Study Guide

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Act 4, Scene 2

By William Shakespeare

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Act 4, Scene 2

Read the full text of Pericles Act 4 Scene 2 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • The next thing we know, we're at a brothel in "Meteline" (a.k.a. Mytilene).
  • (It looks and sounds a whole lot like the kind of "bawdy house" that one might come across in Shakespeare's London, though.)
  • A pimp named Pander is talking with Bawd, who is his business partner and his wife.
  • Pander orders another pimp named Boult to go to the marketplace to find some more girls.
  • Bawd and Pander complain about losing money because they don't have enough prostitutes in the brothel tosatisfy all their clients.
  • Apparently, a bunch of their girls are "rotten" with STDs, so they need some "fresh" ones ifthey want business to pick up.
  • Now Bawd complains about having to raise a bunch of "poor" little "bastards" because theirmoms can't do it themselves. Then she pats herself on the back for being so generous.
  • (Yep, sex trafficking is ugly business, all right. And it was big business in Shakespeare's London; that'sprobably why he obsesses about it here and in another play, Measure for Measure.)
  • Boult shows up with the Pirates and Marina.
  • Bawd and Pander decide to buy her because1) she's a virgin, and 2) she's pretty.
  • Bawd sends Boult back to the marketplace to advertise Marina and offer her virginity to the highest bidder.
  • Meanwhile, Bawd tries to give Marina advice about being a successful prostitute, but Marina's not having anyof it.
  • Marina prays to the goddess Diana to help her keep her virginity.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre Act 4, Scene 2 Study Group

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