List iconPericlesList icon

Pericles
Act 2, scene 3

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The nautical tale of a wandering prince, Pericles is narrated by John Gower, a poet from the English past. Gower explains that…

Act 1, 1 chorus

Gower sets the stage for Pericles’ entrance at Antioch by telling of the incest between Antiochus and his daughter, whom…

Act 1, scene 1

Pericles risks his life to win the hand of Antiochus’s daughter, but, in meeting the challenge, he learns of the…

Act 1, scene 2

Back in his kingdom of Tyre, Pericles, fearing the power of Antiochus, sets sail once again.

Act 1, scene 3

Thaliard arrives in Tyre to find Pericles gone.

Act 1, scene 4

In Tarsus, King Cleon, Queen Dionyza, and the citizens of the country, dying of hunger, are saved by Pericles and…

Act 2, 2 chorus

Gower tells of Pericles’ departure from Tarsus and of the storm that destroys his ships and men and tosses him…

Act 2, scene 1

Fishermen in Pentapolis provide the shipwrecked Pericles with clothing and then pull his armor from the sea. They agree to…

Act 2, scene 2

At the court, Pericles and other knights present their shields to Princess Thaisa, and Pericles wins the tournament.

Act 2, scene 3

Simonides and Thaisa separately express their admiration for “the stranger knight.”

Act 2, scene 4

In Tyre, Helicanus recounts the awful deaths of Antiochus and his daughter. He then agrees to accept the crown twelve…

Act 2, scene 5

King Simonides, learning that Thaisa loves Pericles, pretends to be angry, but then reveals his pleasure at their mutual love.

Act 3, 3 chorus

Gower picks up the story on the night after Pericles and Thaisa’s wedding and carries it forward through Thaisa’s becoming…

Act 3, scene 1

In the storm, Thaisa dies in giving birth and her body is cast into the sea. To save the baby,…

Act 3, scene 2

The body of Thaisa washes ashore in Ephesus, where she is revived by a physician named Lord Cerimon.

Act 3, scene 3

Pericles leaves the infant, Marina, in the care of Cleon and Dionyza and sails for Tyre.

Act 3, scene 4

In Ephesus, Thaisa decides to become a votaress at the temple of Diana.

Act 4, 4 chorus

Gower carries the story forward fourteen years, focusing on the young Marina. Her beauty and talents arouse murderous hatred in…

Act 4, scene 1

Dionyza’s hired murderer, Leonine, is prevented from murdering Marina by pirates, who carry her away to their ship.

Act 4, scene 2

Marina is sold by the pirates to a brothel in Mytilene.

Act 4, scene 3

Dionyza, after Leonine has (falsely) reported Marina’s death, now justifies her actions to a horrified Cleon.

Act 4, scene 4

Gower tells of Pericles’ arrival in Tarsus, his learning of Marina’s death, and his vow of perpetual mourning.

Act 4, scene 5

In Mytilene, Marina preserves her virginity through eloquent pleas to her potential customers. We see the effect on two such…

Act 4, scene 6

Lysimachus, the governor of Mytilene, arrives at the brothel and is so moved (or shamed) by Marina’s eloquence that he…

Act 5, 5 chorus

Gower describes Marina’s success in Mytilene and tells of Pericles’ ship landing on Mytilene’s shores.

Act 5, scene 1

Lysimachus visits Pericles’ ship and sends for Marina, whose music he thinks will revive the grief-stricken king. When Marina tells…

Act 5, scene 2

Gower tells of the celebrations for Pericles in Mytilene and of the betrothal of Marina and Lysimachus.

Act 5, scene 3

At Diana’s temple in Ephesus, Thaisa recognizes Pericles as her husband and is reunited with him and with her daughter.

Act 5, epilogue

Gower reflects on the now-completed story and tells the fate of Cleon and Dionyza.

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 3
Enter the King Simonides, Thaisa, Marshal, Ladies,
Lords, Attendants, and Knights in armor, from tilting.


SIMONIDES Knights,
 To say you’re welcome were superfluous.
 To place upon the volume of your deeds,
 As in a title page, your worth in arms
5 Were more than you expect or more than ’s fit,
 Since every worth in show commends itself.
 Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast.
 You are princes and my guests.
THAISA, to Pericles But you my knight and guest,
10 To whom this wreath of victory I give
 And crown you king of this day’s happiness.
She places a wreath on Pericles’ head.
PERICLES 
 ’Tis more by fortune, lady, than my merit.
SIMONIDES 
 Call it by what you will, the day is yours,
 And here, I hope, is none that envies it.
15 In framing an artist, Art hath thus decreed,
 To make some good but others to exceed,
 And you are her labored scholar.—Come, queen o’
 the feast,
 For, daughter, so you are; here, take your place.—
20 Marshal, the rest as they deserve their grace.
KNIGHTS 
 We are honored much by good Simonides.
SIMONIDES 
 Your presence glads our days. Honor we love,
 For who hates honor hates the gods above.
MARSHAL, to Pericles Sir, yonder is your place.
PERICLES 25Some other is more fit.
FIRST KNIGHT 
 Contend not, sir, for we are gentlemen

65
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Have neither in our hearts nor outward eyes
 Envies the great, nor shall the low despise.
PERICLES 
 You are right courteous knights.
SIMONIDES 30 Sit, sir, sit.They sit.
 Aside. By Jove I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
 These cates resist me, he not thought upon.
THAISA, aside 
 By Juno, that is queen of marriage,
 All viands that I eat do seem unsavory,
35 Wishing him my meat.—Sure, he’s a gallant
 gentleman.
SIMONIDES 
 He’s but a country gentleman;
 Has done no more than other knights have done;
 Has broken a staff or so. So let it pass.
THAISA, aside 
40 To me he seems like diamond to glass.
PERICLES, aside 
 Yon king’s to me like to my father’s picture,
 Which tells in that glory once he was—
 Had princes sit like stars about his throne,
 And he the sun for them to reverence.
45 None that beheld him but like lesser lights
 Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;
 Where now his son’s like a glowworm in the night,
 The which hath fire in darkness, none in light;
 Whereby I see that Time’s the king of men.
50 He’s both their parent, and he is their grave,
 And gives them what he will, not what they crave.
SIMONIDES What, are you merry, knights?
KNIGHTS 
 Who can be other in this royal presence?
SIMONIDES 
 Here, with a cup that’s stored unto the brim,
55 As do you love, fill to your mistress’ lips.

67
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 2. SC. 3

 We drink this health to you.He drinks.
KNIGHTS  We thank your Grace.
SIMONIDES 
 Yet pause awhile. Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,
 As if the entertainment in our court
60 Had not a show might countervail his worth.—
 Note it not you, Thaisa?
THAISA What is ’t to me, my father?
SIMONIDES 
 O, attend, my daughter. Princes in this
 Should live like gods above, who freely give
65 To everyone that come to honor them.
 And princes not doing so are like to gnats,
 Which make a sound but, killed, are wondered at.
 Therefore, to make his entrance more sweet,
 Here, say we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.
He drinks.
THAISA 
70 Alas, my father, it befits not me
 Unto a stranger knight to be so bold.
 He may my proffer take for an offense,
 Since men take women’s gifts for impudence.
SIMONIDES How?
75 Do as I bid you, or you’ll move me else.
THAISA, aside 
 Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.
SIMONIDES 
 And furthermore tell him we desire to know of him
 Of whence he is, his name and parentage.
THAISA, going to Pericles 
 The King, my father, sir, has drunk to you.
PERICLES 80I thank him.
THAISA 
 Wishing it so much blood unto your life.
PERICLES 
 I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.
He drinks to Simonides.

69
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 2. SC. 3

THAISA 
 And further, he desires to know of you
 Of whence you are, your name and parentage.
PERICLES 
85 A gentleman of Tyre, my name Pericles.
 My education been in arts and arms,
 Who, looking for adventures in the world,
 Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,
 And after shipwrack driven upon this shore.
THAISA, returning to her place 
90 He thanks your Grace; names himself Pericles,
 A gentleman of Tyre,
 Who only by misfortune of the seas,
 Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.
SIMONIDES 
 Now, by the gods, I pity his misfortune,
95 And will awake him from his melancholy.—
 Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles
 And waste the time which looks for other revels.
 Even in your armors, as you are addressed,
 Will well become a soldiers’ dance.
100 I will not have excuse with saying this:
 “Loud music is too harsh for ladies’ heads,”
 Since they love men in arms as well as beds.
They dance.
 So, this was well asked, ’twas so well performed.
 Come, sir.He presents Pericles to Thaisa.
105 Here’s a lady that wants breathing too,
 And I have heard you knights of Tyre
 Are excellent in making ladies trip,
 And that their measures are as excellent.
PERICLES 
 In those that practice them they are, my lord.
SIMONIDES 
110 O, that’s as much as you would be denied
 Of your fair courtesy.They dance.
 Unclasp, unclasp!

71
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 2. SC. 4

 Thanks, gentlemen, to all; all have done well;
 To Pericles. But you the best.—Pages and lights, to
115 conduct
 These knights unto their several lodgings. To
 Pericles. 
Yours, sir,
 We have given order be next our own.
PERICLES I am at your Grace’s pleasure.
SIMONIDES 
120 Princes, it is too late to talk of love,
 And that’s the mark I know you level at.
 Therefore each one betake him to his rest,
 Tomorrow all for speeding do their best.
They exit.