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Pericles
Act 3, scene 2

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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.

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Scene 2
Enter Lord Cerimon with two Suppliants.

CERIMON Philemon, ho!

Enter Philemon.

PHILEMON Doth my lord call?
CERIMON Get fire and meat for these poor men.
 ’T has been a turbulent and stormy night.
Philemon exits.
FIRST SUPPLIANT 
5 I have been in many; but such a night as this,
 Till now, I ne’er endured.
CERIMON 
 Your master will be dead ere you return.
 There’s nothing can be ministered to nature
 That can recover him. To Second Suppliant. Give
10 this to the ’pothecary,
 And tell me how it works.Suppliants exit.

Enter two Gentlemen.

FIRST GENTLEMAN Good morrow.
SECOND GENTLEMAN Good morrow to your Lordship.
CERIMON 
 Gentlemen, why do you stir so early?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 15 Sir,
 Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,
 Shook as the earth did quake.

99
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 3. SC. 2

 The very principals did seem to rend
 And all to topple. Pure surprise and fear
20 Made me to quit the house.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 That is the cause we trouble you so early.
 ’Tis not our husbandry.
CERIMON  O, you say well.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 But I much marvel that your Lordship, having
25 Rich tire about you, should at these early hours
 Shake off the golden slumber of repose.
 ’Tis most strange
 Nature should be so conversant with pain,
 Being thereto not compelled.
CERIMON 30 I hold it ever
 Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
 Than nobleness and riches. Careless heirs
 May the two latter darken and expend,
 But immortality attends the former,
35 Making a man a god. ’Tis known I ever
 Have studied physic, through which secret art,
 By turning o’er authorities, I have,
 Together with my practice, made familiar
 To me and to my aid the blessed infusions
40 That dwells in vegetives, in metals, stones;
 And can speak of the disturbances
 That Nature works, and of her cures; which doth
 give me
 A more content in course of true delight
45 Than to be thirsty after tottering honor,
 Or tie my pleasure up in silken bags
 To please the fool and death.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 Your Honor has through Ephesus poured forth
 Your charity, and hundreds call themselves
50 Your creatures, who by you have been restored;

101
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 3. SC. 2

 And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even
 Your purse, still open, hath built Lord Cerimon
 Such strong renown, as time shall never—

Enter two or three Servants with a chest.

SERVANT 
 So, lift there.
CERIMON 55 What’s that?
SERVANT  Sir, even now
 Did the sea toss up upon our shore this chest.
 ’Tis of some wrack.
CERIMON  Set ’t down. Let’s look upon ’t.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
60 ’Tis like a coffin, sir.
CERIMON  What e’er it be,
 ’Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight.
 If the sea’s stomach be o’ercharged with gold,
 ’Tis a good constraint of Fortune it belches upon us.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
65 ’Tis so, my lord.
CERIMON  How close ’tis caulked and bitumed!
 Did the sea cast it up?
SERVANT 
 I never saw so huge a billow, sir,
 As tossed it upon shore.
CERIMON 70 Wrench it open.
 Soft! It smells most sweetly in my sense.
SECOND GENTLEMAN A delicate odor.
CERIMON 
 As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it.
They open the chest.
 O, you most potent gods! What’s here? A corse?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 75Most strange!
CERIMON 
 Shrouded in cloth of state, balmed and entreasured
 With full bags of spices. A passport too!

103
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Apollo, perfect me in the characters.
He reads.
 Here I give to understand,
80 If e’er this coffin drives aland,
 I, King Pericles, have lost
 This queen, worth all our mundane cost.
 Who finds her, give her burying.
 She was the daughter of a king.
85 Besides this treasure for a fee,
 The gods requite his charity.

 If thou livest, Pericles, thou hast a heart
 That ever cracks for woe. This chanced tonight.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 Most likely, sir.
CERIMON 90 Nay, certainly tonight,
 For look how fresh she looks. They were too rough
 That threw her in the sea.—Make a fire within;
 Fetch hither all my boxes in my closet.
A servant exits.
 Death may usurp on nature many hours,
95 And yet the fire of life kindle again
 The o’erpressed spirits. I heard of an Egyptian
 That had nine hours lain dead,
 Who was by good appliance recoverèd.

Enter one with boxes, napkins, and fire.

 Well said, well said! The fire and cloths.
100 The rough and woeful music that we have,
 Cause it to sound, beseech you. Music sounds. The
 viol once more!
 How thou stirr’st, thou block! The music there.
Music sounds.
 I pray you, give her air. Gentlemen,
105 This queen will live. Nature awakes a warm breath
 Out of her. She hath not been entranced

105
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 3. SC. 3

 Above five hours. See how she gins to blow
 Into life’s flower again.
FIRST GENTLEMAN  The heavens, through you,
110 Increase our wonder, and sets up your fame
 Forever.
CERIMON She is alive. Behold her eyelids—
 Cases to those heavenly jewels which Pericles hath
 lost—
115 Begin to part their fringes of bright gold.
 The diamonds of a most praised water doth
 Appear to make the world twice rich.—Live,
 And make us weep to hear your fate, fair creature,
 Rare as you seem to be.
She moves.
THAISA 120 O dear Diana,
 Where am I? Where’s my lord? What world is this?
SECOND GENTLEMAN Is not this strange?
FIRST GENTLEMAN Most rare!
CERIMON Hush, my gentle neighbors!
125 Lend me your hands. To the next chamber bear her.
 Get linen. Now this matter must be looked to,
 For her relapse is mortal. Come, come;
 And Aesculapius guide us.
They carry her away as they all exit.