I occasionally get asked what is my favorite play. This is, of course, an almost impossible question for me to answer, but I must declare primary allegiance to the history plays, which first ignited my passion for Shakespeare and thus will always occupy the first chapter of my heart (with the exception of Henry VIII, which is, in all honesty, kind of boring.)
However, one play that I am inordinately fond of that often gets overlooked is Cymbeline. If you've never heard of Cymbeline, don't worry. You're not alone. It is one of the most obscure Shakespeare plays and is very rarely performed. This is a pity, as it is, essentially, a "Best Of" compilation of all of Shakespeare's greatest cliches and dramatic tropes. Here, take this quick quiz and see how you do:
There are more ludicrous plot elements that I had to leave out for time's sake, but you get the general idea. Cymbeline is not really a comedy, but is definitely not a tragedy. It's more of a riotous melodrama, and its final scene is probably my favorite single scene in all of Shakespeare.
No, there aren't any dinosaurs in Cymbeline. However, I am sure that if Shakespeare had known about dinosaurs, he would have figured out how to squeeze in one or two of them.
There also aren't any drug-dealing biker gangs in Cymbeline, but don't tell Ethan Hawke that.