Study Guide

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Act 2, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 2, Scene 1

Read the full text of Pericles Act 2 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Cut to the shores of Pentapolis.
  • Our hero is sopping wet and looking like a drowned rat.
  • Seriously angry, Pericles rants and raves about his lousy luck until three Fishermen show up.
  • Incidentally, the Fishermen's names are 1 Fisherman, 2 Fisherman, and 3 Fisherman. Sometimes Shakespeare justcan't be bothered to name minor characters.
  • These guys are a chatty bunch. They talk about how all the biggest fish in the sea swim around gobbling up allthe smaller ones, kind of like people do to each other on land.
  • Pericles thinks the fishermen are pretty wise, especially since they're able to use the sea as a metaphor for social hierarchy and the way human beings treat each other.
  • Pericles asks the fishermen for help and admits he doesn't know how to beg or even how to go about feedinghimself. (You know, since he's never used a fishing pole in his life and is used to being served breakfast in bed.)
  • The fishermen agree to help Pericles.
  • Then the fishermen tell Pericles about the King of Pentapolis (a dude named Simonides), who's got a prettydaughter.
  • In honor of his daughter's birthday, Simonides is hosting a jousting tournament to help determine whichknight will get to marry her. Translation: Daddy Simonides is going to trot out a bunch of eligible young bachelors for his daughter to pick from.
  • (We sure hope this isn't going to be a repeat of the riddle contest that went down back in Antioch.)
  • Pericles is still looking for a wife and is all, "Dang, I wish I could go to that tournament."
  • Only problem is, this dude has no jousting gear and is half-naked.
  • Then, miraculously, Pericles's new fishermen buddies haul out a full set of armor from the ocean in their net.
  • Pericles is psyched because it's the armor his (now dead) dad gave him a long time ago.
  • Sweet. Now Pericles can try to bump some knights off their horses and win a princess.
  • The fishermen give Pericles some clothes and offer to guide him to the king's court.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Act 2, Scene 1 Study Group

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