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Pericles
Act 4, scene 1

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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 1
Enter Dionyza with Leonine.

DIONYZA 
 Thy oath remember. Thou hast sworn to do ’t.
 ’Tis but a blow which never shall be known.

119
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Thou canst not do a thing in the world so soon
 To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience,
5 Which is but cold in flaming, thy bosom inflame
 Too nicely. Nor let pity, which even women
 Have cast off, melt thee; but be a soldier
 To thy purpose.
LEONINE  I will do ’t; but yet
10 She is a goodly creature.
DIONYZA  The fitter, then,
 The gods should have her. Here she comes weeping
 For her only mistress’ death. Thou art resolved?
LEONINE I am resolved.

Enter Marina with a basket of flowers.

MARINA 
15 No, I will rob Tellus of her weed
 To strew thy green with flowers. The yellows, blues,
 The purple violets and marigolds
 Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave
 While summer days doth last. Ay me, poor maid,
20 Born in a tempest when my mother died,
 This world to me is as a lasting storm,
 Whirring me from my friends.
DIONYZA 
 How now, Marina? Why do you keep alone?
 How chance my daughter is not with you?
25 Do not consume your blood with sorrowing.
 Have you a nurse of me! Lord, how your favor ’s
 Changed with this unprofitable woe.
 Come, give me your flowers. O’er the sea marge
 Walk with Leonine. The air is quick there,
30 And it pierces and sharpens the stomach.—Come,
 Leonine,
 Take her by the arm. Walk with her.
MARINA  No,
 I pray you, I’ll not bereave you of your servant.

121
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 1

DIONYZA 35Come, come.
 I love the king your father and yourself
 With more than foreign heart. We every day
 Expect him here. When he shall come and find
 Our paragon to all reports thus blasted,
40 He will repent the breadth of his great voyage,
 Blame both my lord and me that we have taken
 No care to your best courses. Go, I pray you,
 Walk, and be cheerful once again. Reserve
 That excellent complexion, which did steal
45 The eyes of young and old. Care not for me.
 I can go home alone.
MARINA  Well, I will go,
 But yet I have no desire to it.
DIONYZA  Come, come,
50 I know ’tis good for you.—Walk half an hour,
 Leonine, at the least. Remember
 What I have said.
LEONINE  I warrant you, madam.
DIONYZA 
 I’ll leave you, my sweet lady, for a while.
55 Pray walk softly; do not heat your blood.
 What, I must have care of you.
MARINA My thanks, sweet madam.Dionyza exits.
 Is this wind westerly that blows?
LEONINE  Southwest.
MARINA 
60 When I was born, the wind was north.
LEONINE  Was ’t so?
MARINA 
 My father, as nurse says, did never fear,
 But cried “Good seamen!” to the sailors,
 Galling his kingly hands haling ropes,
65 And, clasping to the mast, endured a sea
 That almost burst the deck.
LEONINE  When was this?

123
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 1

MARINA When I was born.
 Never was waves nor wind more violent,
70 And from the ladder-tackle washes off
 A canvas-climber. “Ha!” says one, “Wolt out?”
 And with a dropping industry they skip
 From stern to stern. The Boatswain whistles, and
 The Master calls and trebles their confusion.
LEONINE 75Come, say your prayers.
He draws his sword.
MARINA What mean you?
LEONINE 
 If you require a little space for prayer,
 I grant it. Pray, but be not tedious, for
 The gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn
80 To do my work with haste.
MARINA Why will you kill me?
LEONINE To satisfy my lady.
MARINA Why would she have me killed?
 Now, as I can remember, by my troth,
85 I never did her hurt in all my life.
 I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn
 To any living creature. Believe me, la,
 I never killed a mouse, nor hurt a fly.
 I trod upon a worm against my will,
90 But I wept for ’t. How have I offended
 Wherein my death might yield her any profit
 Or my life imply her any danger?
LEONINE My commission
 Is not to reason of the deed, but do ’t.
MARINA 
95 You will not do ’t for all the world, I hope.
 You are well-favored, and your looks foreshow
 You have a gentle heart. I saw you lately
 When you caught hurt in parting two that fought.
 Good sooth, it showed well in you. Do so now.

125
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 4. SC. 2

100 Your lady seeks my life. Come you between,
 And save poor me, the weaker.
LEONINE  I am sworn
 And will dispatch.He seizes her.

Enter Pirates.

FIRST PIRATE Hold, villain!Leonine runs offstage.
SECOND PIRATE 105A prize, a prize!He seizes Marina.
THIRD PIRATE Half-part, mates, half-part. Come, let’s
 have her aboard suddenly.
They exit, carrying Marina.

Enter Leonine.

LEONINE 
 These roguing thieves serve the great pirate Valdes,
 And they have seized Marina. Let her go.
110 There’s no hope she will return. I’ll swear she’s dead,
 And thrown into the sea. But I’ll see further.
 Perhaps they will but please themselves upon her,
 Not carry her aboard. If she remain,
 Whom they have ravished must by me be slain.
He exits.