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MonkeyNotes-Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare
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Act II, Scene 3

Summary

This scene focuses on the growing interest of Thaisa for Pericles. The king and his daughter are very impressed with the shabby prince since he has won the tournament. A celebration is held at a banquet. Pericles' air of reserve and sadness intrigues Thaisa and her father. Compared with the other knights, Thaisa finds him shining "like diamond to glass." Meanwhile Pericles muses on the greatness of Simonides. He feels the good king resembles his own father in his prime. In contrast, he finds his own position is "like a glow-worm in the night, the which hath fire in darkness, None in light."

Simonides drinks a toast to Pericles. He pushes Thaisa into dancing with Pericles and instructs her to inquire about his background. Pericles tells her his name and explains the misfortune that has deprived him of ships and men. They all dance, then retire for the night.


Notes

With this scene, the action moves closer to Pericles' realization of love and happiness--both components in any epic quest. The kindly Simonides becomes a role model for Pericles; the prince compares the king to his father.

As if in further reinforcement of Simonides' goodness, the relationship between him and his daughter Thaisa is also depicted as warm and affectionate. Before pushing her to talk to Pericles, Simonides teases her by calling the prince a "country gentleman" who has done nothing special at the contest. When satisfied that she is attracted to Pericles, he asks her to be hospitable to the prince. Simonides expresses his belief that royalty who are not hospitable and generous may as well be "gnats, which make a sound, but kill'd are wonder'd at."

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