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“Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan the outward habit by the inward man.”
― William Shakespeare, Pericles
Pericles, Prince of Tyre has a foot in the cannon and a foot outside it. It wasn't part of the First Folio, but I decided to still read it this year so I could basically still say I read everything. The play threw me a bit off my 3 x 12 schedule, but meh. Sometimes, you gotta do what ye gotta do. Fair warning GR friends, most likely, the first two acts are NOT composed by the Bard, but the last three make up a lot of the ground. Also, I'm pretty sure Shakespeare spiced a few of George Wilkins' lines in the first two.
No doubt some mouldy tale,
Like Pericles; and stale
As the Shrieve's crusts, and nasty as his fish—
Scraps out of every dish
Throwne forth, and rak't into the common tub
- Ben Jonson, Ode (to Himself)
Anyway, it begins with an incest riddle and ends with the unwinding and winding back of Pericles' family. There is, packed into this play, a few moments of brilliance AND the story is interesting (just not brilliant). Some of the characters were boring, undercooked, and flat, but I tend to agree with T.S. Eliot about how amazing the reunion (recognition) scene is between Pericles and his daughter.
― “Few love to hear the sins they love to act.” Act 1, Scene 1
― “Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.” - Act 1, Scene 2
― “Who makes the fairest show means the most deceit.” - Act 1, Scene 4
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I listened to the Arkangel full cast recording of the play while reading the text from the Delphi Complete Works of Shakespeare E book and was delighted with the experience. The recording was performed by professional Shakespearean actors complete with musical instruments and sound effects. It brought that added dimension to the play and spirit of the work. Pericles tells the story of a Prince who leads anything but a normal life and definitely should avoid the open seas at all costs. I don't want to give more of the story away, but it is a good one and considered a comedy for all the bad luck that befalls the protagonist-he lives so it's not a tragedy. I was entertained and enjoyed the play immensely. This is an excellent way to enjoy Shakespeare.
Where does Pericles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Pericles is an odd play and this is about as good a realisation of it as I can imagine. It is also one of the best Shakespeare performances I have found outside of the BBC productions so far.
Would you be willing to try another book from William Shakespeare? Why or why not?
Sure. He's quite good isn't he?
Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?
The Northern Irish Pirate.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Incest. Shipwrecks. Accidental Burials. Pirates. Assassins. And Weddings. Get your ticket.
Any additional comments?
John Gielgud is sounding great here. Worth it for his voice alone.