William Shakespeare, Pericles

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Even though the testy Ben Jonson named Pericles as one of the “mouldy” outdated plays that continued to hold sway in popular taste for many years after Shakespeare's death – and at the expense of Jonson's own more classicized productions – that popularity had waned by the early-eighteenth century. Even with some renewed interest in it during the twentieth century, Pericles is still only rarely seen on stage. In this play, without real antecedents in the canon, Shakespeare appears to strive for effects that seem almost alien to his previous work, and therefore cannot easily be assessed. Its parlous textual status has further obscured it by casting doubt on its authenticity -- there is, …

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Citation: Preston, Claire. "Pericles". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2003; last revised 16 October 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2878, accessed 08 February 2023.]

2878 Pericles 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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