Study Guide

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Jewels

By William Shakespeare

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There sure is a lot of talk about bling in this play, wouldn't you say? We dare you to count the number of times someone whips out a bunch of jewels or talks about them.

We're particularly interested in how Pericles's family is always associated with precious gems. When Cerimon revives Thaisa, he compares her eyes to "heavenly jewels / which Pericles hath lost" (3.2.99-100). Later, when Pericles is reunited with his long lost daughter, he notices that her eyes, like Thaisa's, are "as jewel-like / And cased as richly" (5.1.110).

Speaking of which, the first time Thaisa sets eyes on Pericles she declares that "he seems like diamond to glass" (2.2.36). In other words, when she compares him to all the other dudes who want to marry her, Pericles totally shines. Aww.

So, what's Shakespeare up to with all this diamond imagery? It's not that complicated, but it is kind of sweet. It seems to us that he's trying to say that families are precious and to be treasured above everything else in life. And it also probably shows us that Pericles, Thaisa, and Marina are special precisely because of their inner goodness. (Maybe that's one thing that makes them such a happy family?)

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Jewels Study Group

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