Act 3, Scenes 3-4
Summary – Act Three Scene Three and Scene Four
In Act Three Scene Three, Pericles enters with Cleon, Dionyza and Lychorida with Marina in her arms. Pericles tells Cleon he must be gone as he has now been absent for twelve months from Tyre ‘and Tyrus stands in litigious peace’. He asks if he may leave Marina in their care and Cleon agrees. He says if he neglects his duties the gods will avenge it ‘upon me and mine, / To the end of generation!’ Pericles says he believes him and thanks Dionyza too. She responds with generosity:
‘I have one myself,
Who shall not be more dear to my respect
Than yours, my lord.’
Scene Four is set in Ephesus and Cerimon and Thaisa enter. Cerimon tells her a letter and jewels lay with her in her coffer and asks if she knows their ‘character’. She says, ‘it is my lord’s’ and explains she remembers being at sea but cannot ‘rightly say’ whether she ‘there deliver’d’. She says she will live the life of a vestal virgin and Cerimon says if this is so, Diana’s temple ‘is not distant far’ and she may stay there till she dies. Moreover, he says a niece of his will attend her there and she thanks him.
Analysis – Act Three Scene Three and Scene Four
In these final two scenes of Act Three, Pericles leaves his daughter Marina in the care of Cleon and Dionyza and Thaisa vows to live as a ‘vestal virgin’ now that she is without her husband.
It is of note that Pericles has grounds to trust Cleon and his wife as he has shown them the kindness of supplying them with food in their time of need. In terms of the play as a whole, it should be remembered that Cleon says the gods will seek revenge if they do not care for Marina as they profess to.