Innogen (aka Imogen) is the virtuous wife of the exiled Posthumus, two characters from Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline. Innogen, according to some modern Shakespearean scholars (ie: the 1986 Oxford Edition) note that the correct name of this Shakespearean character is in fact Innogen, and the spelling “Imogen” is an error which arose when the manuscripts were first committed to print.
In the play Posthumus’ praise of Innogen’s moral purity incites Posthumus’s acquaintance Iachimo to bet Postumus that he can seduce Innogen. When he fails, Iachimo hides in her bedchamber and uncovers her body while she sleeps, observing details of a mole on her breast which he then describes to Posthumus as proof that he had slept with her.
Posthumus then plots to kill his wife, but the designated killer reveals the plot to Innogen and advises her to hide; she escapes to the woods dressed as a man and falls in with a family who help her. Taking a drug, she falls into a coma and is presumed dead by the family, who cover her body and sing a song over her. When she wakes she finds the headless body of Cloten, a brutish character who had planned to rape her, but had been killed in a fight. After the battle at the climax of the play she confronts Iachimo who confesses his lies. She is reunited with Posthumus. Thus, the plot ends with a reunion and a happily ever after sort of thing.
Why did I chose to name my Latvian mittens after these characters? It is simple. Mittens are a pairing that are nothing without the other. They are destined to be paired in order to live out their lives with happiness and productivity. Very similar to Innogen and Posthumus. However, along the course of their lives, one is often lost to other and, often, with no faulting of their own. Again, similarities exist.
I like the irony that Innogen is often described as perhaps the most tender and the most artless of all Shakespeare’s women. Since knitting can not live without a tender touch tempered with an artful knitter’s vision, the symmetry here is more irony. What better example of artful creation is there?
Now for photos:
Now to cast on Posthumus!