, Floyd-Wilson develops Mikalachki's "attention to Cymbeline's historiographical sophistication,"[25] adding that "no one has seriously entertained the possibility that Cymbeline's central plot may be an amalgamation of Scottish, English, and Roman histories.  Or more accurately, that the play may be staging competing and irreconcilable perspectives on Britain's early history."[26]   This line of research might illustrate the discrepancies in representations of Cymbeline's queen.  

  10. Floyd-Wilson focuses on the Scottish chronicles in which Voada, the sister of Caratake, King of Scotland, was married to Arviragus, King of Britain, but then she and her children were cast off by him in favour of a second wife, Genissa, a Roman lady.[27]  Of the marriage between Genissa and Arviragus Holinshed, obviously using the Scottish sources, asserts in his English chronicles that this is "but a feined tale"[28] and furthermore, he identifies Arviragus with  Prasutagus, Voadicia's husband, thereby undermining Boece's work: "Prasutagus ... is supposed by Hector Boetius to be Arviragus, king of the people called Iceni."[29]  It is certainly intriguing that one of the royal princes in Cymbeline carries the name of Arviragus which does suggest that Shakespeare was aware of the Scottish story of Voada.

  11. Although Voada is not mentioned in the English accounts of Arviragus's reign Floyd-Wilson proffers this as evidence of Voada's importance as a source for Cymbeline: "it is, I contend, Voada's erasure from the English Chronicles that attests to her importance."[30]  And her importance, according to Floyd-Wilson, is that "Voada represents a history of mingled ethnic identities." [31] This is certainly the case in The Valiant Welshman (C.1610/11) in which A. Gent appropriates the character of Voada from the Scottish chronicles and re-presents her as the gentle and obedient Welsh sister of Caradoc who is later married to the King of Britain's brother.[32]

  12. However, I contest Floyd-Wilson's assertion that Voada was erased from the English chronicles for, as Holinshed points out, Boece has confused Arviragus with Prasutagus which means that he has confused Voada with Voadicia. Confusions over spellings were frequent at the time as Holinshed points out when referring us to Tacitus's spelling of Voadicia and Dio's spelling of 'Bunduica' or 'Bunuica.'[33] Holinshed puts such errors down to the miscopying of manuscripts before the introduction of printing.  When discussing the geographic confusions surrounding the name and location of Camelodunum and Colchester he writes: "some error hath growne by mistaking the name of Camelodunum for this Camaletum, by such as haue copied out the booke of Cornelius Tacitus."[34]  Boece and Holinshed certainly use similar sources for Boudica's rebellion even if Boece adds a huge number of chronological and geographical excrescences to her story, which are not missed by Holinshed, or by Shakespeare. Voada is, therefore, very much present in the English chronicles. 

  13. We can, perhaps, accuse Holinshed of eliminating certain elements of her story from the Scottish version because they might have embarrassed English nationalism. For example, not only is the Scottish story an example of the intermarriage between the Scots and the Britons,[35] but the children of Voada and Arviragus held a Scoto-Briton identity.  However, Floyd-Wilson suggests that the erasure of Voada from the English chronicles was made in order to avoid any confusion between British nationalism and Scottish and Pictish rebellion[36] that could be thought subversive considering James's union project. Alternatively, we could credit Holinshed with editing Boece's inaccurate account of Boudica's life.

  14.  Boece's Chronicles of Scotland and Holinshed's Chronicles of Scotland need to be examined together for they seem to have provided significant inspiration for Shakespeare’s play.  Uniting the Britons, the Scots and the Picts, under the military leadership of her brother, Caratak, King of Scotland, the spurned Scottish Voada inspired a populist movement against her adulterous, Briton husband, Aruiragus, and the Roman occupiers. After the Britons' defeat Voada, her son and two daughters were rescued and taken to Wales (Boece includes a reference to the Prince of Wales who defended them),[37] and Aruiragus and the Romans withdrew to London.  Later, however, Aruiragus regrets his acts and wanting to recover his past honour and liberty he switches sides again and returns to the Britons and to his wife and children. In the meantime, his second wife, Genissa, dies.  Unfortunately for Aruiragus his Britons are defeated by the Roman forces. Aruiragus surrenders but has to give hostages and accept Roman authority in return for the retention of his position as King of the Britons. In Boece's account one of the hostages includes his son, Guilderius, who is sent to Rome but falls ill and dies.[38]

  15. Meanwhile both Boece and Holinshed take up the story of Caratak and only return to Voada after Caratak's death, when his brother Corbreid has been appointed King of Scotland, and the Isle of Man (Holinshed notes this as Anglesey) is being invaded by Suetonius's Roman forces.[39] This effectively marks the beginning of Voadicia's story as recounted by the Roman source Tacitus, which is the one followed by Boece, with one or two additions "collekit out of Godofryde wrytar of Inglis historyis, and out of Veramond, Iohne Campbell, Cornelius Tacitus, and Eutropius."[40]  Tacitus, to which we must now add Dio as a source, was also followed by Holinshed in his 'Historie of England.' 

  16. Elements which are significant and which may have given Shakespeare food for thought were Boece's chronological and geographical errors and his historical licences.  These were heavily criticised by Holinshed who, speaking of the contradictions in the written sources for Britain's line of kings, and in particular the chronological errors regarding Aruiragus's reign, writes:
    Iuuenal maketh this Aruiragus of whom we now intreat, to reigne about Domitians time.  For my part therefore, sith this order of the British kinglie succession in this place is more easie to be flatlie denied and vtterlie reprooued, than either wiselie defended or trulie amended, I will referre the reforming therof vnto those that haue perhaps séene more than I haue, or more déepelie considered the thing, to trie out an vndoubted truth.[41]
    Boece's errors concerning the location of the Iceni and other British tribes are also censored by Holinshed: "And as for the Silures and Brigantes remooued by Hector Boetius so farre northward, it is euidentlie prooued by Humfrey Llhoid, and others, that they inhabited countries conteined now within the limits of England."[42] The inclusion of English history in the Scottish chronicles is treated with contempt by Holinshed who, using his Roman sources as a more accurate reference for British history, writes:
    none of the Romane writers mentioneth anything of the Scots, nor once nameth them, till the Romane empire began to decay, ... so that if they had béene in this Ile then so famous both in peace and warre, as they are reported by the same Boetius; maruell might it séeme, that the Romane writers would so passe them ouer with silence.[43]
    This reference recalls the perception in Edmund Spenser’s view that the Scots were actually Irish.  In his dialogue between two English friends in A View of the Present State of Ireland (1598), Irenæus announces that “Scotland and Ireland are all one and the same.” When Eudoxus expresses incredulity Irenæus continues:
    Never the more are there two Scotlands, but two kindes of Scots were indeed (as you may gather out of Buchanan) the one Irin, or Irish Scots, the other Albin-Scots; for those Scots are Scythians, arrived (as I said) in the North parts of Ireland, where some of them after passed into the next coast of Albine, now called Scotland, which (after much trouble) they possessed, and of themselves named Scotland.[44]
    Returning to Voada's story we learn that after her death her two daughters were taken prisoner and whilst the eldest one was married to Marius, the Roman nobleman who had raped her, the youngest daughter continued her guerrilla warfare against the Roman occupiers before she was recaptured and executed.  What is important here is the fact that Voada's daughter is specifically referred to as "Voadicia the daughter of Aruiragus" in Holinshed's Scottish text[45] and is called "Vodicia, the youngest daughter to Voada" in Boece's account,[46] which confirms the connection between Aruiragus and Voada  and which is not included by Holinshed in his 'Historie of England.'  This, I contend, is direct evidence that the Aruiragus and Voada of the Scottish chronicles are in fact the Prasutagus and Voadicia of Holinshed's English chronicles. The fusion and the confusion between the Scottish and English accounts of Boudica's life were, I believe,  exploited by Shakespeare for his representation of Cymbeline's queen, in particular her ethnological origins.

  17. Regarding Boudica's national status in the historiographical accounts of the Scottish chroniclers she manifests connections not only with Britain, but also with Wales and Scotland. Whilst Voada's story, as portrayed in the Scottish chronicles, suggests a fusion between Scotland's and England's ethnic and historical pasts which, of course, converged with the Jacobean political climate of national union, Holinshed's Elizabethan chronicles clearly stressed the difference between these two nations and criticised the Scots’ appropriation of English glories.  On the other hand, the connection between Wales and England is such that the two kingdoms seem to merge on occasion into one nation as testified by both the Scottish and English chronicles.  Note for example Holinshed's inclusion of the work of such Welsh historians as Humfrey Llwyd in his account of English history and Boece's reference to Arviragus as a prince of Wales before his appointment as King of Britain by the Roman emperor, Claudius.[47]  

  18. Rising from the ranks of the Welsh gentry the Tudors themselves had also emerged from Wales and consequently the Welsh dragons were part of the Tudor coat of arms, implying symbolic equality between Wales and England.[48] With the appointment of his son (who bore a Tudor king's name, Henry) as Prince of Wales, James may also have been keen to remind his subjects of his own Tudor origins through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor.  And lest we forget, the two lost British sons in Cymbeline, the princes Guiderius and Arviragus, have been brought up and educated in the wilds of Wales from which they return at the end of the play to reclaim their places in the British royal family.

  19. Wales then was under the jurisdiction of England and in Cymbeline it is clearly dominated by the king from his British court in London, Lud's town.  Yet England is never mentioned in the play, replaced by the term Britain. Huw Griffiths begins his own examination of Cymbeline with the assumption that the play "is self-consciously concerned with the idea of 'Great Britain.'"[49]  Within this union Shakespeare makes a correlative between the terms England and Britain[50] wherein England is the dominant player but it is Wales that holds centre stage, a stage that is both unsure, undetermined and undermined.

  20. Shakespeare's settings seem to deliberately reflect the problems involved in drawing the outlines of James's new nation.  In his article, 'The geographies of Shakespeare's Cymbeline,’ Griffiths tells us that "the problematic and contested location of 'Great Britain' in the period immediately following James VI of Scotland's accession to the English throne informs the geographies of the play,"[51] later adding that "Cymbeline's ancient kingdom has the same problems with its borders as James's new, unified kingdoms."[52]  If we focus on the place of Wales in Cymbeline we find a number of elisions between Britain and Wales.  For example, most of the scenes in Cymbeline take place in Wales, yet there are no Welshmen in this play[53] and no clearly defined political borders apart from Cymbeline's command to give a military escort to Lucius as far as the Severn river,[54] which stands as a geographical frontier between Wales and England. 

  21. Furthermore, the representation of Wales's assimilation into England is seen by Garrett Sullivan as "both precursor to and model for a Scotland integrated into England."[55] Certainly Cymbeline offers us this model despite the fact that, unlike Wales, Scotland had never been completely conquered and integrated into the Roman Empire.  In Cymbeline our Scottish representatives may be the personages of Cloten, the queen, and strangely enough Posthumus.  Floyd-Wilson includes Posthumus in this grouping but contrary to Cloten and the queen he is interpreted as an "early modern Scotland - still barbaric in nature, but poised to receive the civilizing embrace of England in the proposed Jacobean union project;"[56] a reference perhaps to the legal status of James’s subjects born after his accession to the English throne, those who could claim both Scottish and English nationality.   This partially explains the oddly colonised colouring of Cymbeline's nationalism for it furnishes an historical paradigm for the successful assimilation of barbaric states into empire, and precognized the successful unification of Wales and Scotland with England.  It was also a model that the Tudor and Stuart states tried to apply to Ireland and to America, for although union was a byword in the Jacobean terminology of the period it also signalled England's "retreat into Britain, [and] a retreat from Europe that was also a westward and northward expansion of Englishness."[57] 

  22. However, as 'outsiders' to Cymbeline's genetic family Cloten and his mother seemingly represent a degenerate, dangerous and primitive form of native people whose cultural assimilation into Roman civilisation has been a failure. It is significant that they do not bear classical names and they are both eliminated from the play, a caveat perhaps that not all elements of the British Isles could be quietly subdued and successfully integrated into the unionist project of Great Britain.  This warning marks an early modern anxiety regarding the fragility of colonial control and colonial identity.

  23. Furthermore, the double anxieties of barbaric excess and the fear of going native are subtly present in Cymbeline. We might read Cymbeline's protest to Lucius about "the injurious Romans" (II, i, 46) who took freedom away from the Britons "which to shake off/ Becomes a warlike people" (II, i, 50-51) as an example of the former and we can read the princes' continued possession of their English identity in Wales as an example of positive resistance to the latter. Yet it is within the uncharted setting of Wales that Innogen, disguised as Fidèle, hides her own identity and loses her way, an allusion perhaps to the English anxieties regarding the absorption of another identity through their own acculturation when stepping into a newly colonised land.[58]  But again Innogen's pseudonym exemplifies loyalty to Britain and resistance to the foreign culture with the imposition of her own culture.  She may eat Welsh food but she also introduces her more sophisticated English cooking and singing:
    Arviragus         How angel-like he sings!
    Guiderius        But his neat cookery!
    Belarius            He cut our roots in characters
                            And sauced our broths as Juno had been sick
                            And he her dieter.
                                                                                                  (IV, ii, 49-53)
    Whilst Innogen may have stolen the meal the three men had left in the cave when they first meet she offers to pay for it: "Good masters, harm me not./ Before I entered here I called, and thought/ To have begged or bought what I have took"(III, vi, 44-46).  However, as Ronald Boling points out, Arviragus' refusal of payment and offer of hospitality instead can be interpreted as a rejection of "English economic hegemony over Wales"[59] and as an offer of cooperation instead.  In the representation of Anglo-Welsh relations in Cymbeline’s Jacobean scenario it is apparent that domestication and reconciliation have now replaced the violence and armed conquest of the earlier Elizabethan plays. 

  24. The story of Innogen lost in Wales also seems to indicate a need for greater geo-economic understanding of new colonies and an equal need to tame the landscape held within the definition of Britain.  We can assume then that Innogen's role in Wales is that of an English explorer, charting unknown territory, and that of an emissary whose mission was to domesticate the people, as indicated in her cave-keeping, and to absorb them into an English identity.  It is not insignificant that Innogen bears the name of Brute's wife,[60] and is therefore a focus for British unity (as opposed to her husband’s division of Britain), and that the play ends on a celebratory note of union at Cymbeline's court in London.  The need to tame the Celtic fringes of Scotland and Wales is evoked by Maley when he discusses the isolation of Protestant England from Catholic Europe following the Reformation.  In England the fear of a Spanish invasion through France and Scotland or through Ireland and Wales became more pronounced and the English felt it was necessary to tame its Celtic fringes in order to provide England with "buffer zones" against attack.[61]  This again was a Roman strategy that the English were applying to the border areas.
  25. However, there are other elements which further complicate the debate surrounding Boudica's origins, that of her physical appearance and attire when addressing her troops.  In Dio Cassius she "was very tall, [...] around her neck was a large golden necklace; and she wore a tunic of divers colours over which a thick mantel was fastened." [62] Dorothy Watts alludes to Boudica's 'golden necklace' which corresponds to the golden torcs found at Snettisham, in Norfolk, the land of Boudica's Iceni, but which also correspond to the archaeological finds in Ireland.[63] Boudica's colourful tunic also merits attention for Watts notes that this "fabric appears to resemble modern tartans." [64] 

  26. What is more intriguing though is Dio's account of Boudica's  “tawny” hair and "thick mantel" which become "yellow tresses" and "a thicke Irish mantell" in Holinshed's English account.[65] This is not repeated by any other historian after Holinshed.[66] The question is, why did Holinshed introduce the idea of Irish clothing for Boudica?  Is the covert image one of economic exchanges within the British archipelago or are we to understand that Boudica was in fact an Irish princess united with a British king following some political and military alliance?  In A View of the State of Ireland, mentioned earlier, Spenser does refer to the origin of the Irish mantel by stating that it is a Scythian custom.[67] When discussing the origins of the Northern Irish and the Scottish he further adds that both peoples are descended from the Scythians: “the Irish are very Scots or Scythes originally.”[68] This may underline the popular belief in an affiliation between the Scots and the Northern Irish which may help us to understand the reference to Boudica’s “Irish mantell” as one which could infer Scottish origins but a geo-political Irish background. 

  27. John Clapham's Historie of England (1602), which does not copy Holinshed's "Irish mantell" but follows Dio's description, actually refers to Boudica as "a Lady of the blood of their [British] Kings," as does Camden and Speed.[69] However, her dead husband, the king of the Iceni, did not leave the kingdom to her in his testament but to his daughters, which of course may imply that Boudica was in fact from the Celtic frontiers of Scotland or Ireland.  Whatever the truth of this assertion her counterpart in Cymbeline, the nameless queen, is represented as a ruthless and ambitious outsider who refuses to be integrated into the more civilised empire of Rome.  According to Floyd-Wilson, Cymbeline's queen, with her corruption and death, represents a condemnation of a savage Scoto-Briton past in favour of a more civilised Roman future. Addressing Cymbeline in her patriotic speech, already discussed, she refers to his ancestors and nation as "your ancestors" and "your isle," and at the end of the play Cymbeline agrees to continue paying the British tribute to Rome despite his victory over the Roman forces: 
    Although the victor, we submit to Caesar
    And to the Roman empire, promising
    To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
    We were dissuaded by our wicked queen
                                                                                                  (V, iv, 460-464)
    Yet if Holinshed’s and Boece’s heroic Boudica was the historical inspiration for Cymbeline's queen why is the play's character such a villain? Not only is she a court intriguer but she is also a wicked stepmother and a poisonous witch.  For example, following the queen's disappearance and the landing of the Roman army on British soil Cymbeline's uxoriousness is demonstrated when he laments the loss of his queen's military and political support: "Now for the counsel of my son and queen"
    (IV, iii, 27).  Such excessive dependence on his wife's guidance is regretted by Cymbeline at the end when he faces the defeated Lucius and blames his now dead wife for the non-payment of the British tribute to Rome as quoted above.  This indicates to the audience that the queen's interference in public affairs has led the kingdom into chaos and brought the country to the brink of national disaster. 

  28. In Cymbeline the role of motherhood is evoked with the queen's political ambitions for her son, which explains her meddling in public affairs, but her maternal role is revoked through the spectre of infanticide.  As both mother and stepmother the queen's devotion to her son is shaped in terms of "savage maternity"[70] and calculated ambition, whilst her support of her stepdaughter is feigned and unnatural.  In both cases the notion of infanticide is touched upon since the queen's plot to kill Innogen leads to the death of her own son.  The maternal role is then appropriated by Cymbeline when he is re-united with his sons and daughter at the end: "O what am I,/ A mother to the birth of three?  Ne'er mother/ Rejoiced deliverance more" (V, iv, 369-371).  Here, the maternal metaphor of giving birth is taken as the "appropriation of maternal authority" according to Mikalachki, which effectively subordinates childbirth and maternal care to paternal control.[71] 

  29. A parallel can be drawn here between Cymbeline's 'maternal' authority and that of his queen's.  If we look at the reflection of Cymbeline's queen as a wicked stepmother and disobedient wife, "A thing more made of malice than of duty" (III, v, 33), her character is being held up as the counter-example of Innogen's perfect womanhood; not only is the queen exposed at the end of the play as a liar and poisonous, would-be-killer, but she is also shown as politically incompetent and emotionally unstable for she goes mad and dies, presumably at her own hand.

  30. Wild and untamed, Cymbeline’s queen is eliminated off-scene when she commits suicide, which is expressed by Innogen as something unruly: "Against self-slaughter/ There is a prohibition so divine" (III, iv, 76-77), and shows the madness of the queen, a parallel also to be found in Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth.  When Cymbeline asks the physician how his queen died, Cornelius responds:
    With horror, madly dying, like her life,
    Which being cruel to the world, concluded
    Most cruel to herself. 
                                                                  (V, iv, 31-33)
    The foil to such madness is that of Innogen who demonstrates the ideal qualities of womanhood; obedience, respectability and married chastity, ideals which are expressed by the second lord in a soliloquy to the audience:
    Thou divine Innogen, what thou endur'st,
    Betwixt a father by thy stepdame governed,
    A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
    More hateful than the foul expulsion is
    Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act
    Of the divorce he'd make!                
                                                                                                                 (II, i, 54-59)
    Her identity is only evoked as an appendix to that of a man; either as that of a daughter, a wife, a sister, or as a servant. With the loss of her husband and father Innogen also loses her identity as a woman.  When Innogen first wakes beside the headless corpse of Cloten she takes the body for that of her husband, Posthumus, and cries: "I am nothing; or if not,/ Nothing to be were better.  This was my master,/ A very valiant Briton"
    (IV, ii, 368- 370).  Even in the masculine role of Fidèle she is led into Wales by Pisanio but once he leaves her to fend for herself she gets lost and has to sleep rough for two nights before finding Belarius's cave and food to eat.  Whilst staying with Belarius, Guiderius and Arviragus she stays in the 'home' when they go out hunting and later works for the fatherly figure of Lucius before returning once again to court where she resumes her place as dutiful daughter and obedient wife.

  31. I should here like to suggest that whilst Innogen represents an idealised role model of the feminine for Jacobean society Cymbeline’s queen is her binary opposite.  As for her original template it seems plausible to suggest that the historical Cartimandua may have been more the inspiration for Cymbeline's queen for Cartimandua embodies all the negative values of a married woman and queen; she was ambitious, calculating, disobedient and disloyal.  Her story is the antithesis of that of Boudica’s but every bit as disturbing for she lived a long and happy life over a confederacy of tribes in Yorkshire by collaborating with the Roman occupying forces.  What is more, she was the adulterous wife who used trickery and treachery in order to betray her British opponents, including her husband, to the Roman forces. Not only this but she was, according to Tacitus, licentious and promiscuous, casting off her legitimate husband and taking his armour-bearer as her consort instead:
    She grew to despise her husband Venutius, and took as her consort his squire, Vellocatus, whom she admitted to share the throne with her.  Her house was at once shaken by this scandalous act.  Her husband was favoured by the sentiments of all the citizens; the adulterer was supported by the queen's passion for him and by her savage spirit.  So Venutius, calling in aid from outside and at the same time assisted by a revolt of the Brigantes themselves, put Cartimandua into an extremely dangerous position.[72]
    Cartimandua, like Cymbeline’s queen, might well represent an example of a colonised native, inculcated and seduced by the superficial civility of a foreign power who, in a position of political power, returns to her primitive, and uneducated, nature. When writing of Cartimandua’s reign Tacitus clearly draws a moral lesson from her earlier success and eventual demise.  When Cartimandua eventually loses her kingdom Tacitus says that this was the direct result of the loss of her reputation following her adultery with her husband's armour-bearer. As we can see in the above example sexuality was a central issue in representations of powerful women and the message was clear; place a woman in a position of power and the result is savage and sexual excess, self-destruction and the loss of the nation.  Such a message is apparent in a number of Jacobean plays.

  32. However, I would like to add a postscript to Tacitus’s text, one in the form of an apologia, which might shed light on Cartimandua’s motivations and behaviour and does diverge from the political positions of Boudica and Cymbeline’s queen.  As an astute political leader of a confederacy of tribes Cartimandua’s position of power was based on blood and brains.  In Tacitus’s Histories her station is described as pollens nobilitate,[73] meaning ‘high birth’ or ‘powerful in noble lineage’, in other words she was recognised as the hereditary dynastic ruler of the Brigantes.  Ian Richmond sees her adultery, if such it was, as politically motivated because the pro-Roman position of her husband threatened the political and economic stability of her tribe.  Of Cartimandua’s liaison with her husband’s armour-bearer Richmond writes:
    Tacitus, recounting the episode in the Histories, treats it as a love-affair [...] But when the moment chosen for the action is considered, in conjunction with the shrewd ability of the Queen to appreciate a situation, it may well be wondered whether she was not stirred by other motives than desire. The dislike of Venutius for Rome was by now notorious.  If an opportunity came, he might well hope to pay off old scores [...] and Cartimandua could not afford to await such a threat in idleness.  To suborn his armour-bearer was to deprive him of his most trusted client-chief.  Viewed in this light the act may well seem to have been dictated by expediency rather than passion[74]
    Other differences need to be made between Cartimandua, Boudica and Cymbeline’s queen; Cartimandua was never described in the history texts as a widow or a mother.  What is more, her allegiance with Rome was never broken.  Despite Tacitus’s representation of her as a disloyal wife she remained a loyal ally of Rome.  She did not join Boudica’s rebellion and was even rescued by the Romans when her husband’s forces took over the Brigantian confederacy in 69 AD.[75]   In this position her ‘foreign’ policy does diverge from the ‘isolationism’ of Boudica and of Cymbeline’s queen, but the regional alienation and tribal divisions resulting from the civil strife within Cartimandua’s kingdom is seemingly reflected through the political scheming of Cymbeline’s wife.

  33. The dichotomy of Cartimanudua’s two faces, that of disloyal wife and loyal ally, is dealt with by Tacitus through the themes of sexual politics and gender subversion. According to Tacitus, Cartimandua had embraced union with Rome, but only the corrupt and debauched side of Roman civilisation:
    She had later strengthened her power when she was credited with having captured King Caratacus by treachery and so furnished an adornment for the triumph of Claudius Caesar.  From this came her wealth and the wanton spirit which success breeds.[76]
    Tacitus’s lead is then followed by the early modern writers in the literary and non-literary texts of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries but it is Hector Boece who extrapolates a little on Tacitus’s description of this queen. Of this story Boece writes: "Caratak fled to his gud mother Cartumandua quene of Scottish, quhilk eftir deceis of his fader Cadallane wes maryit apon ane valyeant knycht namit Uenisius.  Curtumandia seyng Caratak distitute of all consolatioun deliuerit hym to Ostorius." [77] What is intriguing with the Scottish chronicles are the references to Cartimandua as a Scottish queen and as Caratak's stepmother who betrayed him to the Roman authorities.  This same Cartimandua later imprisoned her second husband, Venutius and his friends, but after their liberation by Corbreid, the King of Scotland, and the brother of the now dead Caratak, Corbreid has her executed and refers to her as a "we[k]it woman" (wicked woman).[78] This is the same story told by Holinshed in his 'Historie of Scotland' and is simply taken from Boece.  Holinshed writes: "He [Caratak] fled for succor vnto his stepmother Cartimandua: but as aduersitie findeth few friends, she caused him to be taken and deliuered vnto Ostorius."[79] Later he refers to her as "that vnkind stepmother of Caratake."[80]

  34. In Cymbeline the queen is Innogen’s wicked stepmother but whether she is the embodiment of Boudica or Cartimandua, or an amalgamation of both, she still represents a rejection of Britain's primitive female past in favour of submission to the intoxicating effects of Roman conquest.  Jodi Mikalachki suggests that Cymbeline's queen, along with her son, represent a primitive and more ignorant version of the ancient Britons and she characterises their deaths as "a fear of originary feminine savagery [which] was what consistently drove early modern historians and dramatists of ancient Britain to take refuge in the Roman embrace."[81]

  35. On the anachronistic level of the play Cartimandua also stands as a better candidate for Peter Parolin's “Italian within”[82] than Boudica. The corrupt influence of Roman/Italian vices was feared in England as demonstrated in Cymbeline  wherein the queen and her son dominate the British court, transforming it into "a place of machiavellian scheming receptive to Iachimo's deceitfulness," as Parolin notes. [83]  Certainly, the conflict between Rome and Britain in Cymbeline is shaped through the Italian vices of court intrigues:
    The mechanism by which Cymbeline enables this concluding alliance between ancient Britain and ancient Rome is the anachronistic interpolation of a decadent contemporary Italy into the action [...] Since Cymbeline represents contemporary Italy as the antithesis of Roman virtue, the way is free for Britain to assert its own status as the implicit heir to Roman civilisation and imperial power.[84]  
    What is more, the queen's manipulation of
    "Strange ling’ring poisons" (I. V. 34) positions her as someone who traffics in Italian vices, bringing them to the heart of Britain and exposing the English to the alien influences of another culture.  The queen’s and her son’s resistance to the civilising effects of the Roman Empire and their consequent relapse in allegiance is possibly linked to flaws in their natures and serves as a warning that any civility gained by submission could, over time, lead to atavism.  Their cultural assimilation is considered a failure for it has not prevented their disloyalty to the superior power of Rome. 

  36. In other literary texts of the period Cartimandua is certainly present as the calculating and disloyal female.  In Gent's Valiant Welshman she is represented as the treacherous wife of Venusius, the Duke of York so London audiences were familiar with this personage.  In this play the character, Cartismandua betrays Caradoc to the enemy, the occupying forces of Rome, a plot which follows Tacitus’s Histories: “[Caratacus] sought sanctuary with Cartimandua, queen of the Brigantes.  But the defeated have no refuge.  He was arrested, and handed over to the conquerors” (xii, 33).  In The Valiant Welshman Caradoc again seeks refuge and when Cartismandua shows Caradoc to his rooms she says: “Welcome, great Prince.  Here thinke your selfe secure,/ As in a Sanctuary, from your foes” (IV, vii.), a point which recalls Innogen’s reference to her step-mother’s “dissembling courtesy” when imprisoned in her rooms at the beginning of Cymbeline.[85] However, When Gent’s Caradoc discovers Cartismandua’s betrayal he cries: "I am betrayde/ Inhospitable woman, this with your sexe began;/ The Serpent taught you to betray poore man."[86] Here, the betrayal of one’s nation is connected with gender.  It is Cartismandua’s sex which determines her war strategy: "A womans wit shall serue to betray" (V, ii.). Yet, in this play we also have the character of Voada, daughter to the Prince of March, who is Caradoc’s sister, and although she is described as a "warlike Dame" (IV, iv), she is also a gentle and obedient "young Gentlewoman" (III, ii). 

  37. These characters appear to have been inspired by Boece’s chronicle accounts of Voada and Cartumandia, but A. Gent was not the first writer to juxtapose these two historical women.  Ubaldini Petruccio places his chapters on Carthumandua, Voadicia and Bunduica side by side in his work on the noble women of England’s past, a manuscript, Le Vite delle donne illustri, del regno d’Inghilterra, e del regno di Scotia, presented to Elizabeth I in 1588.[87]  It was during the reign of James though that the chorographer and antiquarian, John Speed, made a direct moral parallel between Boudica and Cartimandua, praising the first for her virtues and condemning the second for her vices.  Inserting criticism of Cartimandua into Boduo’s (Boudica’s) speech he writes: "Had I with Caesars mother beene suspected of Treason, or with false Cartismandua defiled my Bed, to the disturbance of their peace, my goods might have gone under the title of Confiscation, and these prints of the whip under pretext of justice."[88] Treason, adultery and civil unrest are gendered as female vices here whilst Boduo’s heroic stand as a revengeful mother and passionate patriot is displayed as respectable, but tragically flawed, nationalism, which is what makes it so difficult to trace the inspiration for Cymbeline’s queen back to just one historical queen.  Arguably, she is a compound figure of Boudica and Cartimandua; she carries more of Cartimandua’s moral make-up but she is motivated by Boudica’s radical patriotism and her policy of national isolation.

  38. Cymbeline ends on a celebratory note of union and equality when "A Roman and a British ensign wave/ Friendly together" (V, iv, 481-482).  This is a surprising ending if we consider how Cymbeline equates empirical control with a loss of freedom and an act of enslavement. When facing the Roman ambassador and general, Lucius, after the British victory over the Romans he says:
    Till the injurious Romans did extort
    This tribute from us we were free.  Caesar's ambition,
    Which swelled so much that it did almost stretch
    The sides o' th' world, against all colour here
    Did put the yoke upon's, which to shake off
    Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon
    Ourselves to be.
                                                                                                  (III, i, 45-52)
    Such a definition of empire makes it difficult to understand Cymbeline's subsequent submission to Rome.  Maley, applying the postcolonial notion of mimicry to his analysis of Cymbeline, argues that England’s movement of national liberation from Rome also involved a necessary
    "rapprochement between Britain and Rome." [89]  This "rapprochement" repeated ancient Rome’s own colonial project but also involved a certain degree of ambivalence as Maley writes: "In Cymbeline, it is a question of autonomy and independence from Rome, but at the same time the imperial design was patented by Rome, and thus Britain pays tribute by default."[90]  Cymbeline may have put his position of opposition to Rome down to the influence of his wicked wife, but he also concedes the civilising influence of Rome, where he was educated as a child: "Thy Caesar knighted me; my youth I spent/ Much under him; of him I gathered honour" (III, I, 78-79). [91]

  39. We may compare the character of Cymbeline to James I, the pacifist, the unionist and civilised nobleman of Renaissance Europe but within the play Cymbeline is deterred from such virtues due to the influence of "our wicked queen" (V, iv, 164), the Celtic outsider or the savage within.  The final message of the play seems to promote the nation’s assumption of Rome’s legacy to England; England is identified as Rome’s imperial heir to the British Empire, a legacy which is fully assumed by Cymbeline and James I.

  40. This article has considered the conflicting historiographic resources and references used by the English to demonstrate their ethnographic origins and national identity, and this analysis has shown how these are reflected in Cymbeline.  The play is also a record of England's patriotic stance and imperial ambitions vis à vis  its neighbours, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish, which demonstrates the ways in which cultural identity is defined in relation to the 'otherness' of the different cultures that England encountered during its phases of imperial expansion. English dreams of British union and empire, many idealists hoped, could be attained through forgiveness, peace and reconciliation, which are the final messages of Cymbeline.  Just as Innogen and Posthumus are reconciled at the end, as are the two sons with their father, Rome and Britain make peace and past enemies are forgiven.  Even Cymbeline's gods "do tune the harmony of this peace" (V, iv, 467-468), which fashions a model of conciliation and cooperation on which James's dream for a united Great Britain could be achieved, but it was a world in which the place of queens was relegated to that of wifely obedience and imperial maternalism.  There was no room for the powerful likes of Cartimandua, Boudica or Cymbeline’s queen.


[1] James I. Political Works. pp. 271-3. cf. Axton, M. The Queen's Two Bodies: Drama and the Elizabethan Succession. London: London Royal Historical Society, 1977. p. 133.

[2] Dutton, R. Mastering the Revels: The Regulation and Censorship of English Renaissance Drama.  Iowa: University of Iowa, 1991. p. 109.

[3] For information about the etymology of the word Britain see Alan MacColl's essay, 'The Meaning of “Britain” in Medieval and Early Modern England'.  He also gives a brief overview of the historiographical and geo-political origins of the terms England and Britain in the Journal of British Studies (Volume 45, Number 2, April 2006, pp. 248-269).  See also Mason, R. A. `Scotching the Brut: History and National Myth in Sixteenth-Century Britain', in Roger A. Mason (ed.), Scotland and England, 1286-1815 (Edinburgh, 1987).

[4] For a discussion of this point see Mary Floyd-Wilson’s review of the historiographical texts of the period in her chapter, ‘Cymbeline’s angels’ in English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 

[5] Mikalachki, J. The Legacy of Boadicea: Gender and Nation. London: Routledge, 1998.  p. 108.

[6] In Rowley's A Shoo-maker a Gentleman (London: I. Okes, 1638), the Romans land in Dover (recalling Julius Caesar’s landings). Act V.

[7] Maley, W. 'This sceptred isle': Shakespeare and the British problem.' in Shakespeare and National Culture. Joughin, J. J. (ed.) Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997. p. 95.

[8] Levack, B. The Formation of the British State: England, Scotland, and the Union, 1603-1707. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1987. p. 2. cf. Maley. 'This sceptred isle.' p. 97.

[9] Ibid. p. 92.

[10] Monmouth, Geoffrey of. The History of the Kings of England. 1136. reprinted London: Penguin, 1966. iv. 3 – iv. 7. pp. 108 – 113.  For an historical and archaeological analysis of Caesar’s two expeditions to Britain, his second successful landing and his failure to add Britain to his conquests, see Graham Webster’s book, The Roman Invasion of Britain (London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 36-40).

[11] Gent, R.A (Variant name forms:Armin, Robert).The valiant Welshman, or, The true chronicle history of the life and valiant deeds of Caradoc. fl. 1610. London : Printed for William Gilbertson.1663. Act II, scene i.

[12] Curran, J.E. 'Royalty Unlearned, Honor Untaught: British Savages and Historiographical Change in Cymbeline,' in Comparative Drama. 31: 2, pp. 277-303, summer 1997.  p. 10.

[13] London, Lud's town, was founded by the Romans as Londinium, following Claudius's conquest of England.  See the Museum of London's site for the archaeological evidence of this;

[14] Op. Cit., Curran. p. 8.

[15] On the significance of the characters’ names see Curran's article and Warren's Appendix to Cymbeline (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998) p. 265.

[16] Baker, D. Maley, W. (Eds.) British Identities and English Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.  p. 7.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid. p. 6.

[19] Vernon Snow notes that Shakespeare was working from the 2nd edition of Holinshed Chronicles for Cymbeline. See Holinshed, R. Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland. 2nd edition. London: Henry Denham. 1587.  reprinted 1808, 1965,  New York, Ams Press, inc. 1976. p. v.

[20] Op. Cit., Mikalachki. p. 102.

[21] Boudica is called Voadicia in the English chronicles and Voada in the Scottish chronicles.

[22] Op. Cit., Mikalachki. p. 102.

[23] Floyd-Wilson, M. ‘Delving to the root: Cymbeline, Scotland, and the English race.’ Op. Cit., Baker and Maley.  Chapter  7, p. 114, note 7.

[24] Op. Cit., Floyd-Wilson, M. English Ethnicity and Race. p. 176.  Yet, Roger Warren also refers to oral tradition and folk tales as a source for Cymbeline, identifying the fairy tale of Snow White as a convincing model for Cymbeline's scenario despite the lack of any surviving written version from the sixteenth century. Warren justifies this position by stating that Cymbeline's "wicked queen" is made "conventionally grotesque after a fairy tale fashion rather than a figure of genuine evil" in order to avoid "the risk of any equation with James's own queen", a necessary proviso if we consider that the character of Cymbeline was himself identified with James and that Cymbeline's queen was used to make a political statement regarding England's national status, its foreign expansion and the position of women in society. (Op. Cit., Warren. pp. 16 & 62.)

[25] Ibid. Floyd-Wilson. English Ethnicity and Race.  p. 174.

[26] Ibid. p. 175.

[27] Holinshed, R. Chronicles of Scotland. The Second Volume.'The historie of Scotland, 1586. p. 46, and Boece. The croniklis of Scotland.  Edinburgh: Thomas Davidson,  1540..The thrid buke, fo. cccii.

[28] Ibid. Holinshed. chapter 3.  p. 485.

[29] Ibid. chapter 10. p. 495.  This error is also referred to by Holinshed earlier in his work in chapter 3. p. 484, where he writes, "This Aruiragus, otherwise called by the Britains Meuricus or Mauus, of Tacitus Prasutagus, is also named Armiger in the English chronicle."

[30] Op. Cit., Floyd-Wilson. English Ethnicity. p. 176.

[31] Ibid.

[32] In Act IV, scene iv she is also referred to as a "warlike Dame" which suggests Gent's familiarity with the Scottish sources.

[33] Op. Cit., Holinshed's 'Historie of England.' Book 4, chapter 10, pp. 495- 496.

[34] Ibid. chapter 6, p. 488.

[35] This argument is later supported by the reference that Holinshed makes to the British refusal to let their daughters marry the Picts (of unclear origin) who had been defeated by Marius, king of the Britons, but allowed to settle in the uninhabited Northern parts of Scotland.  They instead requested the Scots, who inhabited Ireland, to send their women to the Pictish men.  'Historie of England.' Book 4, chapter 15, p. 503.  Boece's Scottish Chronicles is different in that he says it was the people called "Murrays" (from Germany – see The feird buke, fo. cli)  who fought with the Britons, Scots and Picts under Corbreid, king of Scotland and sister to Voada, against the Romans and after were given lands in Scotland and were married to Scotish virgins. Op. Cit., Boece. The feird buke, fo. clii. 

[36] Op. Cit., Floyd-Wilson. English Ethnicity. p. 176.

[37] Op. Cit., Boece. The thrid buke, fo. cccii.

[38] Ibid. Boece. The thrid buke, fo. ccciiii. Note too, the use of the names of the father and son, Arviragus and Guiderius for the two brothers in Shakespeare's Cymbeline, although Guiderius was also the name of Cymbeline's son in the Scottish and English chronicles and succeeded him as King of Britain.

[39] Op. Cit., Holinshed. 'Historie of Scotland.' p. 51.

[40] Op. Cit., Boece. The thrid buke, fo. ccci.

[41] Op. Cit., Holinshed, 'Historie of England.' Book 4, chapter 3, p. 485.

[42] Op. Cit., Holinshed. 'Historie of Scotland.' p. 49.  On p. 51 Holinshed also notes Boece's confusion of Anglesey with the Isle of Man.

[43] Op. Cit., Holinshed's  'Historie of England.' Book 4, chapter 8, p. 493.

[44] Spenser, E. A View of the State of Ireland (1633).  Edited by Hadfield, A. Maley, W. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997. p. 45. 

[45] Op. Cit., Holinshed's, 'Historie of Scotland.' p.54.

[46] Op. Cit., Boece. The feird buke, fo. clv.

[47] Ibid. Boece. The thrid buke, fo. ccci.

[48] Boling, R. J. 'Anglo-Welsh Relations in Cymbeline,' in Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 51, No.1. (Spring, 2000),  pp. 33-66. p. 65.

[49]Griffiths, H. 'The Geographies of Shakespeare's Cymbeline,' in English Literary Renaissance. 34: 3, pp. 339-58, 2004.  p. 339. 

[50] A correlative which seems to date back to Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain and is examined in MacColl's essay in which he writes, "the construction of Britain as England ... is the primary meaning in the core tradition of medieval and early modern English national historiography" (Op. Cit., p. 249).  However, Wales too was sometimes identified as a British space. For Camden Britain and Wales are synonymous, "replaced and displaced by the 'English-Saxons.'" Op. Cit., Griffiths. p. 341.

[51] Op. Cit., Griffiths. p. 339.

[52] Ibid. p. 345.

[53] Sullivan, G. The Drama of Landscape: Land, Property and Social Relations on the Early Modern Stage. California: Stanford University Press, 1999. p.146.

[54] III,v,16-17.

[55] Op. Cit., Sullivan. p.157.

[56] Op. Cit., Floyd-Wilson. English Ethnicity. p. 160.

[57] Op. Cit., Maley.  'This Sceptered Isle.' p. 88.

[58] Christopher Highley's book is particularly informative on this point.  His reference to Mortimer in Henry IV, who "goes native," is interesting for he seemingly "embodies the oldest and most pervasive of English anxieties about contact with the Irish: like those Anglo-Norman and English settlers who had abandoned past loyalties and assimilated themselves to Gaelic culture." Shakespeare, Spenser, and the Crisis In Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.  p. 90.

[59] Op. Cit., Boling p. 56.

[60] Regarding the origin and spelling of Innogen's name see Warren's appendix to his Cymbeline. Op. Cit., p. 265.

[61] Op. Cit. Maley. 'This Sceptered Isle,' pp. 91-92.

[62] Dio Cassius. Roman History, lxii, 1, 1-12. (Loeb Classical Library.)  London: Harvard University Press, 1995. Book LXII, p. 85.

[63]Watts, D. Boudicca's Heirs. London: Routledge, 2005. p. 94.

[64] Ibid. p. 95.

[65] Op. Cit., Holinshed. Book 4, chapter 10, p. 496.

[66] John Speed refers to the "tresses of her yellow hair," and "a kirtle thereunder very thicke pleited." See The Theatre of the empire of Great Britaine. London: William Hall. 1612. Book 6, p. 199.

[67] Op. Cit., Spenser. p. 56.

[68] Ibid. p. 62.  See also pages 44, 45, 63 and 64.

[69] Clapham, J. Historie of England. London: Simmes. 1602. 'The first Booke', p. 42.  William Camden refers to Boudica as being of the "Blood royal." Britain, or A Chorographicall Description of the Most flourishing kingdoms, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Translated into English by Philemon Holland.  London: Eliot Court’s Press, 1610.  p. 50.  See also Speed. Op. Cit., p. 198.

[70] Op. Cit., Mikalachki. p. 141.

[71] Ibid. p. 16.

[72] Tacitus. Histories. London: Harvard University Press, 1968. Book III, xliv-xlvi.

[73] Ibid. Book III, xlv.

[74] Richmond, I.A., 'Queen Cartimandua,' Journal of Roman Studies 44, 50 ff,  pp. 43-52, 1954. pp. 50-52.

[75] Op. Cit., Tacitus. Histories. Book III, xlv.

[76] Ibid. Book III, xliv.

[77] Op. Cit. Boece. The thrid buke, fo. cccvii.

[78] Ibid. The thrid buke, fo. cccic.

[79] Op. Cit., Holinshed. 'Historie of Scotland.' p. 50.  Both Boece and Holinshed followed Tacitus when referring to Cartimandua but no mention is made of any family connection between the two leaders.

[80] Ibid. p. 51.

[81] Op. Cit., Mikalachki. p. 114.

[82] Parolin, P. 'Anachronistic Italy: Cultural Alliances and National Idenity in Cymbeline.' Shakespeare Studies, Vol 30, 2002. pp. 188-218.

[83] Ibid. p. 200.

[84] Ibid. p. 189.

[85] I. i. 85.

[86] Op. Cit., Gent, R.A.. Act V. Scene ii.

[87] Ubaldini, P. Le Vite delle donne illustri, del regno d’Inghilterra, e del regno di Scotia, London : Apresso Giouanni Wolfio Inghilese, 1591, chapters 8 and 9.

[88] Speed, J. The History of Great Britaine under the conquest of ye Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normans. London: Iohn Sudbury & Georg Humble, 1611, chapter 7, 19. p. 199.  Also printed the following year in Speed’s The Theatre of the empire of Great Britaine (London: William Hall).

[89] Maley, W. ‘Postcolonial Shakespeare: British Identity Formation And Cymbeline’.  Richards, J. & Knowles, J (Editors). Shakespeare's Late Plays: New Readings. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991. p. 148.

[90] Ibid. p. 150.

[91] Holinshed's 'Historie of England' tells us that Kymbeline was brought up in Rome, that he served in the wars under Augustus Caesar and that he was knighted by him. Book 3, chapter 18, p. 479.


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