Shakespeare on Stage

Adventures of Pericles

Our July 6th Shakespeare on Stage discussion will be on the Adventures of Pericles. Pericles tells the story of a prince who, as a young man in search of a wife, finds a gorgeous princess; he risks his life to win her, but discovers that she is in an incestuous relationship with her father; the discovery not only disgusts him but also puts him in mortal danger from her father, and he flees. This is only the beginning of Pericles’ travails.

After many adventures, including a near-fatal shipwreck, he meets another princess with whom he falls in love; this time the love leads to marriage. He and his pregnant wife set out for his kingdom, but in a tempest at sea his wife dies in giving birth to their daughter.

The series of adventures continues, following the narrative pattern of “and then . . . and then . . . and then . . .” through one disaster after another until the daughter, now grown up, pulls her grief-stricken father out of the depths of his despair and the play moves toward its gloriously happy ending.

(Introduction adapted from Folger and licensed under CC BY SA.)

Full text:

Here’s a mini-intro to the Adventures of Pericles by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater:

Here’s a round-table discussion with the Stratford cast:

Watch the Stratford version:

Join us for the discussion: