The Role of Jupiter's Descentin Shakespeare's Cymbeline .
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Shakespeare's Cymbeline has been criticized for its confusing plot, but also for the unexpected arrival of Jupiter on an eagle in the last act. However, this intrusion from Roman mythology is wholly appropriate within the play. Cymbeline, the king and symbol of authority, causes the problems of the play through his inappropriate behavior as a king. Because of the chaos resulting from the lack of proper authority, Cymbeline cannot be resolved within the context of the romantic genre until order--in the form of Jupiter, the ultimate authority figure--returns. Within Cymbeline Shakespeare presents images of both proper and improper use of authority, eventually returning order to the world of the play through the authority that Jupiter symbolizes rather than on account of any action that Jupiter himself takes.