Tell thy story;
if thine consider'd prove the thousandth part of my endurance, thou art a man, and I have suffer'd like a girl: yet thou dost look like patience gazing on kings' graves, and smiling extremity out of act.
O, I am mock'd, and thou by some incensed god sent hither to make the world to laugh at me.
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. O, come hither, thou that beget'st him that did thee beget; thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus, and found at sea again!
Voice and favour!
You are, you are—
O, let me look!
If he be none of mine, my sanctity
Will to my sense bend no licentious ear,
But curb it, spite of seeing. 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?
Blest, and mine own!
Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty old
receptacles, or common shores, of filth; serve by indenture to the common hangman: any of these ways are yet better than this;
for what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,
would own a name too dear. O, that the gods
would safely deliver me from this place!
here's gold for thee.
If that thy master would
gain by thee, proclaim that
I can sing, weave, sew, and dance, with other virtues, which I'll keep from boast: and I will undertake
all these to teach.
I doubt not but this
populous city will yield
Name: Judgment - Pericles
Dramatis Personae: Pericles, Prince of Tyre; Thaisa, Princess of Pentapolis; Marina, their daughter; Diana, goddess of chastity.
Astrology: Pluto, Libra, Jupiter, Saturn, Fire
Hebrew Letter: RESH
Text & Context: The numeric value of the Hebrew letter resh is 200, half way to taw, the alphabet's ultimate letter with its value of 400. Resh represents a head, signifying beginning, the birth crowning of the soul. It is Sahasrara, the purple Crown Chakra, interstice between man and God.
Diana of Ephesus is known as "The Bee"; her headdress is a beehive; officials associated with her cult were called Essenes, "king bees", her female devotees "bee keepers". Bees are associated with both poetry through Apollo and Parnassus, and with ideal social organization. It may be remembered that Shakespeare was often referred to as mellifluous [mel, Latin for honey] or honey-tongued. The bull god Apis is said to reincarnate as a swarm of bees and descend back to earth through Diana, an eschatological process mentioned by Ovid, Virgil, Xenophon, and Porphyry of Tyre. The bull testicles that hang pendant from the goddess Diana's breast double as bee eggs and represent both sacrifice and the circularity of life [cf. Apis Lapis]. From Apis the bull to apis the bee we get the alpha-bet, to the swarming music of the spheres.
Tyre is the birthplace of two queens - Eliza, later named Dido, founder of Carthage, and her sister Europa, namesake of the European continent, abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull. Phoenicia is also the birthplace of European language. Its most powerful city-state was Tyre, renown for its purple dye; the word Phoenicia itself from the Greek word meaning "purple". A few miles from Tyre and the Leontes River stands the ancient religious temple site Ba'albek, also called Heliopolis, home of the Phoenix.
The Pericles story has been told and retold throughout the ages. The earliest known version is also what is possibly the world's first novel, The Ephesian Tale by Xenophone of Ephesus. The incest scene which begins the story was added by a later Latin writer, and in resurrecting the story, Shakespeare also resurrects this disparity in style. Similarly, the author resurrects the poet Gower, who himself retold The Ephesian Tale in his Confessio Amantis, and emulates his antiquated mode of speech. The author also changed the name of the hero from Apollonius to Pericles, a reference perhaps to Pyrocles of Sidney's Arcadia and possibly the historical Pericles which John Dee quotes in his General and rare memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation, underscoring the importance to the Elizabethan Empire of sea sovereignty.
Dee's book was printed in 1576, and while Pericles is generally considered a late work, it is in actuality an early work, probably one of Shakespeare's earliest. Indeed, all of Shakespeare's so-called late plays were in actuality early plays resurrected after the author's death. This is why their style is recrudescent and their subject matter reflects Tudor theology and chivalric modes evident in the 1570s-80s. Whats more, Pericles may have been written specifically for the child actors of Oxford's Boys, Children of the Chapel, or Children of Paul's. More, it was most certainly written in part as apology to the daughter and wife the author rejected and with whom, years later, was reconciled.
With their themes of redemption, hope, and revitalization, all of Shakespeare's late plays which, like Thaisa, were left for dead and later resuscitated, can be seen encapsulated in the emancipation in the Judgment card. This may include The Two Noble Kinsmen, which begins with concern over proper burial and ends with lovers' prayers to Venus and Diana being fulfilled, as well as the history play Henry VIII which by erroneous orthodox dating ends Shakespeare's oeuvre but at any rate itself ends with the birth of Elizabeth Regina.
JUDGMENT XX PERICLES