Pericles, Prince of Tyre

by William Shakespeare


Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not included in the First Folio. Various arguments support the theory that Shakespeare was the sole author of the play, notably in DelVecchio and Hammond's Cambridge edition of the play, but modern editors generally agree that Shakespeare was responsible for almost exactly half the play — 827 lines — the main portion after scene 9 that follows the story of Pericles and Marina. 
The play draws upon two sources for the plot. The first is Confessio Amantis (1393) of John Gower, an English poet and contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. This provides the story of Apollonius of Tyre. The second source is the Lawrence Twine prose version of Gower's tale, The Pattern of Painful Adventures, dating from c. 1576, reprinted in 1607. 
A third related work is The Painful Adventures of Pericles by George Wilkins, published in 1608. But this seems to be a "novelization" of the play, stitched together with bits from Twine; Wilkins mentions the play in the Argument to his version of the story – so that Wilkins' novel derives from the play, not the play from the novel. Wilkins, who with Shakespeare was a witness in the Bellott v. Mountjoy lawsuit of 1612, has been an obvious candidate for the author of the non-Shakespearean matter in the play's first two acts; Wilkins wrote plays very similar in style, and no better candidate has been found.
The choruses spoken by Gower were influenced by Barnabe Barnes's The Diuils Charter (1607) and by The Trauailes of the Three English Brothers (1607), by John Day, William Rowley, and Wilkins.
Excerpted from Pericles, Prince of Tyre on Wikipedia.

person AuthorWilliam Shakespeare
language CountryEngland
api GenreDrama, Comedy, Romance
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book coverMarina singing before Pericles
Artist: Thomas Stothard | wikimedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioThanks to Librivox | Internet Archive:
Reader: Group, Dramatic Readings
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auto_stories Read onlineHTML version