Pericles | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Pericles | Act 5, Chorus | Summary

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Summary

Gower confirms to the audience Marina's plan proceeds to work very well, since over time she has managed to turn the brothel "Into an honest house" with the teaching and practice of her many skills. "She gives the cursed bawd" the money she receives for these activities. Gower concludes his Chorus by asking the audience "Please you sit and hark" so the arrival of Pericles as an invited guest to the annual feast of Neptune in Mytilene can be witnessed.

Analysis

The enterprising Marina, having engaged the aid of Bolt to advertise her, has found a way of maintaining herself in the practice and teaching of her many arts to the benefit of the town overall. The message her example conveys is that a good education combined with an honest and virtuous nature can turn even the darkest and most vile house of prostitution into something of which to be proud. In any case, Bawd has nothing to complain of now since Marina gives her the money she earns at it.

Neptune is the Roman god of the sea, whose festival occurred annually on July 23. As the commander of waters, Neptune was credited with deciding the fate of sailors and ships at sea. Appeals were made to him to bring ships safe to port, while his anger brought storms or lack of wind to fill the sails. The arrival of the sea-weary Pericles just at the time of Neptune's feasting day is a promising sign his misfortunes are about to end.

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