As I’m heading into another deep dive in the play, some random questions:
So, is Gower blaming the incest in Antioch on the daughter’s beauty? “So buxom, blithe, and full of grace” (I.Ch.23) he describes her, mentioning “The beauty of this sinful dame” (I.Ch.31). He calls her a “bad child”…though he does call Antiochus “worse father” (both I.Ch.27). But still…her beauty makes her bad? That just seems weird. Of course, Shakespeare(? Wilkins?) doesn’t even give her a name…
Is Helicanus’ statement to the lords that “they do abuse the king who flatter him” (I.ii.38) a call back to Timon of Athens?
Just how long does it take for armor to rust?
Why does Pericles decide to go to the tournament in Pentapolis, given his recent experiences in Antioch?
I’m not the only one who’s got mixed feelings about Semonides’ sexualized diction when talking about Pericles and his own daughter? Right? I mean it’s a little off, am I right?
Semonides calls out Pericles for his “sweet music” (II.v.26)… given the play and Gower’s opening line “To sing a song that old was sung” (I.Ch.1)…is there a way to bring those two together? I’m supposing this is what the OSF production of 2015 was after.
Is Thaisa’s revival due in any part to Pericles’ “spices” (III.i.67) he put in her coffin? Did no one double-check to see if maybe Lychorida had made a mistake? (or what she only ‘mostly dead’?)
Is Ephesus so remote and out of the way that they get no news of Pericles’ survival in Tyre? Or that they don’t even bother to send news of Thaisa to Tyre? And yet Thaisa knows that her father’s dead…
Regarding Pericles’ leaving of Miranda in Tarsus at the end of Act Three: Huh? What? He’s not just dropping her off for a bit while he takes care of business in Tyre; he’s basically abandoning her. WTF (so we have a bad dad in Antiochus, a kinky dad in Semonides, a clueless dad in Cleon, and an abandoning dad in Pericles… not exactly a banner day for fatherhood, this play)
And doesn’t it just seem a little weird that in a play with Antiochus and Semonides, we get a situation where Pericles is brought a woman from a brothel (yes, I know she’s now a teacher, and never a whore), who turns out to be his daughter? (I’ve heard of productions of this play where they’ve double-casted Thaisa and the princess of Antioch–ewwww, yuck).
Just how hairy is Pericles by the end of the play, “unscissored” (III.iii.28) as he is?
And why is it that Marina has but one whopping line in the final scene’s reunion with her mom? Hell, that’s her only line after the verification that Pericles is her father…I don’t want to get all feminist literary theoretical and all, but man, that’s pretty oppressed.
So. Pericles. Questions…you got any answers?