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Pericles

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,949 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
Pericles was one of the most popular plays of its time, and it has regained much of that popularity in the modern theater. Roger Warren draws upon his extensive experience of the play in rehearsal and performance to suggest why. Pericles survives only in a corrupt text, and this edition offers a conjectural reconstruction of what the original play might have been like. It ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 8th 2004 by OUP Oxford (first published 1606)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bill  Kerwin

The first half (maybe three-fifths) of "Pericles" contains the worst writing found in any Shakespeare play. Fortunately for Shakespeare's reputation, he didn't write it: some hack--probably the ephemeral George Wilkins--is responsible instead. Much of the verse of the first three acts is difficult, but not in the way late Shakespeare is often difficult (an extraordinary concentration and richness of language). but because it is poorly constructed (or reported) and makes little or no sense, parti
...more
Caris
Apr 06, 2012 Caris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, shakespeare
Oh, Pericles, you goofy fuck of a play.

If Titus Andronicus was Shakespeare’s Hellraiser, Pericles is his Hellraiser III: a shitty, canonically insulting pseudo-comedy that likely had no input whatsoever from Clive Barker...er...I mean, William Shakespeare. It was as if its creator(s) started with a solid concept, but then decided it didn’t have enough Hollywood substance and imbued it with elements of tragedy, drama, comedy, and romance, with the understanding that more is always better.

The resu
...more
Manny
Preface

Although superficially similar in form, most scholars do not consider that the Abridged Pericles belongs to the Madelinian Canon; the most plausible theory holds that it was partly or wholly composed by an imitator, possibly a Manfred Reiner (the spelling is uncertain), who lived in Geneva around 2013.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (abridged version)

ANTIOCHUS: Here's a riddle: if you can't guess, I'm going to kill you. What goes on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in th
...more
Bram
Jun 05, 2014 Bram rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, the-bard
Pericles achieves a sense of scene-hopping adventure unequaled in Shakespeare’s repertoire, and as a perhaps inevitable corollary, it is also the play that most strains credulity, The Winter’s Tale notwithstanding. The dei ex machina arrive in the form of dream instructions, magical healings, and a pirate kidnapping. And yet, like Pericles with his Neptune-defying navigations, we can weather the plot. What is less easy to settle into is the variation in writing quality. While Shakespeare probabl ...more
Rory
Jul 01, 2007 Rory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a shakespeare play with gratuitous pirates and a prostitute who talks men into finding religion - what's not to love?
Wanda
Probably not one of the best among Shakespeare’s plays, this romance is still quite enjoyable. The version which I saw was recorded in 2015 at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Ontario, Canada). It was extremely well acted and the presentation was beautiful. Instead of employing John Gower as a narrator, a chorus of priestesses of Diana were introduced. Some of the narration was even beautifully sung, a touch which I loved.

Many of the themes that Shakespeare was interested in make
...more
Buck
Feb 09, 2012 Buck rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histrionics
Ben Jonson called this a 'moldy tale'. He was being charitable. It's rank Jacobean cheese.

The author, who wrote some fairly successful plays in the 1590s, never really lived up to his early promise. Sad.
Ana Maria Rînceanu
This made no sense to me and I like Shakespeare. I can see why this is not taught in school. Pericles, king of Tyre, discoveres Antiochus, king of Antioch, is having an incestuous relationship with his daughter. He runs away to avoid getting murdered, (view spoiler) ...more
Leslie
Jul 10, 2015 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, plays
I'm not sure what to think about this play. It had been listed as one of Shakespeare's comedies but it didn't strike me as humorous. In fact, despite (view spoiler), I found much of the subject matter upsetting.

The play starts with the young prince of Tyre, Pericles, searching for a bride. He visits a neighboring kingdom but unfortunately the beautiful daughter of the king is in an incestuous relationship with her father. Per
...more
Cindy Rollins
This was a reread for me so I knew what I was getting into. In my efforts to read the whole of Shakespeare's cannon I made the mistake of trying to read this out loud to the kids several years ago. The first scene put an end to that as it is about incest. The rest of the play reads more like a lesser Winter's Tale. I often wonder how these things came about in Shakespeare's mind. It appears he only collaborated on this one so maybe A Winter's Tale was his own improvement minus the incest.

As to
...more
Lily Calder
Aaaand that's it. I have read every single Shakes play. *punches the air*
Marty
Mar 18, 2013 Marty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was done with Shakespeare for the season, having had my fill with my book club’s own competition to read—as a team—all the works of Shakespeare before the other teams. Then we were getting down to the wire and only had a couple more plays to read, so I tossed aside any hesitance and figured that I could stomach one more for the good of the team. The only one left unassigned? You guessed it: Pericles.

I figured there was probably a reason some people didn’t jump to read this one, and the first p
...more
Sarah
Feb 24, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Thanks to the miracle of scenery, this Shakespeare play (I use the term loosely, as it seems he only wrote about the first nine scenes) is easily the most ridiculous of his works. It contains most of the features that mark his romance period: tragic coincidence, daring rescues, magical intervention and poignant reunions.

The main difference here being, this play acts a lot like a travelogue. Since the artists of Shakespeare's time were starting to use sets to define location, this play makes full
...more
Katie Grace
Feb 19, 2016 Katie Grace rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
Seeing this play with my aunt tomorrow! I'm excited -- watching Shakespeare is very different than reading Shakespeare. :P
Julie
This adventure on the high seas definitely reads more like The Odyssey than the typical Shakespeare play. It also has some Job-like qualities, unfolding tragedy after tragedy until the very end, when finally happiness wins the day.

I can't forget to mention that THIS PLAY IS CRAZY! It bounces between six countries, and every possible convention is thrown in along the way: incest! ship wreck! murderous plot (foiled, of course)! dead wife comes back to life! prostitution! PIRATES!!

A fun, if a litt
...more
Addy
Jan 16, 2016 Addy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
"Pericles" gets off to a rollicking start. A king is having an affair with his own daughter. And just for fun, I guess, the King invites handsome lads to vie for her daughter/lover by solving a riddle whose answer is—wait for it—he is fucking his own daughter! Pericles, Prince of Tyre, solves this horrible riddle and is then immediately marked for death. Fortunately, he escapes and thus begin Pericles' adventures that borrow as much from "The Tempest" and "Winter's Tale". If you want to read why ...more
Ben Dutton
Feb 28, 2012 Ben Dutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pericles, Prince of Tyre is one of William Shakespeare’s last plays. Dated to around 1607 or 1608, the play tells the story of Pericles, a prince, who over the course of the play is married, loses his wife and daughter, only to be reunited with them many years later. It also features pirates, prostitutes, incest and a princess forced prostitute who converts men to religion: everything is in this is so modern, and yet so completely of another world that it is hard to believe it is old as it is.

Qu
...more
Ibis3
Feb 13, 2011 Ibis3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Shakespeare
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben
Apr 06, 2016 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some suggest that this play was not written by Shakespeare at all, while others believe that Shakespeare wrote at least part of this work (much of it likely written by George Wilkins). Authenticity aside, this play does not contain the best verse in the Shakespearean canon. In fact, it seems rather strained at times. But what saves the work is not the writing, but the plot. This is a touching and tender romance, with bits of comedy (I find the dialogue in the two reunion scenes in Act V -- betwe ...more
Núria
Otra de las obras "problemáticas" de Shakespeare. Yo no lo sabía al principio, la cogí esperando que fuera una tragedia de las típicas, pero antes de terminar al primer acto ya sabía yo que allí olía a chamusquina. Y una vez he terminado, me leo el prólogo (siempre después, nunca antes), y me cuentan de que si hay trozos (actos enteros, de hecho) que probablemente no escribió Shakespeare y que está muy corrompida y blablabla rollorollo. Y se nota, la verdad. Es muy rara, porque es una historia d ...more
Meredith
Mar 29, 2014 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, play
This is a weird play. Honestly, it's not actually that great, but the audio version I listened to is awesome, and I enjoyed myself immensely while listening to it. How can you not love a play where a girl is kidnapped by pirates (right when someone else is trying to murder her!), sold into prostitution, and is so virtuous that she convinces all the dudes who try to sleep with her to repent and be virtuous themselves. Good times.
Lily
Dec 23, 2013 Lily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Play attendees
Shelves: kindle
Read in preparation of going to production at Drew University Shakespeare Theater.

http://www.shakespearenj.org/OnStage/...
(Link may not continue to be available; currently a very good PDF 16-page background document can be accessed from this site.)

Kindle edition I have (seems to be same ASIN as this one) had numerous typo errors. I also read from my compendium of Shakespeare writings, with its numerous notes, drawings, and photographs. It reported that the play was a commercial success in its da
...more
Russell
Jan 13, 2008 Russell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful read! I really enjoyed this play, perhaps more than others, because of the ending. The story starkly contrasts moral consequences and justice for one's actions, though a bit too surreal in most cases. Nevertheless, I found myself drawn to the characters and was excited each time to read more about the story. Having no background, there were several unexpected plot twists that I didn't anticipate. Another aspect I enjoyed about this play was the rhyming nature of several conv ...more
Christen
Jan 06, 2016 Christen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, classics
This play left me either bored or squirming in horror. It's a comedy, but I couldn't find anything light in the treatment of Marina. The loss of Pericles' wife seemed too stupid. Overall, not a fave.
Kit
Jun 07, 2015 Kit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Weird and surprising grab bag of tropes and devices that seem to work better elsewhere. Just so weird.
Cecilia
Aug 19, 2008 Cecilia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
It's playmaker's first show of the year. though I should know what it's about...

This play seems to be Shakespeare's attempt to do Gilbert and Sullivan. I have no other way to describe this. you have incest, people dieing and coming back to life, pirates, brothels and a girl who's so pure that she converts all the guys who show up at the brothel to take her "virgin apple" into fine upstanding men who never frequent brothels again. Everyone in this play is rewarded for goodness or punished for sin
...more
Carmen Movilă
This is definitely not Shakespeare...
Brian
Feb 20, 2016 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Pericles” is an episodic play, very Dickens like in its large cast of characters, sprawling locales, and spanning many years. The first two acts of the play are generally considered to have been written by George Wilkins, and one can clearly see Shakespeare’s pen at work in the last three acts. And the play works. It is enjoyable to read (again, especially the last 3 acts) and fun to watch performed.
I gave "Pericles" a 3.5 star rating compared to other Shakespeare, not to literature as a whole.
...more
Matthew
Mar 01, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The arrival of Pericles heralds a shift in tone in Shakespeare’s works. After a long period of mostly writing tragedies, Shakespeare is now apart to embark on the so-called tragicomedies or romances that effectively conclude his writing as a dramatist.

Admittedly, tragicomedy is a little misleading, as there is not a lot of humour in Pericles – perhaps rather more in the later works. It may be easier to view them as romances, as they are stories that use far-fetched and extraordinary plotting wit
...more
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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