Study Guide

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By William Shakespeare

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Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

The Call

"The Call" is Pericles's desire to snag a princess and get hitched so he can start a family back in his kingdom of Tyre. When we meet him, Pericles has already arrived in Antioch to take a crack at a riddle so he can marry King Antiochus's daughter.

The Journey

After Pericles solves the riddle and discovers a horrifying secret (Antiochus is having an incestuous affair with his own daughter), Pericles goes on the lam and winds up being the sole survivor of a terrible shipwreck.

Arrival and Frustration

As luck would have it, our hero washes up on the shores of a kingdom where there just so happens to be an available princess who's looking for a husband. Score. Long story short, the two get hitched and are about to have a baby. But then there's another terrible storm, and Pericles ends up losing his family. (His wife appears to die while giving birth, and her body gets tossed over the side of the boat. Plus, Pericles leaves his daughter with foster parents while he goes back to Tyre.)

Final Ordeals

After 14 years, Pericles goes to visit his daughter and is told that she's dead. Devastated, he hops back on his ship and sets sail, refusing to speak or cut his hair. What he doesn't know is that his daughter isn't dead—she's been captured by pirates and sold to a brothel in another city.

The Goal

Miraculously, Pericles winds up in the same city as his daughter, where they're reunited. Shortly after, Pericles has a dream that leads him to his wife, who wasn't dead after all. In the end, Pericles has everything he ever wanted—a family and a kingdom to rule.

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