A monologue from the play "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Character: Pericles
  • Gender: Male
  • Age Range(s): Young Adult (20-35), Adult (36-50)
  • Type of monologue / Character is: Persuasive, Descriptive
  • Type: Serio-comic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Description: Pericles refuses to answer the riddle
  • Location: ACT I, Scene 1

Summary

In the city of Antiochus, in Syria, King Antiochus rules the city. We learn in the prologue that he is committing incest with his beautiful daughter and is keeping all her suitors away by forcing them to answer a riddle or die. One of the suitors is Pericles who in the first scene of the play is in King's Antiochus court, determined to try and answer his riddle. When he reads the riddle he realizes that it is about the incest going on with his daughter.

In this monologue Pericles refuses to answer the riddle. He tells the king that he knows the truth but it is better not to tell it.

Written by Administrator

Excerpt

PERICLES
Great king,
Few love to hear the sins they love to act;
'Twould braid yourself too near for me to tell it.
Who has a book of all that monarchs do,
He's more secure to keep it shut than shown:
For vice repeated is like the wandering wind.
Blows dust in other's eyes, to spread itself;
And yet the end of all is bought thus dear,
The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear:
To stop the air would hurt them. The blind mole casts
Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell the earth is throng'd
By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die for't.
Kings are earth's gods; in vice their law's
their will;
And if Jove stray, who dares say Jove doth ill?
It is enough you know; and it is fit,
What being more known grows worse, to smother it.
All love the womb that their first being bred,
Then give my tongue like leave to love my head.



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