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Pericles

by: William Shakespeare

Act V, Chorus and Scene i

Commentary

Unlike the other appearances of Gower, this monologue is in iambic pentameter. And while many lines do rhyme, Shakespeare's characteristic enjambment is readily obvious.

In Myteline, Marina has apparently come to be known as something of an angelic figure: she is sent to try to heal Pericles and to get him to talk. In this attempt the doubling between Marina and Pericles as virtuous sufferers is made explicit. Marina draws Pericles out of his silence not because she is his daughter; he speaks before realizing that fact. She draws him out because he senses the same suffering in her that he has experienced.

In this scene, father and daughter are reunited, but it takes them a while to figure out their connection. Like Simonides and Thaisa, Pericles and Marina form a father-daughter pair that is good, virtuous, and right--in continued opposition to the corrupt pairing of Antiochus and Antiochus's daughter. There is a tinge of incestuous possibility when Marina, who used to be a prostitute, if a failed one, is offered to the king to cheer him up. But since she is so virtuous, and he is so good, the result is the healing of a family.