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MonkeyNotes-Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare
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LITERARY INFORMATION

The original Greek story on which the play is based is believed to be very old; many versions of the story have been written down. One obvious source for Shakespeare was the poet John Gower, a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. The story is found in Book VIII of his Confessio Amantis, a collection of moralistic love stories. His hero was called Apollonious of Tyre, whom Shakespeare renamed as "Pericles."


Besides Gower, two later writers also narrated the tale in their books. The first was Twine, whose novel on the same theme was called The Pattern of Painful Adventures, published in 1576. Taking his ideas from Twine's novel, George Wilkins published The Painful Adventures of Pericles, Prince of Tyre in 1608. Wilkins uses the same name for the protagonist as Shakespeare. However, the date of publication of the Shakespeare's play is uncertain and may come before the Twine novel.

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