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3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,827 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Penguin Classics (first published 1606)
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(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
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 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

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
Jun 05, 2014 Bram rated it liked it
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
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?
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
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
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
Lily Calder
Aaaand that's it. I have read every single Shakes play. *punches the air*
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
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
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
Nov 09, 2015 Julie added it
Shelves: shakespeare, plays
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
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.

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.
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
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
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.
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.
(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
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
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.
Jun 07, 2015 Kit rated it it was amazing
Weird and surprising grab bag of tropes and devices that seem to work better elsewhere. Just so weird.
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
Feb 20, 2016 Brian rated it liked it
“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.
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
Aug 28, 2014 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you've made it to Pericles, congratulations, you've probably read all of the plays contained in the First Folio. Pericles is a late play, thought to be co-authored with George Wilkins. Most of the plays that are thought to be collaborations have a pattern where Shakespeare and his co-author would trade off scenes or acts as the play went along. Pericles is somewhat unique in that Wilkins is believed to have written the first two acts and Shakespeare the final three, as if Wilkins had begun it ...more
Tandava Brahmachari
I chose this one to read next in my Shakespeare series because I remember greatly enjoying seeing it at the Globe Theatre when I was in London in 2005. I remembered absolutely nothing of the story itself, but only how they had actors that were also acrobats and enacted the shipwrecks, the tournament, etc. with some pretty fantastic performances in ropes suspended above the stage. Really amazing, especially when you're watching from the standing spots right on the edge of the stage.

Anyway, I didn
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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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