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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

by William Shakespeare, George Wilkins (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2782611,686 (3.35)72
Suzanne Gossett offers a full and critical performance history, with an introduction showing how the play's performance history has paralled the criticism. It then gives an interpretation of this two-generation romance, with its successive male and female central characters, based on a reading 'through the family', and influenced by the feminist and new historicist criticism of the last two decades.The edition integrates cumulative research on Shakespeare's collaborative authorship and the transmission of the text without rewriting the play or ignoring years of emendations.… (more)
  1. 00
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Gawain Poet (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Two works in older forms of English which play with forms from even older forms of English.
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» See also 72 mentions

English (24)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This play was an emotional rollercoaster. Every time I thought, "Oh wow, Pericles' life can't get any worse/stranger/crazier," then my man Willy was like, "Watch this," and made things crazier!

Riddles about incest, resurrection of the dead, a proselytizing 'prostitute,' and FREAKING PIRATES!: This play has a little something for everybody! XD ( )
  djlinick | Jan 15, 2022 |
Plot: madcap. Writing: largely bad (thanks... Wilkins?) Read-aloud quality: superb. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
God, I hope there's some redemption in the few remaining works I have yet to experience. Because this one? It's simply awful for the most part.

Reading this one, one is led to believe that every daughter of a rich man must be attained by some stupid competition, and that every sea voyage ends up with you washed up on shore alone and almost dead, or plucked from the sea, almost dead.

Aside from that, there's some incest and prostitution and kidnapping and rape to keep you occupied.

It's just freaking awful.

With less than 20% left to go, I almost just stopped it and walked away, but I figured, why not finish it off? I'm glad I did, because only the ending managed to bring this up from no stars to two.

And I must say, while all the incidental music in the Arkangel productions is uniformly terrible, in this one, it was insufferably grating. I refuse to believe anyone on the production team ever listened to this and thought, "damn, this sounds great!

Because it doesn't. It's sandpaper for the ears. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
I would guess this is a pretty obscure, rarely performed Shakespeare play these days, but back in his day it was really popular and it was revived quickly later in the 17th Century when the theatres re-opened after the plague had closed them. This shows a fairly big shift in taste, because Pericles is a pretty faithful adaptation of a prose Romance that is akin to Mediaeval Saintly Lives Romances, complete with preposterous plot with numerous ridiculous coincidences, exiled/orphaned/mistaken for dead characters, undeserved suffering and triumphant return home.

I like that kind of tale, just accepting the silliness, and was amused by the goings on; how many times can one person get shipwrecked? How many supposedly dead relatives can you be unexpectedly re-united with? Basically, it's a romp and I'm not surprised contemporary audiences loved it en mass; it's the equivalent of a bad "guilty pleasure" Hollywood movie nowadays.

There's some debate as to whether Shakespeare wrote all of it. Many have noted "marked improvement" after about ~2/5 the way through. Few argue that Shakespeare had no hand in it, these days.

Some people thought it was a very early play, because not very good but later scholarship suggests otherwise. I suspect that, given that it is actually a late play and very faithful to its source material, that Shakespeare, who was then by then very busy running a theatre company (admittedly jointly with others) and acting, had less time to write than in earlier years and needed a new play in a particular hurry.

I suspect modern audiences tolerate the preposterous plots of the comedies because they are too busy laughing but reject the same in Pericles because it's considered "serious" and they can't take it seriously, which conflict leaves them disliking it. But it's a Romance; it shouldn't be taken seriously. The preposterousness is part of the fun and a feel good ending makes one - feel good!

Not all of Shakespeare is profound... ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, GeorgeAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Greg, W. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoeniger, F.D.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sagarra, Josep M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, RogerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
First words
To sing a song that old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come;
Assuming man's infirmities,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
It hath been sung at festivals,
On ember-eves and holy-ales;
And lords and ladies in their lives
Have read it for restoratives:
The purchase is to make men glorious;
Et bonum quo antiquius, eo melius.
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Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete Pericles, Prince of Tyre only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or "simplifications" (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Suzanne Gossett offers a full and critical performance history, with an introduction showing how the play's performance history has paralled the criticism. It then gives an interpretation of this two-generation romance, with its successive male and female central characters, based on a reading 'through the family', and influenced by the feminist and new historicist criticism of the last two decades.The edition integrates cumulative research on Shakespeare's collaborative authorship and the transmission of the text without rewriting the play or ignoring years of emendations.

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Average: (3.35)
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1 4
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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