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The only published text of Pericles, the 1609 quarto (all subsequent quartos were reprints of the original), is manifestly corrupt; it is often clumsily written and incomprehensible and has been interpreted as a pirated text reconstructed from memory by someone who witnessed the play (much like theories surrounding the 1603 "bad quarto" of Hamlet).The play was printed in quarto twice in 1609 by the stationer Henry Gosson.The plan is thwarted when pirates kidnap Marina and then sell her to a brothel in Mytilene.There, Marina manages to keep her virginity by convincing the men that they should seek virtue.Modern textual studies indicate that the first two acts of 835 lines detailing the many voyages of Pericles were written by a collaborator, which strong evidence suggests to have been the victualler, panderer, dramatist and pamphleteer George Wilkins. The play opens in the court of Antiochus, king of Antioch, who has offered the hand of his beautiful daughter to any man who answers his riddle; but those who fail shall die.I am no viper, yet I feed On mother's flesh which did me breed.Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not included in the First Folio.
A storm wrecks Pericles' ship and washes him up on the shores of Pentapolis.
The choruses spoken by Gower were influenced by Barnabe Barnes's The Diuils Charter (1607) and by The Trauailes of the Three English Brothers (1607), by John Day, William Rowley, and Wilkins.
Most scholars support 1607 or early 1608 as most likely, which accords well with what is known about the play's likely co-author, George Wilkins, whose extant literary career seems to span only three years, 1606 to 1608.
A letter sent by the noblemen reaches Pericles in Pentapolis, who decides to return to Tyre with the pregnant Thaisa.
Again, a storm arises while at sea, and Thaisa appears to die giving birth to her child, Marina.
Worried that she is ruining their market, the brothel rents her out as a tutor to respectable young ladies.