Pericles, Prince of Tyre
A Study Guide
Cummings Guides Home..|..Contact This Site..|..Shakespeare Books
Type of Play
Key Dates
Plot Summary
Imagery: Good vs Evil
Figures of Speech
The Birth of a Word
The Role of Gower
Pirates Ex Machina
Study Questions
Essay Topics
Biography of Shakespeare
Complete Free Text
Shakespeare Videos
Study Guide Prepared by Michael J. Cummings...© 2003
Revised in 2010.©
Type of Play

.......Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a stage play in the form of a comedy. Like other comedies, it ends happily. However, because the play contains tragic events, it is probably better classed as a tragicomedy. 

Key Dates
Date Written: Between 1606 and 1608. 
First Performance: Probably between 1606 and 1608.
Publication: Pericles, Prince of Tyre was first published in in 1609 in a quarto edition containing errors. An edited version was published in 1664 in the third folio edition of Shakespeare's plays. (The play was not included in the First Folio, the first authorized collection of Shakespeare's plays, published in 1623.) 


.......The probable main sources for the play were (1) "Apollonius of Tyre," one of one hundred forty-one stories in Confessio Amantis (The Lover's Confession), by John Gower (1330-1408), and (2) The Patterne of Painefull Adventures (1576), by Lawrence Twine. 

.......Most of the action takes place in these ancient locales: Antioch, Tyre, Tarsus, Pentapolis, Ephesus, and Mytilene. Two scenes take place on a ship at sea. 
.......Antioch (present-day Antakya) is in southern Turkey, northeast of Cyprus and northwest of Syria. Tyre (present-day Sur) is on the coast of southern Lebanon, just north of the Israeli border. Tarsus is in southern Turkey, about twelve miles north of the Mediterranean coast. Pentapolis is in north Africa and, in ancient times, consisted of five cities. Ephesus, near the sea in western Turkey, no longer exists but its ruins are near present-day Selcuk. Mytilene (present-day Mitilini) is on the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. 

Protagonist: Pericles 
Antagonist: Evil in the form of Antiochus, Thaliard, and Other Characters Who Oppose Pericles 
Pericles: Prince of Tyre. Noble young man who must flee Antioch after he discovers a dark secret: that the King of Antioch is committing incest. Pericles roams the Mediterranean world, facing challenges and setbacks. In some ways, he resembles the biblical Job with respect to his resilience.
Antiochus: King of Antioch. He is an evil man who beds his own daughter.
Daughter of Antiochus: Beautiful young woman whom the king reserves for himself.
Helicanus: Lord of Tyre, loyal to Pericles. He operates the government of Tyre in the absence of Pericles.
Escanes: A lord of Tyre.
Simonides: King of Pentapolis. Unlike Antiochus, Simonides is a just and upright ruler 
Thaisa: Princess, daughter of Simonides. Pericles wins her hand while sojourning in Pentapolis. Thaisa is a paragon of virtue and refuses to yield herself to the patrons of a brothel. 
Marina: Beautiful and virtuous daughter of Pericles and Thaisa. Her name is derived from mare (pronounced MAR ay), the Latin word for sea. (She was born on a ship under sail.) 
Lychorida: Nurse of Marina.
Cleon: Governor of Tarsus.
Dionyza: Wife of Cleon.
Lysimachus: Governor of Mytilene.
Cerimon: A lord of Ephesus.
Thaliard: A lord of Antioch who readily accepts a commission to assassinate Pericles.
Philemon: Servant of Cerimon.
Leonine: Servant of Dionyza.
Gower: Chorus. He comments on the drama at the beginning of each act. Click here for information about his role.
Bawd: Keeper of a brothel in Mytilene.
Pandar: Procurer and pimp at the brothel.
Boult: Pandar's servant.
Nestor, Nicander
Minor Characters: Lords, knights, gentlemen, sailors, pirates, fishermen, messengers.

Plot Summary
By Michael J. Cummings...© 2003
.......Pericles, Prince of Tyre, accepts a challenge to solve a riddle and thereby win the hand of the daughter of Antiochus, King of Antioch. Gower, a narrator who recites a prologue at the beginning of each of the five acts, describes her as a breathtaking beauty. Anyone desiring to marry her must first solve the riddle. There’s a catch, though. If a suitor provides the wrong answer to the riddle, he will be decapitated and his head hung high for all to see. In the presence of the king and his daughter, Pericles risks all and reads the riddle:

I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother’s flesh which did me breed.
I sought a husband, in which labour
I found that kindness in a father:
He’s father, son, and husband mild;
I mother, wife, and yet his child.
How they may be, and yet in two,
As you will live, resolve it you. (1.1.67)
.......The young prince immediately hits upon the correct interpretation of the puzzle—namely, that Antiochus beds his own daughter. Incest! The most abominable of moral transgressions! The seventh line of the riddle provides the telltale clue: that the princess serves as the wife of Antiochus, thus becoming her own “mother” while yet remaining the king’s daughter. 
.......Soon after Pericles solves the riddle, he realizes Antiochus most certainly will not live up to his promise. Fearing for his life, Pericles flees Antioch and returns home to Tyre. However, worrying that henchmen of Antiochus will track him to Tyre and endanger his people, even to the point of an all-out war, Pericles sets sail for Tarsus after assigning the job of running the government to a faithful lord, Helicanus. And none too soon. For, just as he casts off, an assassin, Thaliard, arrives in Tyre to kill him. While sneaking about, Thaliard bends an eavesdropping ear to a conversation among lords who reveal that Pericles is on his way to Tarsus.
.......In Tarsus, the citizens are suffering through a great famine. When Pericles arrives, Lord Governor Cleon wonders whether the royal visitor means to take advantage of the situation and make war. But Pericles tells Cleon he has come in peace with a shipload of corn, for he has heard of the starvation in Tarsus and means to distribute the corn so the people can make bread and restore their vitality. Pericles asks only that he be allowed to remain in Tarsus for a short time. After Cleon heartily welcomes Pericles, the prince’s men unload the corn, and Tarsus is saved. 
.......After Thaliard tracks Pericles to Tarsus, the prince—not wishing to imperil his new friends—sets sail one more time. Out in the loneliness of the sea, he encounters a terrible storm that wrecks his ship and sends all of its crew, save for Pericles himself, to the ocean depths. Pericles struggles to shore at Pentapolis on the coast of North Africa. Three fishermen come upon him and ask who he is and what he wants:
A man whom both the waters and the wind,
In that vast tennis-court, have made the ball
For them to play upon, entreats you pity him:
He asks of you, that never us’d to beg. (2.1.38-41)
.......One fisherman, taking him aside, tells him where he is and says the king of the realm is Simonides, a good and peaceful ruler whose court is half a day’s journey away. The king has a beautiful daughter named Thaisa, the fisherman says, and on the morrow young men from far-off lands will assemble to joust in a great tournament celebrating Thaisa’s birthday. Pericles longs to participate in the competition, but he has lost his armor in the shipwreck. By and by, however, the other fishermen retrieve the armor with their fishing nets. It is a bit rusty, but usable. 
.......At the tournament the following day, Pericles defeats knights from Sparta, Macedon, Antioch, and other kingdoms, thereby earning a seat of honor at a great banquet where he receives a victory wreath from Thaisa and the congratulations of the other knights, all gracious losers. The Spartan knight says that 
         [W]e are gentlemen
That neither in our hearts nor outward eyes
Envy the great nor do the low despise. (2.3.27-29) 
.......Thaisa is quite taken with young Pericles—in fact, she loves him. There is music and dancing, and a merry time is had by all. The next day, Thaisa and Pericles both pledge their undying love for each other, and King Simonides arranges a wedding for them. 
.......Several months pass as the newlyweds live a blissful, uneventful life at the court—save for one development: Thaisa is pregnant. News from abroad then arrives with these messages: First, King Antiochus and his daughter are dead; second, nobles in Tyre plan to crown Helicanus king (against his wishes) unless Pericles returns soon and accepts the crown himself. All of Pentapolis then rejoices that young Pericles will become King Pericles!
.......On Pericles’s sea voyage back to Tyre with Thaisa, thunder booms and lightning flashes just as Thaisa goes into labor. With her is her midwife, Lychorida. Pericles prays to the goddess of childbirth, Lucina, that Thaisa will have an easy childbirth, asking her to “make swift the pangs / Of my queen’s travails!" (3. 1. 14-15). Lychorida then enters carrying an infant. The child is healthy and beautiful, but the words Lychorida speaks are venom to the heart of Pericles. She tells him to “take in your arms this piece / Of your dead queen” (3.1.20-21).
.......Pericles hardly has time to bid good-bye to Thaisa, for a sailor tells him: “Sir, your queen must overboard: the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead” (3.1.51).
.......Thaisa’s body is placed in a chest along with a note identifying her as the daughter of a king and asking the finder of the chest (if it floats ashore) to honor her with a fitting burial. After sailors cast the chest overboard, Pericles sails on to Tarsus, where he leaves his infant daughter, called Marina, and Lychorida under the protection of the governor, Cleon (whose city Pericles earlier saved from the brink of starvation), and his wife, Dyonyza. He does so because he does not want his baby to endure the hardships of the voyage to Tyre. 
 Meanwhile, the chest floats to Ephesus, where servants of a physician named Cerimon finds it. After they take it to him and open it, Cerimon, noticing how well preserved Thaisa is, suspects she is not yet dead and, working over her, revives her. When she recovers, she becomes a priestess serving the goddess Diana.
.......In Tarsus, Marina grows into a beautiful and intelligent young lady. Dionyza is not pleased, however, because Marina outshines her own daughter, Philoten, in every way. Filled with envy, Dionyza orders her servant, Leonine, to kill Marina. However, at the moment when Leonine seizes Marina and goes off to fulfill his evil commission, pirates kidnap Marina and scare Leonine off. Afraid to tell Dionyza that he failed, Leonine reports that he killed Marina, as ordered. Dionyza then poisons Leonine to eliminate her connection with the murder. 
 The pirates sell Marina to a brothel in Mytilene, where a bawd tells her that she will live a life of pleasure in which she knows the company of many gentlemen. The bawd’s servant, Boult, announces in the marketplace that the brothel has a new young lady of incomparable beauty to serve the men of the town. Bravely, Marina vows she will not cooperate with her overlords:
If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.
Diana, aid my purpose! (4.2.74)
.......Pericles, meanwhile, sets sail for Tarsus to see his long-absent daughter, this time leaving Escanes, a lord of Tyre, in charge of the government. Dionyza has given out word that Marina is dead and has even erected a monument to her with an epitaph in golden characters. Upon his arrival in Tarsus, Pericles learns of his daughter’s “death,” visits her tomb, and then leaves for Tyre. 
.......In Mytilene, Marina’s fierce defense of her chastity, as well as her virtuous daily living, endear her to citizens of the city, including its governor, Lysimachus. Consequently, she is allowed to retain her honor and pursue a career as a teacher and, later, a singer and dancer. 
.......On Pericles’s return to Tyre, winds blow his ship off course and into the port of Mytilene. There, his representatives tell Governor Lysimachus that Pericles is a nearly broken man who laments the loss of his daughter and earlier the loss of his wife. For three months, he has not spoken a single word. Lysimachus says he knows of a maid who can cure Pericles of his grief  with the sweetness of her songs. The maid is Marina. When she enters, she tells Pericles she also knows the meaning of grief. She adds, 
Though wayward fortune did malign my state,
My derivation was from ancestors
Who stood equivalent with mighty kings. (5.1.104-106)
Pericles questions her about her ancestors. When her story unfolds, he realizes she is his daughter and rejoices, casting off the terrible depression that had possessed him. 
.......Later, when Pericles sleeps, the goddess Diana appears to him and instructs him to make a sacrifice at her temple in Ephesus and to reveal how he lost his wife. Once again, the wind fills the sails of his ship and, with Marina and his friends, he travels to Ephesus. There, he presents himself at Diana’s temple before the high priestess and virgins. After identifying himself as the King of Tyre, he recounts events of his life beginning with his marriage to Thaisa at Pentapolis. The high priestess replies, “Voice and favour! / You are, you are—O royal Pericles!” (5.3.16-17). The high priestess is, of course, Thaisa. After Pericles recognizes her, they and Marina are joyfully reunited. Marina then marries Lysimachus, and they become rulers of Tyre. Pericles and Thaisa rule in Pentapolis after Thaisa’s father, King Simonides, dies. In a closing epilogue, Gower observes that virtue has triumphed, “led on by heaven, and crown’d with joy at last” (5.3.106).
.......The climax of a play or another literary work, such as a short story or a novel, can be defined as (1) the turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse, or as (2) the final and most exciting event in a series of events. The climax of Pericles occurs, according to the first definition, when Lychorida tells Pericles that Thaisa has died giving birth to Pericles's daughter. Although devastated by this news, he accepts the decree of Fate, speaks a hasty eulogy over the body of Thaisa, then gives her up to the sea. He next sails to Tarsus to place his infant in the care of friends. His actions demonstrate that he yet retains the will to persevere in life in spite of his setbacks. He is like the biblical Job, who doggedly carries on in the face of calamity. According to the second definition, the climax occurs in the final act when Pericles reunites with Thaisa. The climactic moment comes in the following exchange:
..............THAISA...O, my lord,
..............Are you not Pericles? Like him you spake,
..............Like him you are: did you not name a tempest,
..............A birth, and death?
..............PERICLES...The voice of dead Thaisa!
..............THAISA  That Thaisa am I, supposed dead
..............And drown'd. (5.3.38-44)
Life is an unpredictable, and often harrowing, journey. Young Pericles learns that life is full of dangerous twists and turns—and sometimes pleasant surprises. His journey throughout the Mediterranean region appears to symbolize the journey through life. It is not unlike the journey taken by Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey. The latter hero also underwent many tests of his mettle and, like Pericles, lost his ship and all of his men. Also, like Pericles, Odysseus was reunited with his wife and child at the end.
Never give up. Like Job in the Old Testament of the Bible, Pericles undergoes many trials and encounters many setbacks. Though weighted down by all of his losses, he carries on—just barely. Gower observes that
He bears 
A tempest, which his mortal vessel tears, 
And yet he rides it out. (4.4.30-32) 
In the end, he receives his just rewards.
All is not as it seems. This theme becomes apparent at the very beginning, when Pericles discovers that the lovely Princess of Antioch, whom he hopes to marry, and her father are evildoers. 
Deviant sexuality and harlotry are evil. King Antiochus and his daughter commit incest. Shakespeare contrasts these despicable characters with the upright King Simonides and his daughter, Thaisa, who marries Pericles. Their daughter, Marina, after growing to young adulthood, refuses to compromise her chastity after pirates sell her to a house of prostitution. She says:
    If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
    Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.
    Diana, aid my purpose! (4.2.74)
At the end the play, Gower (acting as narrator and chorus) refers to this theme in his closing words:
    In Antiochus and his daughter you have heard
    Of monstrous lust the due and just reward:
    In Pericles, his queen and daughter, seen,
    though assail'd with fortune fierce and keen,
    Virtue preserved from fell destruction's blast,
    Led on by heaven, and crown'd with joy at last. (5.3.101-106)
Imagery: Good vs Evil
.......Pericles is a play that contrasts good and evil. We have the evil King Antiochus contrasting with the good King Simonides, the evil daughter of Antiochus contrasting with the good daughter of Simonides, the evil Dionyza contrasting with the good Lychorida, the evil servant Leonine contrasting with the good servant Philemon, and so on. In preaching goodness over evil, Shakespeare presents many mini-sermons and mini-speeches in the form of figures of speech such as metaphors and similes. Here are examples:
Few love to hear the sins they love to act. (1.1.87)
Repetition and parallel construction help make memorable this line spoken by Pericles.

They do abuse the king that flatter him:
For flattery is the bellows blows up sin;
The thing which is flatter’d, but a spark,
To which that blast gives heat and stronger glowing. (1.2.42-45)
Helicanus uses metaphors to compare flattery to a bellows and the object of the flattery to a spark.

Antiochus from incest liv’d not free:
For which, the most high gods not minding longer
To withhold the vengeance that they had in store,
Due to this heinous capital offence,
Even in the height and pride of all his glory,
When he was seated in a chariot
Of an inestimable value, and his daughter with him,
A fire from heaven came and shrivell’d up
Their bodies, even to loathing; for they so stunk,
That all those eyes ador’d them ere their fall
Scorn now their hand should give them burial. (2.4.3-14)
Helicanus uses synechdochesubstitution of a part to stand for the wholein Lines 13 and 14, in which the word eyes represents persons.

I am a maid, 
My lord, that ne’er before invited eyes,
But have been gazed on like a comet. (5.1.99-101)
In a simile, Marina, preaching chastity, compares herself to a comet.

Figures of Speech

Following are examples of figures of speech in Pericles, Prince of Tyre.


As these before thee thou thyself shalt bleed. (1.1.61)

what may make him blush in being known,  (1.2.25)

Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss (1.2.87)

should he doubt it, as no doubt he doth (1.2.94)

Yet cease your ire, you angry stars of heaven! 
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man 
Is but a substance that must yield to you (2.1.3-5)

Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges, 
Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast 
Upon the winds command, bind them in brass, 
Having call’d them from the deep. (3.1.3-6)

A city on whom plenty held full hand, 
For riches strew’d herself even in the streets; 
Whose towers bore heads so high they kiss’d the clouds (1.4.24-26)

Thou God of this great vast [sea], rebuke these surges, 
Which wash both heaven and hell (3.1.2-3)

Her face the book of praises, where is read 
Nothing but curious pleasures . . . . (1.1.18-19)
Comparison of the face of the daughter of Antiochus to a book

             peaceful night— 
The tomb where grief should sleep (1.2.7-8)
Comparison of night to a tomb and grief to a living creature

So sharp are hunger’s teeth, that man and wife 
Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life. (1.4.47-48)
Comparison of hunger to a creature with teeth

A man whom both the waters and the wind, 
In that vast tennis-court, have made the ball 
For them to play upon, entreats you pity him (2.1.38-40)
Comparison of Pericles to a ball and seas to a tennis court

Give me a gash, put me to present pain, 
Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me 
O’erbear the shores of my mortality, 
And drown me with their sweetness. (5.1.224-227)
Comparison of joy to a rushing sea and mortality to land along a shore

One sorrow never comes but brings an heir 
That may succeed as his inheritor 1.4.66-67)
Sorrow becomes a person.
[S]he comes apparell’d like the spring. (1.1.15)
Comparison of the daughter of Antiochus to spring

    [D]eath remember’d should be like a mirror, 
Who tells us life’s but breath, to trust it error. (1.1.48-49)
Comparison of death to a mirror

       [V]ice repeated is like the wandering wind, 
Blows dust in others’ eyes, to spread itself (1.1.91-92)
Comparison of vice to the wind

        [H]is son’s like a glow-worm in the night, 
The which hath fire in darkness, none in light (2.3.47-48)
Pericles compares himself to a firefly.


.......In keeping with the setting of the play, the dialogue contains many allusions to ancient deities of Greek mythology. Shakespeare generally uses the Roman name for the deities. In some instances, the Roman name is the same as the Greek.  

Aesculapius (3.2.133): A god of medicine in Greek mythology. He was the son of Apollo.
Apollo (3.2.82): In Greek and Roman mythology, the god of prophecy, music, poetry, and medicine. His alternate name, Phoebus, means brightness, and he was thus also considered the god of the sun.
Cupid (1.1.41): Roman name for Eros, the god of love in Greek mythology. 
Dian or Diana (5.1.276-285): Roman name for Artemis, the goddess Diana,  appears in a vision 5.1.
Hymen (Prologue, Act 3): In Greek mythology, the god of marriage. 
Jove (1.1.9): Roman name for Zeus, king of the Olympian gods in Greek mythology.
Juno (2.3.34): Roman name for Hera, the queen of the Olympian gods in Greek mythology.
Neptune (Prologue, Act 5): Roman name for Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology.
Nicander (3.1.65-66): Greek physician and poet of the second century BC.
Or till the Destinies do cut his thread of life (1.2.117): Destinies refers to the Fates. In Greek mythology, they were three goddessesAtropos, Clotho, and Lachesiswho controlled the destiny of each human.
Priapus (4.6.4): In Greek mythology, a god of sexual potency and procreation.

.......Shakespeare sets Pericles, Prince of Athens in ancient times. However, King Antiochus's henchman, Thaliard, plans to murder Pericles with a pistol, which of course had not yet been invented. In Pentapolis, Pericles participates in what appears to be a medieval-style jousting tournament against five knights. The combatants wear armor, bear shields emblazoned with coats of arms, carry lances, and abide by the rules of chivalry. What gives? 
.......Maybe Shakespeare, like Albert Einstein, thought time and space were relative concepts, able to be bent and warped by another force. In Pericles, it is not the pull of gravity that does the trick (as in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity) but the pull of the imagination, which is infinitely more powerful—and whimsical. 

Pandar and the Evolution of an English Word

.......In Pericles, the name of a minor character, Pandar, appears to be an allusion to Pandarus, an ally of the Trojans in Homer’s account of the Trojan War in The Iliad. In medieval and Renaissance literature, writers cast Pandarus in the role of a go-between, or matchmaker, in a love affair between the Trojan prince Troilus and the Trojan woman Cressida. In time, the word panderer (derived from Pandarus and Pandar) evolved into popular use to identify an agent who brings lovers together or, in less euphemistic words, to identify a pimp, a procurer, or a whoremonger. Among the writers who wrote about Troilus, Cressida, and Pandarus (or Pandar) were Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, and, of course, Shakespeare.
The Role of Gower

.......Shakespeare based Pericles, Prince of Tyre on a work by the fourteenth century author John Gower. (See Sources, above.) He is the same Gower (resurrected, by the magic of Shakespeare's quill) who acts as chorus and narrator of Pericles. His role is (1) to present a short introduction to each act, helping to give the play a once-upon-a-time, fairytale atmosphere; (2) to comment on the morality of the characters; and (3) to review the progress of events. 
Pirates Ex Machina
.......Just as Leonine is about to murder Marina, pirates appear to drive Leonine off. This is not the first time that pirates appear from nowhere to save the day in a Shakespeare play. They also rescue Hamlet when he is bound for England to be executed. 

Study Questions and Essay Topics

1. Which character in the play is the most admirable? Which is the least admirable?
2. Many incidents in the play help to define what kind of man Pericles is. For example, his quick solution of the riddle reveals that he is highly intelligent. Also, his distribution of corn at Tarsus reveals that he is generous and compassionate. Write a character study of Pericles in which you discuss these and other incidents to reach conclusions about the qualities Pericles possesses.
3. After recovering, Thaissa becomes a priestess of the goddess Diana. Who was Diana? Why were many young women devoted to her. While conducting research to answer this question, be aware that Diana’s Greek name was Artemis.
4. What or who caused the death of Antiochus and his daughter?
5. In what ways do the misadventures of Pericles resemble those of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible?

Plays on DVD (or VHS) 
Play Director Actors
Antony and Cleopatra (1974) Trevor Nunn, John Schoffield Richard Johnson, Janet Suzman
Antony and Cleopatra BBC Production  Jane Lapotaire 
As You Like It (2010)  Thea Sharrock Jack Laskey, Naomi Frederick
As You Like It (1937)  Paul Czinner Henry Ainley, Felix Aylmer
The Comedy of Errors BBC Production Not Listed
Coriolanus BBC Production  Alan Howard, Irene Worth
Cymbeline Elijah Moshinsky Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Helen Mirren
Gift Box: The Comedies BBC Production Various
Gift Box: The Histories BBC Production Various
Gift Box: The Tragedies BBC Production Various
Hamlet (1948)  Laurence Olivier Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Hamlet (1990)  Kevin Kline Kevin Kline
Hamlet(1991)  Franco Zeffirelli Mel Gibson, Glenn Close
Hamlet (1996)  Kenneth Branagh Kenneth Branagh, 
Hamlet (2009) Gregory Doran David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Penny Downie
Hamlet (1964)  John Gielgud, Bill Colleran Richard Burton, Hume Cronyn
Hamlet (1964)  Grigori Kozintsev Innokenti Smoktunovsky
Hamlet (2000)  Cambpell Scott, Eric Simonson Campbell Scott, Blair Brown
Henry V (1989)  Kenneth Branagh Kenneth Branaugh, Derek Jacobi
Henry V( 1946)  Laurence Olivier Leslie Banks, Felix Aylmer
Henry VI Part I BBC Production Peter Benson, Trevor Peacock
Henry VI Part II BBC Production  Not Listed
Henry VI Part III BBC Production  Not Listed
Henry VIII BBC Production John Stride, Claire Bloom, Julian Glover
Julius Caesar BBC Production  Richard Pasco, Keith Michell
Julius Caesar (1950)  David Bradley Charlton Heston
Julius Caesar (1953)  Joseph L. Mankiewicz Marlon Brando, James Mason
Julius Caesar (1970)  Stuart Burge Charlton Heston, Jason Robards
King John BBC Production  Not Listed
King Lear (1970) Grigori Kozintsev Yuri Yarvet
King Lear (1971) Peter Brook Cyril Cusack, Susan Engel
King Lear (1974)  Edwin Sherin James Earl Jones
King Lear (1976)  Tony Davenall Patrick Mower, Ann Lynn
King Lear (1984)  Michael Elliott Laurence Olivier, Colin Blakely
King Lear (1997)  Richard Eyre Ian Holm
Love's Labour's Lost (2000) Kenneth Branagh Kenneth Branagh, Alicia Silverstone 
Love's Labour's Lost BBC Production) Not Listed
Macbeth (1978)  Philip Casson Ian McKellen, Judy Dench
Macbeth BBC Production  Not Listed
The Merchant of Venice BBC Production Warren Mitchell, Gemma Jones
The Merchant of Venice (2001)  Christ Hunt, Trevor Nunn David Bamber, Peter De Jersey
The Merchant of Venice (1973) John Sichel Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright
The Merry Wives of Windsor (1970)  Not Listed Leon Charles, Gloria Grahame
Midsummer Night's Dream (1996)  Adrian Noble Lindsay Duncan, Alex Jennings
A Midsummer Night's Dream  (1999) Michael Hoffman Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)  Kenneth Branaugh Branaugh, Emma Thompson
Much Ado About Nothing (1973)  Nick Havinga  Sam Waterston, F. Murray Abraham
Othello (2005)  Janet Suzman Richard Haines, John Kaki
Othello (1990)  Trevor Nunn Ian McKellen, Michael Grandage
Othello (1965)  Stuart Burge Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay
Othello (1955)  Orson Welles Orson Welles
Othello (1983)  Franklin Melton Peter MacLean, Bob Hoskins, Jenny Agutter
Ran  (1985) Japanese Version of King Lear  Akira Kurosawa Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao
Richard II (2001)  John Farrell  Matte Osian, Kadina de Elejalde
Richard III (1912)  André Calmettes, James Keane  Robert Gemp, Frederick Warde
Richard III - Criterion Collection (1956)  Laurence Olivier Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson
Richard III (1995)  Richard Loncraine Ian McKellen, Annette Bening
Richard III BBC Production  Ron Cook, Brian Protheroe, Michael Byrne
Romeo and Juliet (1968)  Franco Zeffirelli Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey
Romeo and Juliet (1996)  Baz Luhrmann Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes
Romeo and Juliet (1976)  Joan Kemp-Welch Christopher Neame, Ann Hasson
Romeo and Juliet BBC Production  John Gielgud, Rebecca Saire, Patrick Ryecart
The Taming of the Shrew Franco Zeffirelli Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton
The Taming of the Shrew Kirk Browning Raye Birk, Earl Boen, Ron Boussom
The Taming of The Shrew Not Listed Franklin Seales, Karen Austin 
The Tempest Paul Mazursky John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands
The Tempest (1998) Jack Bender Peter Fonda, John Glover, Harold Perrineau,
Throne of Blood (1961) Macbeth in Japan  Akira Kurosawa Toshirô Mifune, Isuzu Yamada
Twelfth Night (1996)  Trevor Nunn Helena Bonham Carter
Twelfth Night BBC Production  Not Listed
The Two Gentlemen of Verona BBC Production  John Hudson, Joanne Pearce
The Winter's Tale  (2005)  Greg Doran Royal Shakespeare Company
The Winter's Tale BBC Production  Not Listed