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Pericles
Act 5, scene 1

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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 Helicanus, to him two Sailors, one from the
Tyrian ship and one from Mytilene.


TYRIAN SAILOR, (to Sailor from Mytilene) 
 Where is Lord Helicanus? He can resolve you.
 O, here he is.—
 Sir, there is a barge put off from Mytilene,
 And in it is Lysimachus, the Governor,
5 Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?
HELICANUS 
 That he have his.Sailor from Mytilene exits.
 Call up some gentlemen.
TYRIAN SAILOR Ho, gentlemen, my lord calls.

Enter two or three Gentlemen.

GENTLEMAN 
 Doth your Lordship call?
HELICANUS 10 Gentlemen,
 There is some of worth would come aboard.
 I pray, greet him fairly.

Enter Lysimachus, with Lords and Sailor from Mytilene.

SAILOR FROM MYTILENE, to Lysimachus Sir,
 This is the man that can, in aught you would,
15 Resolve you.
LYSIMACHUS, to Helicanus 
 Hail, reverend sir. The gods preserve you.
HELICANUS And you, to outlive the age I am,
 And die as I would do.
LYSIMACHUS  You wish me well.
20 Being on shore, honoring of Neptune’s triumphs,
 Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us,
 I made to it to know of whence you are.
HELICANUS First, what is your place?
LYSIMACHUS 
 I am the governor of this place you lie before.

163
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

HELICANUS 25Sir,
 Our vessel is of Tyre, in it the King,
 A man who for this three months hath not spoken
 To anyone, nor taken sustenance
 But to prorogue his grief.
LYSIMACHUS 
30 Upon what ground is his distemperature?
HELICANUS ’Twould be too tedious to repeat,
 But the main grief springs from the loss
 Of a belovèd daughter and a wife.
LYSIMACHUS May we not see him?
HELICANUS 35You may,
 But bootless is your sight. He will not speak
 To any.
LYSIMACHUS  Yet let me obtain my wish.
HELICANUS 
 Behold him. Pericles is revealed. This was a goodly
40 person,
 Till the disaster that one mortal night
 Drove him to this.
LYSIMACHUS 
 Sir king, all hail! The gods preserve you. Hail,
 Royal sir!
HELICANUS 
45 It is in vain; he will not speak to you.
LORD 
 Sir, we have a maid in Mytilene,
 I durst wager would win some words of him.
LYSIMACHUS ’Tis well bethought.
 She, questionless, with her sweet harmony
50 And other chosen attractions, would allure
 And make a batt’ry through his defended ports,
 Which now are midway stopped.
 She is all happy as the fairest of all,
 And, with her fellow maid, is now upon
55 The leafy shelter that abuts against
 The island’s side.

165
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

HELICANUS 
 Sure, all effectless; yet nothing we’ll omit
 That bears recovery’s name.
Lysimachus signals to a Lord, who exits.
 But since your kindness
60 We have stretched thus far, let us beseech you
 That for our gold we may provision have,
 Wherein we are not destitute for want,
 But weary for the staleness.
LYSIMACHUS  O, sir, a courtesy
65 Which, if we should deny, the most just God
 For every graft would send a caterpillar,
 And so inflict our province. Yet once more
 Let me entreat to know at large the cause
 Of your king’s sorrow.
HELICANUS 
70 Sit, sir, I will recount it to you. But see,
 I am prevented.

Enter Lord with Marina and her companion.

LYSIMACHUS O, here’s the lady that I sent for.—
 Welcome, fair one.—Is ’t not a goodly presence?
HELICANUS She’s a gallant lady.
LYSIMACHUS 
75 She’s such a one that, were I well assured
 Came of a gentle kind and noble stock,
 I’d wish no better choice, and think me rarely wed.—
 Fair one, all goodness that consists in beauty:
 Expect even here, where is a kingly patient,
80 If that thy prosperous and artificial feat
 Can draw him but to answer thee in aught,
 Thy sacred physic shall receive such pay
 As thy desires can wish.
MARINA  Sir, I will use
85 My utmost skill in his recovery, provided
 That none but I and my companion maid
 Be suffered to come near him.

167
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

LYSIMACHUS  Come, let us
 Leave her, and the gods make her prosperous.
Lysimachus, Helicanus and others move aside.
MARINA sings
The Song.

LYSIMACHUS, coming forward 
90 Marked he your music?
MARINA  No, nor looked on us.
LYSIMACHUS, moving aside 
 See, she will speak to him.
MARINA, to Pericles  Hail, sir! My lord, lend ear.
PERICLES Hum, ha!He pushes her away.
MARINA 95I am a maid, my lord,
 That ne’er before invited eyes, but have
 Been gazed on like a comet. She speaks,
 My lord, that may be hath endured a grief
 Might equal yours, if both were justly weighed.
100 Though wayward Fortune did malign my state,
 My derivation was from ancestors
 Who stood equivalent with mighty kings.
 But time hath rooted out my parentage,
 And to the world and awkward casualties
105 Bound me in servitude. Aside. I will desist,
 But there is something glows upon my cheek,
 And whispers in mine ear “Go not till he speak.”
PERICLES 
 My fortunes—parentage—good parentage,
 To equal mine! Was it not thus? What say you?
MARINA 
110 I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,
 You would not do me violence.
PERICLES  I do think so.
 Pray you turn your eyes upon me.
 You’re like something that—What
115 countrywoman?
 Here of these shores?

169
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

MARINA  No, nor of any shores.
 Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am
 No other than I appear.
PERICLES 
120 I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping.
 My dearest wife was like this maid, and such
 A one my daughter might have been: my queen’s
 Square brows, her stature to an inch;
 As wandlike straight, as silver-voiced; her eyes
125 As jewel-like, and cased as richly; in pace
 Another Juno; who starves the ears she feeds
 And makes them hungry the more she gives them
 speech.—
 Where do you live?
MARINA 130 Where I am but a stranger.
 From the deck you may discern the place.
PERICLES 
 Where were you bred? And how achieved you these
 Endowments which you make more rich to owe?
MARINA 
 If I should tell my history, it would seem
135 Like lies disdained in the reporting.
PERICLES  Prithee, speak.
 Falseness cannot come from thee, for thou lookest
 Modest as Justice, and thou seemest a palace
 For the crownèd Truth to dwell in. I will believe thee
140 And make my senses credit thy relation
 To points that seem impossible, for thou lookest
 Like one I loved indeed. What were thy friends?
 Didst thou not say, when I did push thee back—
 Which was when I perceived thee—that thou cam’st
145 From good descending?
MARINA  So indeed I did.
PERICLES 
 Report thy parentage. I think thou said’st
 Thou hadst been tossed from wrong to injury,

171
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

 And that thou thought’st thy griefs might equal mine,
150 If both were opened.
MARINA  Some such thing I said,
 And said no more but what my thoughts
 Did warrant me was likely.
PERICLES  Tell thy story.
155 If thine considered prove the thousand part
 Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I
 Have suffered like a girl. Yet thou dost look
 Like Patience gazing on kings’ graves and smiling
 Extremity out of act. What were thy friends?
160 How lost thou them? Thy name, my most kind
 virgin,
 Recount, I do beseech thee. Come, sit by me.
She sits.
MARINA 
 My name is Marina.
PERICLES  O, I am mocked,
165 And thou by some incensèd god sent hither
 To make the world to laugh at me!
MARINA  Patience, good sir,
 Or here I’ll cease.
PERICLES  Nay, I’ll be patient.
170 Thou little know’st how thou dost startle me
 To call thyself Marina.
MARINA The name
 Was given me by one that had some power—
 My father, and a king.
PERICLES 175 How, a king’s daughter?
 And called Marina?
MARINA  You said you would believe me.
 But not to be a troubler of your peace,
 I will end here.
PERICLES 180 But are you flesh and blood?
 Have you a working pulse, and are no fairy
 Motion? Well, speak on. Where were you born?
 And wherefore called Marina?

173
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

MARINA  Called Marina
185 For I was born at sea.
PERICLES  At sea? What mother?
MARINA 
 My mother was the daughter of a king,
 Who died the minute I was born,
 As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft
190 Delivered weeping.
PERICLES  O, stop there a little!
 Aside. This is the rarest dream that e’er dull sleep
 Did mock sad fools withal. This cannot be
 My daughter, buried.—Well, where were you bred?
195 I’ll hear you more, to the bottom of your story,
 And never interrupt you.
MARINA 
 You scorn. Believe me, ’twere best I did give o’er.
PERICLES 
 I will believe you by the syllable
 Of what you shall deliver. Yet give me leave:
200 How came you in these parts? Where were you bred?
MARINA 
 The King my father did in Tarsus leave me,
 Till cruel Cleon with his wicked wife
 Did seek to murder me; and having wooed a villain
 To attempt it, who, having drawn to do ’t,
205 A crew of pirates came and rescued me,
 Brought me to Mytilene—But, good sir,
 Whither will you have me? Why do you weep?
 It may be you think me an impostor.
 No, good faith.
210 I am the daughter to King Pericles,
 If good King Pericles be.
PERICLES  Ho, Helicanus!
HELICANUS Calls my lord?
PERICLES 
 Thou art a grave and noble counselor,

175
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

215 Most wise in general. Tell me, if thou canst,
 What this maid is, or what is like to be,
 That thus hath made me weep.
HELICANUS  I know not;
 But here’s the regent, sir, of Mytilene
220 Speaks nobly of her.
LYSIMACHUS  She never would tell
 Her parentage. Being demanded that,
 She would sit still and weep.
PERICLES 
 O, Helicanus! Strike me, honored sir.
225 Give me a gash, put me to present pain,
 Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me
 O’erbear the shores of my mortality
 And drown me with their sweetness.—O, come hither,
 Thou that beget’st him that did thee beget,
230 Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus,
 And found at sea again!—O, Helicanus,
 Down on thy knees! Thank the holy gods as loud
 As thunder threatens us. This is Marina.—
 What was thy mother’s name? Tell me but that,
235 For truth can never be confirmed enough,
 Though doubts did ever sleep.
MARINA 
 First, sir, I pray, what is your title?
PERICLES 
 I am Pericles of Tyre. But tell me now
 My drowned queen’s name, as in the rest you said
240 Thou hast been godlike perfect, the heir of kingdoms,
 And another life to Pericles thy father.
MARINA 
 Is it no more to be your daughter than
 To say my mother’s name was Thaisa?
 Thaisa was my mother, who did end
245 The minute I began.

177
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

PERICLES 
 Now, blessing on thee! Rise. Thou ’rt my child.—
 Give me fresh garments.—Mine own Helicanus,
 She is not dead at Tarsus, as she should
 Have been, by savage Cleon. She shall tell thee all,
250 When thou shalt kneel, and justify in knowledge
 She is thy very princess. Who is this?
HELICANUS 
 Sir, ’tis the Governor of Mytilene,
 Who, hearing of your melancholy state,
 Did come to see you.
PERICLES, to Lysimachus 255 I embrace you.—
 Give me my robes.—I am wild in my beholding.
They put fresh garments on him.
 O heavens bless my girl! But hark, what music?
 Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him o’er
 Point by point, for yet he seems to doubt,
260 How sure you are my daughter.—But what music?
HELICANUS My lord, I hear none.
PERICLES None?
 The music of the spheres!—List, my Marina.
LYSIMACHUS 
 It is not good to cross him. Give him way.
PERICLES 265Rarest sounds! Do you not hear?
LYSIMACHUS 
 Music, my lord? I hear—
PERICLES  Most heavenly music.
 It nips me unto list’ning, and thick slumber
 Hangs upon mine eyes. Let me rest.He sleeps.
LYSIMACHUS 
270 A pillow for his head. So, leave him all.
Lysimachus and others begin to exit.
 Well, my companion friends, if this but answer
 To my just belief, I’ll well remember you.
All but Pericles exit.

179
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
ACT 5. SC. 1

Diana descends.

DIANA 
 My temple stands in Ephesus. Hie thee thither
 And do upon mine altar sacrifice.
275 There, when my maiden priests are met together,
 Before the people all,
 Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife.
 To mourn thy crosses, with thy daughter’s, call,
 And give them repetition to the life.
280 Or perform my bidding, or thou livest in woe;
 Do ’t, and happy, by my silver bow.
 Awake, and tell thy dream.She ascends.
PERICLES  Celestial Dian,
 Goddess argentine, I will obey thee.—
285 Helicanus!

Enter Helicanus, Lysimachus, Marina, and
Attendants.


HELICANUS Sir.
PERICLES 
 My purpose was for Tarsus, there to strike
 The inhospitable Cleon, but I am
 For other service first. Toward Ephesus
290 Turn our blown sails. Eftsoons I’ll tell thee why.—
 Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your shore,
 And give you gold for such provision
 As our intents will need?
LYSIMACHUS Sir,
295 With all my heart. And when you come ashore,
 I have another suit.
PERICLES  You shall prevail
 Were it to woo my daughter, for it seems
 You have been noble towards her.
LYSIMACHUS 
300 Sir, lend me your arm.
PERICLES  Come, my Marina.
They exit.