Quotes

Pericles/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Kings are earth’s gods; in vice their law’s their will; and if Jove stray, who
dares say Jove doth evil?”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 108-109.  Pericles to Antiochus.  Pericles, the prince of Tyre, has just read a riddle written by Antiochus’ Daughter. Antiochus is the king of Antioch and his Daughter, Antioch’s beautiful princess. The riddle lets Pericles know that the princess and her father have an incestuous relationship. Pericles was in Antioch with plans to woo the Daughter. Pericles decides that it’s in his best interest to leave Antioch and to leave promptly.

Pericles/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Flattery is the bellows which inflames sin; a spark to which the wind gives
heat and stronger glowing; fits kings as they are men, for they may err.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 42-46.  Helicanus to the other lords.  Helicanus is a lord of Tyre. With this quote, Helicanus is telling other lords of Tyre something they should hear, but it covers a subject he doesn’t want to talk about. The conversation centers on Antipholus, king of Antioch. Before Helicanus offers the quote, he tells the other lords: “Peace, and let experience (me) speak. They do abuse the King that flatter him.”

Pericles/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “’Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Line 86.
Pericles to Helicanus.  Prince Pericles has now returned to Tyre from Antioch. Pericles gives Helicanus a brief run-down of his time in Antioch; that “fear so grew in me I fled under the covering of a careful night; that worthy princes’ bloods were shed to keep his bed of blackness secret.” He says “He seemed my good protector, but tyrants’ fears grow faster than the years.” This quote was part of his disclosure to Helicanus of the situation in Antioch. Pericles knows that he is at great personal risk if he doesn’t secretly leave Tyre promptly. Antiochus knows that Pericles knows.

Pericles/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Day serves not light more faithful than I’ll be.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Line 118.
Helicanus to Pericles.  As a wise and trusted counselor, Helicanus offers Pericles advice. He offers this quote. Pericles accepts Helicanus advice, Helicanus being a confidant, and asks him “but should he wrong my liberties in my absence?” Helicanus tells Pericles in effect that he’ll take care of things in Tyre in the Prince’s absence.

Pericles/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “So sharp are hunger’s teeth that man and wife draw lots who first shall die to
lengthen life.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 46-47.  Cleon to Dionyza.  Cleon is the governor of Tarsus and Dionyza is his wife. Pericles and his sailing ships are heading for Tarsus. We learn that Tarsus is suffering such misery from lack of food that “A lord and a lady stand there weeping, yet those which see them fall have scarce strength left to give them burial.” Cleon offers this quote. Dionyza replies “Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.” Pericles has arrived in Tarsus and tells Cleon that “These our ships are stored with corn to make your needy bread and give them life whom hunger starved half dead.”

Pericles/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “As men do on the land; the great fish eat up the little ones.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 29-30.  The First Fisherman to the other two Fishermen. The Third Fisherman has asked “I wonder how the fishes live in the sea?” The First Fisherman then offers this quote, going on to say “the rich misers play and tumble like the whales, driving the poor fry before them and devouring them all by the mouthful.” Pericles has now left Tarsus. A storm at sea has destroyed his ships and tossed him overboard. He has washed up on the shore of Pentapolis with almost nothing but his life. The Fishermen find him and help him.

Pericles/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Here’s a fish hangs in the net like a poor man’s right in the law; ‘twill
hardly come out.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 121-122.  Second Fisherman to First Fisherman.  The Second Fisherman has drawn up the fishing net; first believing an unusual fish has been caught. But he soon recognizes that it is “rusty armor.” The Second Fisherman offers this quote. Pericles jumps in, saying “Thanks. It was mine own, part of my heritage from my father.” The Fishermen have provided him with some clothing and provisions.

Pericles/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “As jewels lose their glory if neglected, so princes their renowns if not
respected.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 12-13.  Simonides to Thaisa.  Simonides is king of Pentapolis. The Fishermen have led Pericles to the city of Pentapolis. Thaisa is Simonides’ daughter, the princess of Pentapolis. Knights from all over the world have arrived in Pentapolis for a “tournament” where they will present their shields to the princess with hopes that one of them will win her hand. Simonides has called the knights forward to “begin the tournament to honor Thaisa’s birthday.” He offers this quote. He follows the quote, noting that “princes are a model which heaven makes like to itself.”

Pericles/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Opinion’s but a fool that makes us scan the inward habits by the outward
man.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 2, Lines
58-59.  Simonides to his
Lords.  As we say, it’s Simonides’ beautiful daughter Thaisa’s birthday. Knights and princes have come from near and far to Pentapolis to present themselves and their shields “to tourney for her love.” Pericles finds himself number six. His shield bears a “withered branch.” His armor is “rusted.” The lords make light of him. King Simonides offers his lords this quote.

Pericles/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Why, sir, say if you had, who takes offense at that which would make me
glad?”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 5, Lines 73-74.  Thaisa to Pericles.  Thaisa has written a short letter to her father letting him know that “she loves the knight of Tyre.” Simonides had yelled at Pericles, saying “thou hast bewitched my daughter.” When Thaisa enters, Pericles says “Resolve your angry father if my tongue did e’er solicit or my hand subscribe to any syllable that courted you.” Thaisa responds to Pericles’ defense with this quote.