Character Summary. Early the next morning, people discover a sealed box near the seashore of Ephesus. Pericles, who, on discovering its horrible purport, betrays such dismay in his changed countenance and in the gasping cry that he no longer aspires to the princess' hand, that Antiochus, wishing to ascertain whether his secret has really been guessed, forces Pericles first goes to Tarsus, where king Cleon and his wife Dionyza bemoan the famine that has beset their nation. Pericles is distraught, and sets to the seas again. Antiochus is determined to kill him and pursues him. Once he can return home, his family sails with him, but a storm separates them, so Pericles returns alone. Pericles correctly guesses that the daughter of Antiochus is involved in an incestuous affair with her father. From them, he learns of a forthcoming festival to celebrate the birthday of Thaisa, daughter of King Simonides. Find out more. CLEON, Governor of Tarsus. Pericles sails to a city called Tharsus, which is experiencing the worst famine ever. HELICANUS & ESCANES, two Lords of Tyre. Helicanus explains that Pericles has not spoken in three months, and Lysimachus says he knows someone in his city who may be able to make him talk. TL;DR: Pericles is shipwrecked and finds his wife; he is shipwrecked again and loses his wife and daughter; they all find each other again. Meanwhile in Tyre, Helicanus reveals that Antiochus and his daughter have been burnt to death by fire from heaven, so Pericles can return. Pericles remains at court for several months after his marriage. Startled, Pericles asks her to continue, and to his surprise finds that everything Marina says matches the story of his own lost … After many men fail, the young Prince Pericles of Tyre guesses the truth. Lysimachus hears of the Prince's withdrawn depression and sends for Marina. Pericles lands in Tarsus and hands over his child, Marina, to Cleon and Dionyza, since he thinks it won't survive the journey to Tyre. Our study guide has summaries, insightful analyses, and everything else you need to understand Pericles. Now these two owe Pericles big time. Meanwhile, the governor of Tarsus, Cleon, and his wife, Dionyza, bewail the state of famine. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. During storms at sea, Thaisa seemingly dies giving birth to a daughter. Pericles determines to enter the contest. Pericles Translation Table of Contents When Pericles uncovers King Antiochus’ incest with his daughter, Pericles flees to Tyre with an assassin on his trail. Pericles returns home and confides his revelations in his friend Lord Helicanus. But Pericles is sure Antiochus will want him dead for knowing the truth, so he flees back to Tyre. Helicanus explains that Pericles has not spoken in three months, and Lysimachus says he knows someone in his city who may be able to make him talk. Pericles and his crew arrive in Myteline, and Lysimachus goes out to meet the ships. Then he hears news from his friend Helicanus that Antiochus and his daughter are dead, so he may safely return home. LYSIMACHUS, Governor of Mitylene. He resolves to give thanks at the temple and sails with Marina. Thaliart follows him back to Tyre. Pericles is cast ashore, recovering to find a group of fishermen. In exchange for safe haven, Pericles hooks up the Governor (Cleon) and his wife (Dionyza) with a boatload of food to feed their people. When Pericles learns that she and the king, her father, are lovers, he flees for his life. Pericles, prince of Tyre, is one of the suitors for the hand of the beautiful daughter of Antiochus, king of Antioch, who has told all suitors that they must correctly answer a riddle he gives to earn her hand; if they fail, they are executed. Distraught by his daughter’s supposed loss, Pericles resolves never to enjoy life again and takes to sailing the seas at random. The shipmaster insists the body be thrown overboard, or the storm won't stop, and Pericles complies. But she persuades everyone not to violate her virginity. Simonides shows the letter to Pericles who in turn shows it to Thaisa. Around that time, Will Shakespeare was all about experimenting with the genre of romance. He asks her about her birth, and she says her name is Marina. Thaisa's body is put in a chest, which washes up in Ephesus, where it is brought to the attention of Cerimon, a generous doctor. Pericles doesn't reveal the truth, and Antiochus gives him forty days before his death sentence. During the contest, Pericles defeats five knights, becoming the champion. Other citizens want to crown Helicanus as king, but Helicanus insists they wait to see if Pericles returns. Shipwrecked in Pentapolis on his travels away from Tyre--continuing to flee Antiochus’ wrath--Pericles marries Thaisa, who appears to die in childbirth. Pericles, Prince of Tyre, tries his hand at the riddle. However, his ship is wrecked during storms at sea. The champion will win the hand of Thaisa (giving away one's daughter during a contest must have been very fashionable back then). A complete list of scenes (with locations and characters) in Pericles. He leaves the newborn baby, named Marina, along with her nurse Lichorida, in the care of his friends, Cleon and Dionyza, before returning to Tyre. Just as Marina is about to be killed, pirates capture the girl and carry her off to Mytilene to be sold as a prostitute. Marina is brought to the ship, and she tells Pericles that her own sufferings must match his. After fleeing Tyre, Pericles hears of their troubles and arrives with food to relieve them. The story is the dream of the little girl Marina, who lives with his father, Pericles, who is dying, in a post-atomic society. He reveals the inappropriate relationship, and he flees for his life. Yet in Shakespeare's time the play was very popular and has been successfully performed in modern productions. It’s a letter urging Pericles to hasten his return to Tyre. Pericles is something of a messy play--the plot is repetitive and silly at times, the characters lack depth, the presentation of a "chorus" figure is old-fashioned and undramatic. ... One day a messenger arrives to Pentapolis with a letter. Meanwhile, Pericles and Helicanus return to Tarsus to see Marina. Before the king's palace at Antioch (Syria), the 14th century poet Gower explains that Antiochus (the king) had a daughter by a consort who then died. The reuniting of Pericles and his daughter, Marina, is fantastic and Shakespeare (or unlikely Wilkins) is writing in fine form. When he wakes, he promises Marina to Lysimachus, and they set off for Ephesus. Who makes the fairest show means the most deceit. Study Guide for Pericles, Prince of Tyre. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. THAISA, Daughter to Simonides. Literature Network » William Shakespeare » Pericles, Prince of Tyre » Summary Act 3. Meanwhile, Pericles goes on a trip to Tarsus to reunite with his daughter, but Cleon and Dionyza tell him that she has died, and show him the monument they have ordered built in order to erase their complicity in the matter. Years later, Pericles finds his daughter and reunites with the wife he had thought was dead. They are reunited, but Pericles is exhausted, and in his sleep the goddess Diana tells him to go to her temple in Ephesus and tell of his experiences. The nautical tale of a wandering prince, Pericles is narrated by John Gower, a poet from the English past. Then times passes; Pericles is king of Tyre, Thaisa becomes a priestess for Diana, and Marina grows up. Pericles and his crew arrive in Myteline, and Lysimachus goes out to meet the ships. Filled with melancholy, he takes the advice of Helicanus, his councilor, to travel for a while until Antiochus is no longer after him. However, it was omitted from the First Folio collection of his plays assembled by his friends and fellow actors after his death and published in 1623. Forced to flee his native land, Pericles becomes a refugee at the mercy of sea and strangers. The fishermen bring up their fishing nets to find a rusty suit of armour, which Pericles takes to contend for the princess. In Tyre, Pericles worries that Antiochus will take some form of revenge, whether a military attack or an underhanded assassination attempt. Soon, however, Dionyza becomes jealous on behalf of Philoten of Marina's beauty and plans her murder. Complete summary of William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre. PERICLES, Prince of Tyre. Some fishermen tell him about king Simonides's daughter, a lovely girl who will be married to whoever wins a jousting contest the following day. Pressured by the crew, Pericles allows Thaisa’s sealed coffin to be cast overboard. The story is the dream of the little girl Marina, who lives with his father, Pericles, who is dying, in a post-atomic society. Without hope of finding them, Thaisa goes to live in the nearby temple of the goddess Diana. Marina’s reported beauty attracts many men. Pericles sets sail with Thaisa, now pregnant with his child, to reclaim his throne at Tyre. Eventually, the owner of the brothel lets her leave to become a waiting maid, developing and using skills in singing, sewing, and dance. Summary Act 3. SIMONIDES, King of Pentapolis. In Ephesus, Pericles tells his story to the priestess, only to discover that she is his wife, Thaisa. She becomes certain that her husband and baby have drowned at sea. Gower, an offscene narrator, enters to tell about the kingdom of Antioch, where king Antiochus and Antiochus's daughter are engaging in incest. Everyone is joyously reunited, and they return to Tyre. Pericles Summary. The King is protecting an incestuous relationship with his daughter by promising marriage to her for anyone who can solve a (seemingly) impossible riddle. Pericles confirms that the daughter of Antiochus is as beautiful as she is renowned to be, but perhaps too beautiful for her own good. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Gower ends the tale with news that Cleon and Dionyza have been killed by an uprising, due to their treatment of Marina. MARINA, Daughter to Pericles and Thaisa. Pericles hears the riddle and understands that it is a trick, where revealing the truth of the king's incestuous relationship with his daughter will also result in death. He discovers that Thaisa is not dead, and revives her. He is successful, but discovers that its answer reveals the incestuous relationship between father and daughter. Ancient Greek statesman Pericles, leader of Athens from 460–429 B.C., organized the construction of the Parthenon and developed a democracy based on majority rule. Pericles, Prince of Tyre Summary. This chapter provides an introduction to Pericles and the Shakespeare canon. Pericles Pericles tells of a prince who risks his life to win a princess, but discovers that she is in an incestuous relationship with her father and flees to safety. Antiochus has kept suitors from marrying her by requiring that they answer a riddle correctly or die. Though his is the rustiest armor, Pericles wins the tournament, and dines with Simonides and his daughter Thaisa, both of whom are very impressed with him. Summary Act 1. But soon a letter from Helicanus calls Pericles back to Tyre, so he sets off. Gower returns to offer a conclusion, noting that we have seen evil punished (Antiochus and his daughter have died, and when the people of Tarsus discovered Cleon's evil, they revolted and killed him and his wife in a palace fire), but that we have met a variety of good people along the way, such as loyal Helicanus and charitable Cerimon. A poet named Gower introduces the story, a tale that begins with King Antiochus. Marina is brought to the ship, and she tells Pericles that her own sufferings must match his. I can see the difficulties in performance; however, it is worth a read. He is given a feast by Simonides and wins the love of Thaisa. Pericles in a Glance When his ship arrives finally at Mytilene, the governor Lysimachus welcomes him. If the riddle is guessed incorrectly, the suitor will die. Soon she gets work in a reputable house, educating girls. Few love to hear the sins they love to act. Gower starts the interpretation of the text of Shakespeare, which it will be carried out almost until the end by the same group of people living in this surreal garden of Eden. Pericles, Prince of Tyre (a Romance) - the plot is very long and involved, very much like that of Homer's Odyssey. He marries another princess, but she dies giving birth to their daughter. His friend advises the Prince to travel abroad to escape before anyone comes to kill him. Continuing his voyage, he is shipwrecked and washed up on the shores of Pentapolis. The independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of his works, life and times all over the world. Gower explains that Pericles, prince of Tyre, hopes to win the hand of a princess in Antioch. Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not included in the First Folio. Sold to a brothel run by Pander and Bawd, Marina refuses to give up her honor, despite the many men who come wanting to buy her virginity. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Pericles arrives at Tarsus and brings food to the starving town. Pericles puts his friend Helicanus in charge of Tyre, and leaves until he can safely return. Pericles, Prince of Tyre leaves home to escape death only to win a jousting contest and marry a princess. Whilst various arguments support that Shakespeare is the sole author of the play (notably DelVecchio and Hammond's Cambridge edition of the play), modern editors generally agree that Shakespeare is responsible for almost exactly half the play—827 lines—the main portion after scene 9 … Written around 1606, the play follows Pericles, Prince of Tyre, on his journey to be reunited with his family after a storm at sea separates everyone. After some work, the princess is revived. O, come, be buried A second time within these arms. They call a doctor, who finds Thaisa’s sleeping body inside, along with jewels and a letter from Pericles. Pericles and his family have endured the vagaries of fortune, and through it all remained virtuous, so in the end they were rewarded with the joy of being reunited. Besides the confusion of locations, Pericles is a fairly easy play to follow and overall I found it quite enjoyable to read. Once he can return home, his family sails with him, but a storm separates them, so Pericles returns alone. On board a boat with his wife and Lychordia, a nurse, they come upon a great storm, during which Thaisa dies in childbirth. But Dionyza is jealous of Marina, who takes all the attention away from her own daughter who is of similar age. She manages to convince the men who come to the brothel that her honor is sacred, and they leave seeking virtue in their own lives. Pericles is a late romantic comedy by William Shakespeare. On the way home Pericles is shipwrecked in a storm in Pentapolis. In Pentapolis, Pericles hears of recent events and determines to go back to Tyre. Pericles changes course to land at Tarsus. The play did not appear in Shakespeare’s First Folio, suggesting the editors did not believe he wrote the whole play. Instead they are shown Marina’s (false) tomb. PERICLES I have, Antiochus, and, with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard in this enterprise. Pericles, Prince of Tyre leaves home to escape death only to win a jousting contest and marry a princess. He flees the city, but Antiochus sends an assassin after him. Antiochus knows that Pericles knows, and Pericles knows it. Rescheduled dates to be confirmed. Pericles, play in five acts by William Shakespeare, written about 1606–08 and published in a quarto edition in 1609, a defective and at times nearly unintelligible text that shows signs of having been memorially reconstructed. He is overcome with happiness. LYCHORIDA, Nurse to Marina. He asks her about her birth, and she says her name is Marina. Pericles is the first in a group of Shakespeare's last plays called romances or tragicomedies.This group of plays, which also includes Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, and The Two Noble Kinsmen is characterized by improbable situations, and often includes the discovery that characters presumed dead are, miraculously, still alive. He has heard of her virtuous and inspirational reputation. Thank you for your support to help care for the world's greatest Shakespeare heritage and keep his story alive. When she realizes Pericles is her lost husband, she faints, and Cerimon explains that she is Thaisa. Pericles arrives with corn and saves them. During this conversation, they also tell him of a jousting contest. A Wedding. Here is a short Pericles summary: Pericles, the Prince of Tyre, flees Antioch and goes back to Tyre, because he knows that Antiochus, the King of Antioch, is having an incestuous affair with his daughter. Years later, Pericles finds his daughter and reunites with the wife he had thought was dead. He was totally obsessed with stories about families being torn apart and then miraculously reuniting after long periods of heartache and suffering.