Study Guide

Pericles, Prince of Tyre What's Up With the Ending?

By William Shakespeare

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What's Up With the Ending?

What's up with the ending? Check out what Pericles has to say:

We'll celebrate their nuptials, and ourselves
Will in that kingdom spend our following days:
Our son and daughter shall in Tyrus reign.
Lord Cerimon, we do our longing stay
To hear the rest untold: sir, lead's the way.

You know how we've been saying that Shakespeare is all about breaking up families toward the beginning of the play so that he can give them a big, happy family reunion at the end? Well, here we find out that just as soon as everyone has been reunited, Pericles's family is going to be separated... again: Marina and her new husband are going to rule in Tyre, while Pericles and his wife will go to Pentapolis to rule now that Thaisa's father is dead.

What the heck's going on here? Why is poor Marina being separated from her parents again?

Well, the play seems to be saying that growing up can be painful, but it's totally natural for a kid like Marina to leave her parents in order to lead a new life and start a new family. After all, this is exactly what Pericles was trying to do way back at the beginning of the play, right? When we first met him, the guy was on a quest to marry a princess and expand his kingdom, after all.

All of this reminds us that even though our hero's journey is (sort of) coming to an end, his daughter's journey is just beginning. Come to think of it, it's pretty easy to imagine this cycle repeating itself with each new generation.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre What's Up With the Ending? Study Group

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