A line-by-line translation

Pericles

Pericles Translation Table of Contents

When Pericles uncovers King Antiochus’ incest with his daughter, Pericles flees to Tyre with an assassin on his trail. Shipwrecked in Pentapolis on his travels away from Tyre--continuing to flee Antiochus’ wrath--Pericles marries Thaisa, who appears to die in childbirth. Pericles passes off his young daughter Marina to be raised by others. After many years Pericles ascends the Tyrian throne and receives a second chance at life and love with the miraculous reunion of his family. One of the last plays that Shakespeare ever wrote, Pericles is now accessible to readers of all levels with the Shakescleare modern English translation of the play. Now you can easily discover some of the play’s most noteworthy quotes, like “Opinion’s but a fool.”

Act 1, Chorus

The narrator, Gower, explains the story's setting in Antioch, where Pericles goes in search of a bride.

Act 1, Scene 1

Pericles solves the riddle, revealing Antiochus's incestuous relationship with his daughter, then is forced to flee.

Act 1, Scene 2

Back in Tyre and afraid for his life, Pericles decides to travel across the sea, leaving Helicanus in charge.

Act 1, Scene 3

Antiochus's henchman arrives in Tyre to kill Pericles, but the prince is nowhere to be found.

Act 1, Scene 4

Pericles travels to Tarsus, where he rescues Cleon, Dionyza, and their subjects from famine.

Act 2, Chorus

Gower describes Pericles's popularity in Tarsus. In a dumb show, Pericles sails away and is shipwrecked.

Act 2, Scene 1

Pericles is shipwrecked alone in Pentapolis. Fishermen tell him about a tournament, then pull his armor out of the sea.

Act 2, Scene 2

King Simonides and Princess Thaisa watch the knights enter the tournament, including the "stranger," Pericles.

Act 2, Scene 3

Pericles's victory in the tournament is celebrated with a feast; he and Thaisa quickly fall in love.

Act 2, Scene 4

Back in Tyre, citizens ask Helicanus to become king, but he insists they wait a year while they look for Pericles.

Act 2, Scene 5

As a joke, Simonides pretends not to approve Thaisa and Pericles's marriage, then oversees a quick wedding.

Act 3, Chorus

Gower explains that Pericles and a pregnant Thaisa sail for Tyre and are caught in a storm.

Act 3, Scene 1

Pericles and Thaisa's ship is caught in a storm. Thaisa gives birth, is declared dead, and is thrown overboard.

Act 3, Scene 2

Thaisa's body washes up in Ephesus, where a magician named Cerimon revives her.

Act 3, Scene 3

Pericles stops in Tarsus, where he leaves baby Marina with Cleon and Dionyza.

Act 3, Scene 4

Thaisa decides to become a priestess in Diana's temple in Ephesus.

Act 4, Chorus

Gower explains Pericles's return to Tyre, how Thaisa becomes a priestess, and that Dionyza is planning Marina's murder.

Act 4, Scene 1

Dionyza hires Leonine to murder Marina, but pirates kidnap the princess just as he is about to do it.

Act 4, Scene 2

In Mytilene, the Bawd and Pandar buy Marina from the pirates, forcing her to become a prostitute.

Act 4, Scene 3

Cleon berates Dionyza for Marina's murder; they tell Pericles she died by accident. He grieves.

Act 4, Scene 4

Gower describes how Pericles sails to Tarsus to fetch Marina, is told she's dead, and sails away in despair.

Act 4, Scene 5

Two gentlemen rave about Marina's "preaching" in the brothel, which has changed their lives.

Act 4, Scene 6

Marina refuses to sleep with Lysimachus, governor of Mytilene. She convinces the Bawd and Pandar to let her go.

Act 5, Chorus

Gower explains Marina's success as a tutor for rich children, and that Pericles's ship approaches Mytilene.

Act 5, Scene 1

Helicanus and Pericles arrive in Tyre. Marina sings to cheer Pericles up; he realizes she is his lost daughter.

Act 5, Scene 2

Gower asks the audience to imagine the celebrations Lysimachus put on to honor Pericles, and the journey to Ephesus.

Act 5, Scene 3

Pericles reunites with Thaisa at Ephesus, Marina and Lysimachus are engaged, and everyone is free to return home.

Act 5, Epilogue

Gower wraps up the play, describing Pericles and his family's happiness and Cleon and Dionyza's fate.
Bailey sincox
About the Translator: Bailey Sincox

Bailey Sincox is a PhD student in English at Harvard University, where she researches the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her teaching experience includes accessible online courses with edX on Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She holds a Master's from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's from Duke University.