Study Guide

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Act 3, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 3, Scene 1

Read the full text of Pericles Act 13 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • On a ship in the middle of a stormy ocean, Pericles is out of his mind with fear for his wife and unborn child.
  • Lychorida, Thaisa's nurse, enters. She hands Pericles his newborn daughter and announces that Thaisa has diedduring childbirth.
  • Pericles is devastated.
  • Brain Snack: Shakespeare had two daughters of his own. In February 1608, around the time this play was beingwritten, his daughter Susanna gave birth to a daughter. Could this have something to do with the play's obsession with father-daughter relationships and the dangers of childbirth? Some scholars think so (source).
  • Now back to our play, where things are about to get even worse.
  • The sailors on the ship run out and demand that Thaisa's dead body be tossed overboard into the sea.
  • For some reason, Pericles agrees to do it, even though thinks the sailors are just being superstitious. He asksfor a casket, along with some spices, jewels, and some paper and a pen so that he can prepare his wife's body for her sea burial.
  • Pericles is worried that his infant daughter isn't going to survive the trip back to his hometown of Tyre. Thekid's gotta eat, and it's not like Pericles can run down to the store and pick up some baby formula.
  • Pericles decides to head over to Tharsus, where he can cash in on his I.O.U. from Governor Cleon and his wife.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Act 3, Scene 1 Study Group

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