Saturday, April 20, 2019

Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare

Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a comedy, written in early 17thcentury.

It is the tale of Pericles, of course. Who must flee his own country as the King of Antioch has set an assassin after Pericles – for Perciles knows the king is involved in an incestuous relationship with his daughter, causing Pericles to state…
   One sin I know another doth provoke:
   Murder’s as near to lust as flame to smoke:
   Poison and treason are the hands of sin,
   Ay, and the targets to put off the shame:
   Then lest my life be cropp’d to keep you clear
   By flight I’ll shun the danger which I fear.

His flight sets off a series of tragedies. He takes a wife, Thaisa princess of Pentapolis, but shortly after she gives birth to their daughter Marina, Thsisa is lost in a storm at sea. Pericles leaves Marina in the care of trusted friends, as he returns to his own kingdom – as those seeking his life have met poetic ends. Later, upon returning for Marina, he learns she has died, and Pericles slips into a listless and speechless depression.

But lo, Thaisa or Marina are alive after all, but each believes the others to be dead and hence none of the three are searching for the others. It will still take some clever Shakespearean twist of fate to bring them all together again – but fear not – it is a comedy after all.

Not my favorite. I’m probably not alone, as this is certainly not a very popular play. Also, possibly not entirely the work of Shakespeare.

I hope it sill counts, as I read it for the 2019 Year of Shakespeare Challenge. The last comedy for this year. Next month/quarter it will be histories.


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