Pericles | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Pericles | Scene Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Ancient Antioch

    Pericles searches for a wife, solves the riddle, and flees for his life.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • Some time later

    Pericles escapes Antiochus and delivers grain, earning Cleon's gratitude.

    Act 1, Scene 4
  • Some weeks later

    Pericles survives a storm, wins a tournament, and woos and wins Thaisa of Pentapolis for his wife.

    Act 2, Scene 5
  • Months later

    Thaisa appears to have died giving birth to Marina.

    Act 3, Scene 1
  • Days later

    Pericles entrusts Marina to Cleon and Dionyza.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • Years later in Tarsus

    Marina is captured by pirates and sold to a brothel in Mytilene.

    Act 4, Scene 1
  • Some time later

    Pericles reunites with Marina in Mytilene.

    Act 5, Scene 1
  • Some time later

    Pericles, Thaisa, and Marina are reunited at Diana's Temple in Ephesus.

    Act 5, Scene 3

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Act 1, Chorus The Spirit of Gower enters as an old man to tell the audience he will present an old but very good story "to glad your e... Read More
Act 1, Scene 1 As Gower exits, Antiochus enters with Pericles. Antiochus wants to make sure the young man is clear on the risks he will... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 Pericles has escaped Antioch and is back in Tyre. In a soliloquy he reveals his anxiety over what Antiochus may do. Anti... Read More
Act 1, Scene 3 Just as Pericles has predicted, Antiochus's paid assassin Thaliard arrives in Tyre looking for Pericles. Helicanus enter... Read More
Act 1, Scene 4 This scene takes place in Tarsus at a time of famine. The governor, Cleon, and his wife, Dionyza, enter to discuss the t... Read More
Act 2, Chorus Having briefly reminded the audience of Antiochus's sin, Gower tells them to "Be quiet, then, as men should be," so they... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 Pericles has made it to shore in an unknown land where he thinks he will probably die. Three fishermen appear, wondering... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 At the court of Simonides, the king enters with his daughter, Thaisa, to review the knights who have come to participate... Read More
Act 2, Scene 3 The tilting of the knights for the entertainment of Simonides's court and to honor Thaisa's birthday has ended with Peri... Read More
Act 2, Scene 4 Meanwhile, back in Tyre, Helicanus has received word that Antiochus and his daughter have been struck by "A fire from he... Read More
Act 2, Scene 5 The five knights who have been guests of Simonides in Pentapolis are restless to know which one among them finds favor t... Read More
Act 3, Chorus Gower enters to inform the audience Pericles and Thaisa have married and the celebration has come to an end. Now, everyo... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 Pericles, who is on deck of the ship as it pitches in the storm, is worried about his wife giving birth to their child b... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 The scene opens in the early morning on the shores of Ephesus after the sea storm has passed. The healer Cerimon is up a... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 Pericles has safely arrived at Tarsus with his infant daughter and the nurse Lychorida. He tells Cleon he has been too l... Read More
Act 3, Scene 4 Thaisa has recovered her health under the careful ministrations of Cerimon at Euphrasus, and there now remains the quest... Read More
Act 4, Chorus A number of years have passed since the last scene. Gower enters and brings the audience up to date with events that hav... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 Dionyza talks to Leonine, the murderer she has engaged to murder Marina. She wants his assurance that he will carry out ... Read More
Act 4, Scene 2 Pander, Bawd, and their servant Bolt arrive at the market in Mytilene to search for fresh girls to fill their brothel. T... Read More
Act 4, Scene 3 The scene returns the action of the play to Tarsus, where Dionyza attempts to reason with Cleon that since Marina has be... Read More
Act 4, Scene 4 Gower announces that Pericles, accompanied by the faithful Helicanus, has set sail for Tarsus to bring Marina home. He p... Read More
Act 4, Scene 5 This scene returns to Mytilene. Two gentlemen are talking about the virtuous young woman who preaches in a nearby brothe... Read More
Act 4, Scene 6 Pander, Bawd, and Bolt are at wit's end to know what to do with Marina and wish they'd never have brought her into their... Read More
Act 5, Chorus Gower confirms to the audience Marina's plan proceeds to work very well, since over time she has managed to turn the bro... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 The Lord Lysimachus arrives on board Pericles's ship and is greeted by Helicanus. Lysimachus, as a good host to stranger... Read More
Act 5, Scene 2 Gower tells the audience the play is about to end, but he tells them that during the festivities to honor Neptune, Lysim... Read More
Act 5, Scene 3 Having arrived at Ephesus, Pericles, Marina, Helicanus, and Lysimachus go to the temple, where they are met by Cerimon a... Read More
Act 5, Epilogue Gower brings the play to a close in a brief epilogue, reminding the audience that Antiochus and his daughter received a ... Read More
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