Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter Helicanus. To him, two Sailors, one of Tyre
resolve (v.) 2 satisfy, free from doubt

and one of Mytilene


(to Sailor of Mytilene)

Where is Lord Helicanus? He can resolve you.

O, here he is.

Sir, there is a barge put off from Mytilene,

And in it is Lysimachus, the governor,

Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


That he have his. Call up some gentlemen.


Ho, gentlemen! My lord calls.

Enter two or three Gentlemen


Doth your lordship call?


Gentlemen, there is some of worth would
some (n.) someone, a person, one

come aboard. I pray greet him fairly.

Exeunt Gentlemen

Enter Lysimachus and Lords, with the Gentlemen


(to Lysimachus)


This is the man that can in aught you would
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

Resolve you.
resolve (v.) 1 answer, respond to
reverend (adj.) revered, worthy, respected


                         Hail, reverend sir! The gods preserve you!


And you, to outlive the age I am,

And die as I would do.


                         You wish me well.

Being on shore, honouring of Neptune's triumphs,
triumph (n.) 1 public festivity, pageant, display of celebration, tournament

Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us,
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine

I made to it to know of whence you are.


First, what is your place?
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count


                         I am the governor

Of this place you lie before.



Our vessel is of Tyre; in it the King,

A man who for this three months hath not spoken

To anyone, nor taken sustenance

But to prorogue his grief.
prorogue (v.) 3 prolong, draw out, lengthen


Upon what ground is his distemperature?
distemperature (n.) 1 ailment, disorder, malady
ground (n.) 1 reason, cause, source


'Twould be too tedious to repeat;

But the main grief springs from the loss

Of a beloved daughter and a wife.


May we not see him?


                         You may,

But bootless is your sight; he will not speak
bootless (adj.) useless, worthless, fruitless, unavailing

To any.


Yet let me obtain my wish.

Helicanus draws a curtain revealing Pericles lying on

a couch


Behold him. This was a goodly person,
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine

Till the disaster that one mortal night

Drove him to this.


Sir King, all hail! The gods preserve you!

Hail, royal sir!


It is in vain. He will not speak to you.



We have a maid in Mytilene, I durst wager,

Would win some words of him.


                         'Tis well bethought.

She questionless, with her sweet harmony
questionless (adv.) unquestionably, undoubtedly, most certainly

And other chosen attractions, would allure,
chosen (adj.) 1 choice, outstanding, special

And make a battery through his deafened ports,
battery (n.) 2 breach, entry
port (n.) 1 portal, entrance, gateway

Which now are midway stopped.

She is all happy as the fairest of all,

And, with her fellow maids is now upon

The leafy shelter that abuts against

The island's side.

Exit Lord


Sure, all effectless; yet nothing we'll omit
effectless (adj.) ineffective, fruitless, useless

That bears recovery's name. But since your kindness

We have stretched thus far, let us beseech you
stretch (v.) 1 strain to the utmost, maximally exert

That for our gold we may provision have,

Wherein we are not destitute for want,

But weary for the staleness.


                         O, sir, a courtesy

Which if we should deny, the most just God

For every graff would send a caterpillar,
graff (n.) 1 grafted plant

And so inflict our province. Yet once more
inflict (v.) afflict, trouble, plague

Let me entreat to know at large the cause
large, at 1 at length, in full, thoroughly

Of your king's sorrow.


Sit, sir, I will recount it to you. But see,

I am prevented.
prevent (v.) 1 forestall, anticipate

Enter Lord, with Marina and her companion


O, here's the lady that I sent for.

Welcome, fair one! Is't not a goodly presence?
goodly (adj.) 2 good-looking, handsome, attractive, comely
presence (n.) 5 appearance, bearing, demeanour


She's a gallant lady.


She's such a one that, were I well assured

Came of a gentle kind and noble stock,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count
kind (n.) 5 breed, lineage, stock, family

I'd wish no better choice, and think me rarely wed.
rarely (adv.) 2 exceptionally, outstandingly, unbelievably

Fair one, all goodness that consists in beauty,

Expect even here, where is a kingly patient,

If that thy prosperous and artificial feat
artificial (adj.) 3 skilful, accomplished, capable
feat (n.) 1 achievement, skill, accomplishment
prosperous (adj.) 1 profitable, beneficial, leading to a successful outcome

Can draw him but to answer thee in aught,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

Thy sacred physic shall receive such pay
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count

As thy desires can wish.


                         Sir, I will use

My utmost skill in his recovery, provided

That none but I and my companion maid

Be suffered to come near him.


                         Come, let us leave her,

And the gods make her prosperous.
prosperous (adj.) 1 profitable, beneficial, leading to a successful outcome

They withdraw

Marina sings


(coming forward)
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Marked he your music?


                         No, nor looked on us.



See, she will speak to him.


Hail, sir! My lord, lend ear.


Hum, ha!

He pushes her away


I am a maid,

My lord, that ne'er before invited eyes,

But have been gazed on like a comet. She speaks,

My lord, that maybe hath endured a grief

Might equal yours, if both were justly weighed.
justly (adv.) exactly, precisely, closely

Though wayward fortune did malign my state,
malign (v.) deal maliciously with, be hostile to
wayward (adj.) 2 changeable, capricious, erratic

My derivation was from ancestors
derivation (n.) descent, family origins

Who stood equivalent with mighty kings.

But time hath rooted out my parentage,

And to the world and awkward casualties
awkward (adj.) 1 unfavourable, contrary, adverse
casualty (n.) 1 chance occurrence, uncertainty, precariousness

Bound me in servitude. (Aside) I will desist,

But there is something glows upon my cheek,

And whispers in mine ear ‘ Go not till he speak.’


My fortunes – parentage – good parentage –

To equal mine – was it not thus? What say you?


I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,

You would not do me violence.


I do think so. Pray you, turn your eyes upon me.

You're like something that – What countrywoman?

Here of these shores?


                         No, nor of any shores,

Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am
mortally (adv.) 1 of human origin

No other than I appear.


I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping.
deliver (v.) 2 express one's mind, disburden in speech

My dearest wife was like this maid,

And such a one my daughter might have been.

My queen's square brows, her stature to an inch,
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
square (adj.) 4 broad, wide

As wand-like straight, as silver-voiced,

Her eyes as jewel-like, and cased as richly,
cased (adj.) 1 enclosed in a case, in a setting

In pace another Juno;
pace (n.) 1 way of walking, gait

Who starves the ears she feeds, and makes them hungry

The more she gives them speech. Where do you live?


Where I am but a stranger. From the deck

You may discern the place.


                         Where were you bred?

And how achieved you these endowments which

You make more rich to owe?
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count


If I should tell my history, it would seem

Like lies disdained in the reporting.
disdain (v.) despise, scorn, show contempt


                         Prithee speak.

Falseness cannot come from thee, for thou lookest

Modest as justice, and thou seemest a palace

For the crowned truth to dwell in. I will believe thee,

And make my senses credit thy relation
relation (n.) 1 report, account, narration

To points that seem impossible, for thou lookest

Like one I loved indeed. What were thy friends?
friend (n.) 2 relation, relative, kinsman

Didst thou not say, when I did push thee back –

Which was when I perceived thee – that thou camest

From good descending?
descending (n.) descent, family, lineage


                         So indeed I did.


Report thy parentage. I think thou saidst
report (v.) give an account [of], describe in words

Thou hadst been tossed from wrong to injury,

And that thou thought'st thy griefs might equal mine,

If both were opened.
open (v.) 1 reveal, uncover, disclose


                         Some such thing I said,

And said no more but what my thoughts

Did warrant me was likely.
warrant (v.) 5 tell, assure, give good grounds to


                         Tell thy story.

If thine considered prove the thousandth part

Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I
indurance, endurance (n.) distressing delay, hardship

Have suffered like a girl; yet thou dost look

Like Patience gazing on kings' graves and smiling
smile (v.) 1 make something happen by smiling

Extremity out of act. What were thy friends?

How lost thou them? Thy name, my most kind virgin?
kind (adj.) 4 gracious, full of courtesy

Recount, I do beseech thee. Come, sit by me.


My name is Marina.


                         O, I am mocked,

And thou by some incensed god sent hither
incensed (adj.) inflamed, angered, enraged

To make the world to laugh at me.


                         Patience, good sir,

Or here I'll cease.


                         Nay, I'll be patient.

Thou little knowest how thou dost startle me

To call thyself Marina.


                         The name

Was given me by one that had some power,

My father, and a king.


                         How, a king's daughter?

And called Marina?


                         You said you would believe me,

But, not to be a troubler of your peace,

I will end here.


                         But are you flesh and blood?

Have you a working pulse? And are no fairy?

Motion as well? Speak on. Where were you born?

And wherefore called Marina?


                         Called Marina

For I was born at sea.


                         At sea! what mother?


My mother was the daughter of a king;

Who died the minute I was born,

As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Delivered weeping.
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe


                         O, stop there a little!

This is the rarest dream
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent

That e'er dull sleep did mock sad fools withal.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

This cannot be my daughter, buried!

Well, where were you bred?

I'll hear you more, to the bottom of your story,

And never interrupt you.


                         You scorn to believe me,

'Twere best I did give o'er.


                         I will believe you

By the syllable of what you shall deliver.

Yet give me leave: how came you in these parts?

Where were you bred?


The King my father did in Tarsus leave me,

Till cruel Cleon with his wicked wife,

Did seek to murder me;

And having wooed a villain to attempt it,

Who having drawn to do't,

A crew of pirates came and rescued me,

Brought me to Mytilene. But, good sir,

Whither will you have me? Why do you weep? It may be

You think me an impostor. No, good faith!
imposture (n.) impostor, fraud

I am the daughter to King Pericles,

If good King Pericles be.
be (v.) 1 be alive, live


                         Ho, Helicanus!


Calls my lord?


Thou art a grave and noble counsellor,

Most wise in general. Tell me, if thou canst,

What this maid is, or what is like to be,
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

That thus hath made me weep.


                         I know not,

But here's the regent, sir, of Mytilene
regent (n.) ruler, governor, sovereign

Speaks nobly of her.


                         She never would tell

Her parentage. Being demanded that,

She would sit still and weep.


O Helicanus, strike me, honoured sir,

Give me a gash, put me to present pain,

Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me

O'erbear the shores of my mortality
overbear (v.) 1 overwhelm, overcome, overpower

And drown me with their sweetness. O, come hither,

Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget;

Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus,

And found at sea again. O Helicanus,

Down on thy knees; thank the holy gods as loud

As thunder threatens us. This is Marina.

What was thy mother's name? Tell me but that,

For truth can never be confirmed enough,

Though doubts did ever sleep.


                         First, sir, I pray,

What is your title?


I am Pericles of Tyre; but tell me now

My drowned queen's name, as in the rest you said

Thou hast been god-like perfect, and thou art
perfect (adj.) 10 complete, flawless, unblemished

The heir of kingdoms, and another life

To Pericles thy father.


Is it no more to be your daughter than

To say my mother's name was Thaisa?

Thaisa was my mother, who did end

The minute I began.


Now blessing on thee! Rise; thou art my child.

Give me fresh garments. Mine own, Helicanus!

She is not dead at Tarsus, as she should have been,

By savage Cleon. She shall tell thee all;

When thou shalt kneel, and justify in knowledge
justify (v.) 1 affirm, acknowledge, corroborate

She is thy very princess. Who is this?


Sir, 'tis the governor of Mytilene

Who, hearing of your melancholy state,

Did come to see you.


                         I embrace you.

Give me my robes. I am wild in my beholding.
wild (adj.) 6 delirious, ecstatic, passionately elated

O, heavens bless my girl! But hark, what music?

Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him

O'er, point by point, for yet he seems to doubt,

How sure you are my daughter. But what music?


My lord, I hear none.



The music of the spheres! List, my Marina!
list (v.) 2 listen


It is not good to cross him; give him way.
cross (v.) 2 contradict, challenge, go against


Rarest sounds! Do ye not hear?
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent


                         Music, my lord?.


I hear most heavenly music.

It nips me unto listening, and thick slumber
nip (v.) 1 press, enforce, compel

Hangs upon mine eyes. Let me rest.

He sleeps


A pillow for his head. So, leave him all.

Well, my companion friends,

If this but answer to my just belief,

I'll well remember you.

Exeunt all but Pericles

Diana appears to Pericles in a vision
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count


My temple stands in Ephesus. Hie thee thither,

And do upon mine altar sacrifice.

There, when my maiden priests are met together,
priest (n.) priestess

Before the people all,

Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife.

To mourn thy crosses, with thy daughter's, call
call (v.) 1 speak out, give voice

And give them repetition to the life.

Or perform my bidding, or thou livest in woe;

Do't, and happy, by my silver bow.

Awake, and tell thy dream.




Celestial Dian, goddess argentine,
argentine (adj.) clothed in silver

I will obey thee. Helicanus!

Enter Helicanus, Lysimachus, and Marina




My purpose was for Tarsus, there to strike
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

The inhospitable Cleon, but I am

For other service first. Toward Ephesus

Turn our blown sails. Eftsoons I'll tell thee why.
blown (adj.) 2 swollen; or: wind-driven
eftsoons (adv.) 1 later on, afterwards

(To Lysimachus)

Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your shore,

And give you gold for such provision

As our intents will need?
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count



With all my heart; and when you come ashore,

I have another suit.
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count


                         You shall prevail,

Were it to woo my daughter, for it seems

You have been noble towards her.


Sir, lend me your arm.


                         Come, my Marina.


  Previous scene     Next scene