Act V

Gower 5

Marina is now a teacher, described in admiring terms charming her noble pupils, while the "cursed bawd" gets her income. The winds send Pericles to Mytilene at the time of the feast of Neptune, god of the sea.

Act 5.1

Lying on a couch in a pavilion on his ship, Pericles presents a strange figure in sackcloth and unkempt hair. Helicanus greets Lysimachus on his barge and explains that Pericles is inconsolable and will not talk to anyone. Lysimachus thinks of Marina, who is duly brought forth, and sings to Pericles, but even her music seems to have no effect. She tries to get his attention. He pushes her away - in Gower's version she falls and cuts herself. Angrily, Marina claims she has "endur'd a grief / Might equal yours", that she is of royal blood (87-94). She is startled by her own outburst, but feels impelled: "something glows upon my cheek, / And whispers in mine ear", "Go not till he speak" (94-6). The challenge rouses Pericles, who turns to look at her and finds her vaguely familiar. "What countrywoman? / Here of these shores?" Like a riddle, she answers "No, nor of any shores / Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am / No other than I appear" (102-5). Pericles sees the face of his wife or of her statue. Her words make him hungry for more, and instead of pushing her away he prompts her to continue, recalling her claim from which she now tries to retreat. He promises to believe her: "thou look'st / Modest as Justice, and thou seem'st a palace / For the crown'd Truth to dwell on" (120-2), adding that if she has endured even a fraction of his sorrows then "thou art a man and I / have suffered like a girl; yet thou dost look / Like Patience gazing on kings graves, and smiling / Extremity out of act" (136-9), as if Marina has a serenity and self-containment (so different to his own dishevelled distress) that not only makes it hard to believe that she has endured suffering but also that suffering would ever bear to afflict her.

She begins with her name. Immediately Pericles interrupts, and as she adds details he returns obsessively to the name: "To call thyself Marina... And call'd Marina?... And wherefore call'd Marina?" When she explains the name he thinks he is dreaming of his dead daughter, when she describes the attempt on her life he begins to weep. Marina interprets his tears as chagrin at an imposture, and only now does she announce "I am the daughter to King Pericles / If King Pericles be" (188-9). Pericles still hesitates, and turns to Lysimachus. Only when he is told that "She never would tell / Her parentage; being demanded that / She would sit still and weep" (186-9) does the truth finally hit him, like a huge tidal wave.

"Give me a gash, put me to present pain,
Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me
O'erbear the shores of my mortality,
And drown me in their sweetness. O come hither,
Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget;" (191- 5)

Pericles is reborn through his daughter, a father-daughter relationship that is in direct contrast to that of Antiochus and his daughter, also described by a riddle - "He's father, son, and husband mild; / I mother, wife, and yet his child" (1.1.69-70). The chaos of his life gives way to music, "the music of the spheres", that lulls him to a sleep in which Diana visits him and commands him to do her a sacrifice at Ephesus.

Little attention is paid to Marina's reaction; when Pericles is overcome with wonder she still asks, "First, sir, I pray, what is your title?" (203). Her slightly bewildered "Is it no more to be your daughter than / To say my mother's name was Thaisa? / Thaisa was my mother, who did end / The minute I began" (208-9) are the last lines she speaks in the scene, which is then dedicated to Pericles' joy. She has only one more line in the rest of the play, when meeting her mother she kneels, saying "My heart leaps to be gone into my mother's bosom" (5.3.44-5).

It often happens in Shakespeare's plays that by means of various types of proof persons and states of affairs are recognised, or misrecognised (as in the case of Desdemona's handkerchief in Othello). The recognition that occurs in this scene depends on Marina, but she does not deliberately control it. Iago pieces out his (mis)information in order to get Othello to beg him to tell him what in another sense he does not want to hear, just as Othello himself had parcelled out his stories to Desdemona to keep her attention; Marina's reluctance and hesitations are genuine. Lysimachus' decisive lines "She never would tell / Her parentage; being demanded that / She would sit still and weep", combined with the image of

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