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MonkeyNotes-Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare
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Act III, INTRODUCTION

Summary

Gower's Chorus takes the audience directly from the marriage feast of Pericles and Thaisa to the conception of a child. A second dumb show follows. In this one, Pericles receives a message that he shows Simonides. This is a clear message reporting the deaths of Antiochus and his daughter, and the situation in the court of Tyre. The entire court is thrilled to hear that Pericles is himself a prince. He prepares to set sail for home. The pregnant Thaisa insists on accompanying him, and takes her nurse, Lychorida, with her. They bid farewell to Simonides and the court. The dumb show ends.

Gower takes up the story to narrate the gist of Helicanus' message. It gives news of Antiochus' death and the noblemen's request to him to take over the rule of the kingdom. He asks Pericles to return promptly. Pericles, Thaisa, and Lychorida set sail for Tyre. "But fortunes mood varies again" says Gower. A tempest strikes the ship, terrifying Thaisa into an early labor. The rest follows in Scene I.


Notes

Gower as chorus serves two purposes here. He narrates the happy news of Thaisa's conception and the death of Antiochus and his daughter. The dumb show provides a support for this narration. The ground is now clear for Pericles' return home to Tyre. Gower also describes the storm that follows thus saving the playwright the problem of actually depicting the storm scene on stage.

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