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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Summary of the plot or story
As we first meet Pericles a riddle thrusts him onto the horns of a dilemma. He knows the answer to the riddle King Antiochus has presented to him as a prerequisite to winning the hand of his daughter . The problem is if he fails to offer the solution, he will be put to death. But by exposing it he will reveal the King's incestuous relationship with the daughter. 

Pericles responds to his dilemma by starting on a tour that includes not only "normal experiences" like storms and famines, but also such abnormal and paranormal phenomena as pirates abducting children, births and burials at sea, the waking of the dead and a lengthy visit to a brothel. Eventually Marina marries Lysimachus and they become rulers of Tyre. Pericles and Thaisa rule in Pentapolis after Thaisa's father, King Simonides, dies.

Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era). A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Date first performed
It is believed that Pericles, Prince of Tyre was first performed between 1608 and 1609. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and Pericles, Prince of Tyre would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Date first printed
It is believed that the script was first printed in quarto edition in 1609. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

The settings for Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The settings for the drama are Verona and Mantua in Italy

Theme of Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The play is categorised as a Comedy

Number of words in Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The number of spoken words in the script, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 19,734. 

Most important characters in Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The most important character is Pericles, Prince of Tyre, King Antiochus and Thaisa. 

Famous Quotes / Quotations
A famous quote from Pericles, Prince of Tyre is 'See where she comes apparelled like the spring'. Details of this quote follow, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotations can be found in. Please click the link at the top of the page for the full text of the script of the play.

"See where she comes apparelled like the spring." (Act I, Scene I)

William Shakespeare's Main Source
Shakespeare found the story in The Patterne of Painefull Adventures (1576), by Lawrence Twine. 

The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters.

Text - script of Pericles, Prince of Tyre the play by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare
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