Places Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Places)
*Tyre. Eastern Mediterranean port city that arose as the center of the Phoenician trading empire in ancient times and afterward remained an important trading port. Located in what is now southern Lebanon. The homeland of Prince Pericles.
*Antioch (AN-tee-ahk). Ancient city in Asia Minor and the capital of William Shakespeare’s King Antiochus in this play. Antioch and other cities, such as Tharsus and Tyre, are lands of treachery and blight. To avoid being murdered, Pericles flees Antioch, land of the incestuous Antiochus and his daughter, and hides briefly in Tharsus before taking ship again. Pericles later leaves his daughter in Tharsus, in the care of Cleon and his wife, Dionyza, while he returns to rule in Antioch and Tyre after the deaths of the sinful king and daughter. Years later, Dionyza plots against Pericles’s daughter, Marina, who escapes to Miteline.
Pentapolis. Kingdom ruled by Simonides known as a land of opportunity and ethical judgment. Pericles shipwrecks there, wins a contest for the hand of the king’s daughter, Thaisa, and marries her. They leave the land after it is revealed that Pericles is the rightful ruler of Tyre and must return home.
*Ephesus (EHF-ah-suhs). Ancient city in Asia Minor that is home to the Temple of Diana. After Thaisa dies in childbirth while traveling to Tyre, her body washes ashore at Ephesus. There, Lord Cerimon restores her to life and places her as a nun at the Temple of Diana. The play’s concluding reunion scene takes place at Diana’s Temple.
Bibliography and Further Reading
Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Bergeron, David M. Shakespeare’s Romances and the Royal Family. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985. Emphasizes the relationship of the masquelike elements of the play to the ceremonial forms predominant at the court of James I. One of the best historical analyses of Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
Fawkner, H. W. Shakespeare’s Miracle Plays. Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1992. This fascinating book does not condescend to Pericles, Prince of Tyre as so many Shakespeare studies do. Considers the play as a mature, complex, and achieved work of art.
Frye, Northrop. A Natural Perspective: The Development of Shakespearean Comedy and Romance. New York: Columbia University Press, 1965. In this work and in his earlier Anatomy of Criticism, Frye establishes a critical model of the Hellenistic romance by which the reader may better understand the plot and genre of Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
Knight, G. Wilson. The Crown of Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947. Knight was the first modern critic to take Pericles, Prince of Tyre seriously. Discusses the play’s verbal beauty, its adventure, and its spiritual richness.
Neely, Carol Thomas. Broken Nuptials in Shakespeare’s Plays. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985. The most important feminist analysis of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Argues that the play affirms and subverts the conventional marriage plot of comedies.