Imogen, daughter of the British king Cymbeline, is in love with Posthumus Leonatus, a man raised in her father's court who is described as possessing exceeding personal merit and martial skill. The two have secretly married, exchanging jewellery as tokens: a ring from Imogen, a bracelet from Posthumus. Cymbeline has discovered the affair and banishes Posthumus for his presumption, for Imogen is currently Cymbeline's only child and so her husband is heir to the British throne. Cymbeline did have two sons before Imogen, Guiderius and Arviragus, but they were stolen twenty years before as infants by Belarius, a courtier banished as a traitor for supposedly conspiring with the Romans. Cymbeline is a vassal king of Caesar Augustus. Caius Lucius, a Roman ambassador, is on his way to demand the tribute that Cymbeline, under the influence of his wife the Queen, has stopped paying.