At the beginning of every act, John Gower, a 14th century poet, introduces the action with a poem. Antiochus, king of Antioch, is offering his daughter to whomever can figure out a riddle. Pericles figures it out instantly, and it means that Antiochus is having an affair with his own daughter. As he does not wish to reveal the truth and so offend Antiochus, he hints that he knows the answer and asks for more time. Antiochus accedes to his wish but sends an assassin to kill him, though Pericles has already run away. Pericles leaves Tyre in the hands of a regent and continues to flee, his boat crashing on the island of Pentapolis. There, he wins a tournament and is given Thaisa, princess of Pentapolis, as a wife. On the way back to Tyre, a pregnant Thaisa seems to die in childbirth, and she is thrown overboard. Pericles leaves Marina in the hands of the rulers of Tarsus and returns to Tyre, and Thaisa, revived by a physician in Ephesus, becomes a priestess. The wife of the governor of Tarsus, Dionyza, plans to have Marina killed as she is more beautiful than her own daughter, but instead, Marina is sold to a brothel and becomes a tutor for noble ladies. Pericles eventually finds both Marina and Thaisa, and the governor of Tarsus, Cleon, and Dionyza are killed by revolting citizens of their city.
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, early teen, late teen characters