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"Nothing but the text: The funny words of Pericles", by Gabriel Egan

    The funny-peculiar words I want to discuss in the play Pericles are those that draw attention to themselves as words of one kind, speaking, or another, instructions for action, the distinction between which points to both kinds being in the first instance textual words, writing. Drama usually consists of a blend of speeches and actions but Pericles separates this blend into its constituents, presented as choric narration and dumbshow, and I wish to show that it does this in a way that engages with Philip Sidney's Aristotelian rewriting of Plato in The Defence of Poetry and with concerns that were later to exercize Jacques Derrida in his Of Grammatology. First, it is necessary to correct a common assumption about the primacy of speaking to the first consumers (to call them audience or spectators would beg the question) of Renaissance drama. It is frequently asserted--for example, by John Orrell and Bruce R. Smith1--that going to the theatre was primarily an aural rather than a visual experience in Shakespeare's time. In support of this are usually cited Hamlet's "we'll hear a play" (Hamlet 2.2.5382) instead of "we'll see a play" (as we might put it) and such comments as "For yet his honour never heard a play", and "they thought it good you hear a play" (The Taming of the Shrew Ind.1.94, Ind.2.130). In fact these 3 expressions of drama as an aural event are unusual; there only 5 similar cases in the entire canon of English Literature from 1500 to 1700, none before the Restoration. In the same period there are 97 occurrences of visually-centered phrases such as 'see a play', so that 9 times out of 10 literary writers preferred to represent drama as a visual pleasure.3 We should avoid assuming that Shakespeare's habits were the norm: his 'hear a play' construction was new and would not be copied for half a century. The modern preference for 'hearing a play' amongst those concerned, as Orrell and Smith were, with recovering the dramatic experiences of Shakespeare's first consumers is consistent with the phonocentrism in the Western intellectual tradition that Jacques Derrida critiqued in his Of Grammatology. Derrida worked backwards from the speech-centred linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the anthropological writing of Jean-Jacques Rousseau to locate phonocentrism's origin in Greek philosophy:

Saussure takes up the traditional definition of writing which, already in Plato and Aristotle, was restricted to the model of phonetic script and the language of words. Let us recall the Aristotelian definition: "Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience and written words are the symbols of spoken words." Saussure: "Language and writing are two distinct systems of signs; the second exists for the sole purpose of representing the first" (p. 45; italics added) [p. 23]. . . . To be sure this factum of phonetic writing is massive; it commands our entire culture and our entire science, and it is certainly not just not one fact among others. Nevertheless it does not respond to any necessity of an absolute and universal essence.4

The Balnibarbians in Swift's Gulliver's Travels, of course, avoid speaking altogether and instead use silent meaning-by-showing for which they carry on their backs all the items they might need in mute conversation.5 Silent meaning-by-showing is also used in the dumbshows of Renaissance drama, but Pericles is the only play in the Shakespeare corpus directly to use a dumbshow as one of its means of signifying (the one in Hamlet is part of The Mousetrap). Likewise no choric narrator in Shakespeare looms as large as Gower in Pericles, and by tracing how the play treats its own separation of the material for transmission via different media we can see that its writer (or perhaps writers) anticipated Derrida's critique.

    The play's opening words, "To sing a song", initiate the theme of aural pleasure but soon lead to a complementary binarism of aural and visual pleasure: "To glad your ear and please your eyes" (1.4). The 'song' existed prior to Gower's telling of it, he claims, and he is merely the medium through which it passes, though noticeably it has been pleasurable in aural form but efficacious as writing:

[GOWER] It hath been sung at festivals,
On ember-eves and holy-ales,
And lords and ladies in their lives
Have read it for restoratives.
(Pericles 1.5-8)

Gower places himself in the tradition of transmission that is at once textual and oral, but as Jeffrey Masten noted in his essay on the play,6 the role of Gower in respect of the story and his collaborators telling it "oscillates between singular ownership ('my rimes' [A2], 'my cause' [A2v]), collaborative production ('our sceanes,' 'our stories' [G2v]), and received sources ('I tell you what mine Authors saye' [A2])".7

    The play's transmission down to us is also apparently a combination of the oral and the textual. The only substantive text is a quarto of 1609 that is garbled in ways that New Bibliographers claimed are characteristic of a memorial reconstruction of a play by actors who took part in it. But in 1608, Shakespeare's apparent collaborator, George Wilkins's, published a prose novella based, it seems, on the play as performed. This novella is also, then, a witness to the early performances and editors have drawn on it to help solve problems in the play quarto. For the Oxford Complete Works, Gary Taylor made extensive use of Wilkins's novella to reconstruct what the play was like before the quarto's reporters garbled it. Thus in the Oxford text appears a scene absent from the quarto in which Pericles asks for and is given a stringed instrument upon going to bed after the feast. In Gower's Confessio Amantis and Twine's Patterne of Painfull Adventures Pericles and Thaisa sing and play instruments, whereas the quarto of Pericles has only a "wordless ritual of courtship" by dancing.8 In defence of 'restoring' the scene of Pericles's playing music upon retiring from Wilkins's novella, Taylor pointed to the many and varied uses of music in the play: Thaisa's re-awakening, Marina's profession as a music teacher, the song sung to Pericles, the music of the spheres, "and the characteristic opposition of music and tempest".9 One might argue that when music is so pervasive in a play its omission can be as significant as its inclusion, which is the same principle that one could invoke to defend the quarto's version of the tournament scene in which Simonides interprets only three of the six knights' imprese. Moreover, as F. Elizabeth Hart argued, Cerimon calls for "rough . . . music" and a "Violl" when awakening Thaisa in the 1609 play quarto,10 and editorial emendation to "still . . . music" and a "vial" blunts the specificity of Cerimon's service to the goddess Diana of Ephesus (as distinct from Ovid's Diana), a Mother-figure whose worship was often clamorous.11 Importantly, an Ephesian Diana connotes fecundity not chastity. In the light of Pericles's description of the daughter of Antiochus as a viol that may be played upon ill or well (1.124-8), the sexual connotation of Pericles's taking an instrument to bed should not be overlooked, and the failure of Marina's singing to rouse Pericles from his melancholic coma in scene 21 indicates that in his reception as much as his creation, Pericles in not simply Orphean. Marina's speaking voice, not her singing voice, wakes Pericles; this is a particular kind of phonocentrism that divides the Greek "uxm–", which means both voice and sound (OED phon-).

    In scene 9 the two media by which Pericles might have bewitched Thaisa are invoked in his denial of the accusation: "Resolve your angry father if my tongue | Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe" (9.66-67). The written text of the play script has no loving words or letters pass between Pericles and Thaisa, yet there is an implied courtship which must be in the form of actions, gestures, and looks. Thus Thaisa could honestly answer that, no, Pericles's tongue has not solicited nor his hand subscribed, yet something--about which the script is silent--has passed between them. A vital progression of the story, then, resides in unscripted action that allows the hero to disavow his agency. In contrast to Pericles's reticence is Thaisa's verbal affirmation of her writing: "What with my pen I have in secret written | With my tongue now I openly confirm" (9.84-85). The Shakespeare plays repeatedly return to the matter of affirmation, of words by deeds and of writing by speaking. A parallel moment occurs in 1 Henry 6 when Gloucester reponds to Winchester's destruction of a list of accusations against him with "although in writing I preferred | The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes . . . [I am] able | Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen. (1 Henry 6 3.1.1-13). Clearly in operation here is the familiar suspicion of writing as a debased version of thought which is better represented in spontaneous speech, and Andrew Murphy convincingly argued that Derrida's critique of this should inform our understanding of the early printings' relation to the early performances of Shakespeare's plays.12

    Gower's status as oral purveyor of the story is repeatedly questioned in the play. In scene 5 he remains on stage after Pericles enters wet from shipwreck and apparently senses that his continued narration would be an encroachment on the domain of dramatic action: "And here he comes. What shall be next | Pardon old Gower; this 'longs the text. Exit" (5.39-40). The Oxford text's "'longs" marks an elision of the first syllable of "belongs", so Gower is calling what the actors do "the text". Masten, on the other hand, argued that the quarto's "long's"13 might be an abbreviation of "long is", meaning that he has no more text to read as chorus and must hand over to the drama;14 thus Gower calls what he has to say "the text". In either reading, attention is drawn to the shared border of the storytelling modes and both senses of the quarto's "long's" might be active at once, indicating the modes' common textuality. Gower returns at the start of scene 10 to introduce a dumbshow in which a messenger brings Pericles a letter that delights the pregnant Thaisa and causes the newlyweds to take their leave of Simonides. Gower's explanation necessarily requires divulging the contents of the letter, and we might well wonder why delivery of a paper message should be the subject of a dumshow at all unless that mode's very unsuitability were precisely the point. Yet Gower insists that the means are chosen to suit the matter ("action may | Conveniently the rest convey" 10.55-6), so he is literally an unreliable narrator. The value of verbal assurances to convey truth more reliably than visual and textual means is a recurring theme of the play, not only in its matter but also, via Gower, in its means.

    When selling Marina to the brothel in Mytilene, the pirates verbally affirm that she is a virgin and hence highly valuable. Leonine had entertained the possibility that the pirates would rape Marina and abandon her, in which case he would have to kill her (15.149-51), but the abandonment at least did not happen. It may seem unreasonable to wonder whether Marina was raped by the pirates since her virginity is heavily stressed in the latter half of the play, but the means of telling the story invites us to consider just what constitutes our certainty about it. The value of Marina's virginity for the play's brothel-keepers resides at least partially in the guarantee of freedom from sexual disease, as implied by the Pander's observation that "The poor Transylvanian is dead that lay with the little baggage" (16.20-1) and Lysimachus's question "have you, that a man may deal withal and defy the surgeon?" (19.33-4). What the Bawd calls the "warrant of her virginity" (16.55-6), the certainty of it, seems to have no tangible existence--it is a verbal assurance from the pirates--yet it circulates at a high price, from Marina herself (presumptively) to the pirates, from the pirates to the brothel-keepers (via their agent, Boult), and thence to the prospective customers. Boult brags about his ability to be faithful in the verbal transmission of important information: "I have cried her almost to the number of her hairs. | I have drawn her picture with my voice" (16.90-1). To draw her picture with words is ekphrasis, which the Oxford Classical Dictionary calls "an extended and detailed literary description of any object, real or imaginary"15 but which is commonly used in the more precise sense summarized by Grant F. Scott as "a verbal representation of a visual representation".16 In Scott's analysis, ekphrasis is a breaking of the boundaries between the sister arts and a making permanent of the ephemeral, and this is undoubtedly the condition of Boult's description: a modern actor, whose body is necessarily subject to decay, might well be hired according to how well he or she fits the text's apparent requirement for a beautiful Marina. The description written into the playscript is permanent whereas the bodies of generations of actors have been transitory.

    Pericles engages in the debate about the sister arts and their capacities to convey truth, as does the opening of Timon of Athens, which shares with Pericles the apparent experiment with collaboration, something Shakespeare seems to have avoided for most of his career.17 In the first scene of Timon of Athens a poet praises a painter's work, "I will say of it, | It tutors nature. Artificial strife | Lives in these touches livelier than life" (1.1.36-38), but the compliment is not returned. On hearing an outline of the poet's work the painter comments that it "would be well expressed | In our condition" (1.1.77-8), that is to say it were better done as a painting than a poem, and indeed has been: "A thousand moral paintings I can show | That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's | More pregnantly than words" (Timon of Athens 1.1.91-3). Physical properties used for the imprese in Pericles and the painting in Timon of Athens must now (and perhaps had to then) derive from the verbal description in the plays' scripts, so ultimately writing is primary in the medium of drama.18 The same is true of the mourning clothes, the actions of lamentation, and the false monument to Marina by which Cleon and Dionyza seek to conceal what they believe to be her murder. Pericles's response to seeing the monument is performed in a dumbshow that, as previously, Gower promises to make sense of for the audience: "Your ears unto your eyes I'll reconcile" (18.22). Gower has just said that his position in the work of art is liminal yet instructive: "I do beseech you | To learn of me, who stand i' th' gaps to teach you | The stages of our story (18.7-9). Gower repeatedly encroaches on the borders of the other media, relating the contents of a letter to Pericles and reading the epitaph on the monument to Marina, and he goes beyond simple explanation, commenting on the action and offering moral interpretation of the dumbshow in which the monument to Marina fools Pericles:

[GOWER] See how belief may suffer by foul show.
This borrowed passion stands for true-owed woe,
And Pericles, in sorrow all devoured,
With sighs shot through, and biggest tears o'ershow'red,
Leaves Tarsus, and again embarks.
(Pericles 18.23-7)

The "borrowed passion", Pericles's response to the deceptive spectacle of the monument, stands where there should be "true-owed woe" (since something terrible has befallen Marina), but at the same time this comment refers to the moment of performance since the actor playing Pericles is presenting a passion borrowed from his repertoire of acting talents and it constitutes, stands for, the truth of the impersonation. Done properly, Philip Sidney had argued, artistic representation (including dramatic impersonation) is its own kind of truth and not, as Plato had been understood by some, a botched copy or tawdry untruth.19

    Boult is instructed to rape Marina to make her stop persuading potential customers to reform, but instead he is persuaded to find her a teaching position in which she can impart the ability to "sing, weave, sew, and dance" (19.106) to other young ladies. Her achievements in the endeavours excite Gower to another phonocentric hyperbole, "Deep clerks she dumbs", and to Sidneian praise of her creativity: "and with her nee'le composes | Nature's own shape, of bud, bird, branch, or berry, | That e'en her art sisters the natural roses" (20.5-7). In a parallel moment in The Winter's Tale Polixenes counters Perdita's disdain for artful supplementing of nature with the argument that such supplements are themselves primordially natural: "So over that art | Which you say adds to nature is an art | That nature makes" (The Winter's Tale 4.4.90-2). In Pericles the argument about primordiality is played out in the switching of modes of signification (narration, dumbshow, drama) to show that howsoever each appears suited to a particular kind of material, they are all essentially and primordially textual.

    Parallelling the beginning of the play, in the anagnorisis Marina sets Pericles a riddle in answer to his enquiry whether she was born "of these shores" of Mytilene: "No, nor of any shores, | Yet I was mortally brought forth" (21.92-3). Where the daughter of Antioch was almost silent and false, Marina is powerfully eloquent and true, but Pericles cannot at first tell by what quality he is convinced of her truthfulness: "thou look'st | Modest as justice, and thou seem'st a palace | For the crowned truth to dwell in" (21.109-11). This faith based on appearance fades and Pericles seeks satisfaction in words: "I will believe you by the syllable | Of what you shall deliver" (21.155). To be fair, there is distrust on both sides despite the protestations of belief in one another's claims:

[PERICLES] (To Marina) What was thy mother's name? Tell me but that,
For truth can never be confirmed enough,
Though doubts did ever sleep. MARINA First, sir, I pray,
What is your title? PERICLES I am Pericles
Of Tyre. But tell me now my drowned queen's name.
As in the rest thou hast been godlike perfect,
So prove but true in that, thou art my daughter,
The heir of kingdoms, and another life
To Pericles thy father. MARINA [kneeling] Is it no more
To be your daughter than to say my mother's name?
(Pericles 21.188-97)

Finally convinced, Pericles's hearing is refined beyond the mortal and he claims in his extreme joy to hear the music of the spheres (21.215). The force of Marina's question "Is it no more . . . ?", however, is undiminished and the play appears to answer with a powerful affirmative.

    For Thaisa, the sound and the appearance of Pericles are mutually confirmatory in an instant: "Voice and favour-- | You are, you are--O royal Pericles!" (22.33-4). He, however, remains unmoved by her voice or appearance: "What means the nun?" (22.35). Even after Cerimon's revelation and assurance, Pericles wants further proof--the jewels he placed in Thaisa's coffin--and a description will not do: "May we see them?" (22.45). As with the ending of Twelfth Night, material evidence (there, Viola's normal clothes) is to be presented to the senior male figure after the end of the play to substantiate a claim about the heroine's identity. In Pericles this is especially odd in the asymmetry it produces: Pericles does not know Thaisa by sight, yet she knows him despite his changed appearance of unkempt hair and neglect of washing. Pericles proposes finally to improve his appearance "To grace thy marriage day" (22.99), so even this might be deferred beyond the denouement. Once he has listened to "the nun" and seen her ring, Pericles declares himself convinced, "This, this! No more, you gods" (22.62), yet he continues to test her:

[PERICLES] I left behind an ancient substitute.
Can you remember what I called the man?
I have named him oft.
THAISA 'Twas Helicanus then.
PERICLES Still confirmation.
(Pericles 22.72-77)

Is it no more to be your wife than to say your substitute's name? The conceit at the beginning of the play was that the answer to the daughter of Antiochus's riddle ("I am . . . I sought . . . I found " 1.107-10) is the name of the daughter herself, as Phyllis Gorfain noted,20 yet that name is not supplied in the text so, in a performative sense, she is simply unnameable. The solution to Marina's riddle (she was born not "of any shores") is likewise her name: 'born at sea'. In a Platonic view of language, names are merely convenient labels for (and derived from) objects that are themselves mere derivatives of Ideals, which in a philosophically-realist conception have actual existence. Language is thus necessarily debased and detached from objects in the world and when used for fiction it necessarily misrepresents that world, so it constitutes lying. In place of the Platonic tripartite sequential relation of diminishing authenticity (Form, Real-Instance, Artistic-Copy), Sidney had argued that poetry (meaning art in general) could reach a perfection not available in reality: "Nature['s] . . .  world is brasen, the Poets only deliuer a golden".21 Derrida made a parallel argument for writing, although one subtly different in ways beyond the scope of this essay. To disrupt the Platonic sequence of diminishing authenticity proceeding Thought-Speech-Writing, Derrida argued that writing is already inside speech and indeed thought, or rather that the inside/outside binary is misleading: "Il n'y a pas de hors-texte", 'there is nothing outside the text'. In Pericles the primordiality of writing is explored in relation to the practical processes occurring in the textual economy of Renaissance theatre, where speech and action might appear to be second- and third-order derivatives of pure artistic conception but are unavoidably textual in origin.22 Thus although no speeches or actions called for by stage directions require a courtship of Pericles and Thaisa, it nonetheless happens at an unspecified level of the play's means of signifying. Likewise, the appearance of actors, the design of properties, and the style of clothing--things that in the moment of performance seem prior to the speeches and the actions--are conditioned by and made in comformity to (which can include deliberate tension with) words in the primordial script. So, in performance Boult's eulogy to Marina's beauty appears to be a response to a factual given--the actor is beautiful--but in the prior arrangements that precede performance the actor playing Marina was chosen from a pool of candidates precisely to stand in a certain relation to those words in the script.

    Masten's reading of Pericles23 drew on Marjorie Garber's linkage of paternity questions in the plays to the academic anxiety about the paternity of Shakespeare's plays,24 and he commented that even after the recognition of Marina the play Pericles "continues to dwell on . . . 'the undecideability of paternity'"25 because, Masten believed, the concern is primarily patriarchal: 'author' and 'authority' are indissolubly linked. Masten followed the chain of certainties about identity back to the document Pericles put in Thaisa's coffin, so "his position as patriarchal father, his position of authority--is thus guaranteed only by a text of his own character" and thus in a classic poststructural switch derived from Michel Foucault's notion of the 'author-function',26 "The daughter here begets the father; the text begets its author".27 The script of Pericles first put that document in Thaisa's coffin and post hoc, ergo propter hoc, the actor playing Pericles does the same. Masten explored the neat parallel with New Bibliographical study of the textual situation, which sought to establish Shakespeare's paternity by casting aspersions of immorality upon other agents including Wilkins and the printers.28 But the significant element that Masten omits is the phonocentrism of the textual hypotheses about the play's 1609 quarto, which enabled Taylor's extensive intervention to 'reconstruct' the play for the Oxford Complete Works.29 In particular, Taylor argued that ". . . P. A. [Wilkins's novella The Painfull Aduentures of Pericles Prince of Tyre, published 1608] is a 'substantive' text of Pericles: a 'reported' text (like Q), one cast in the mode of a prose narrative (unlike Q), one contaminated by Twine (unlike Q), but a substantive text nonetheless".30 Although P. A. "is obviously inferior to Q as an editorial document, in one crucial respect it is superior: the author of P. A. is the man most likely to have been Shakespeare's collaborator in writing the play".31 But if Wilkins wrote the play with Shakespeare, why did he have to remember the text to make his novella rather than just copy what he had written for the King's men? Because, Taylor decided, the normal theatrical practices of the period required Wilkins to give up possession of his own papers in order to be paid for his work. Taylor's hypothesis depended on the assumptions that printers were eager for play manuscripts, that playing companies wanted to frustrate them, and that in the case of Wilkins the King's men had reason to be wary since he had already shown himself untrustworthy by selling a text of his The Miseries of Enforced Marriage for printing in 1607.32 Peter W. M. Blayney has since shown that plays manuscript were in fact not especially attractive to printers--most took more than 5 years to return the investment in printing them--and hence the hypothesis of surreptitious printing of 'bad' quartos is hard to sustain; the market on which the hypothesis is predicated did not exist.33 Of course, some Shakespeare plays did sell well, as evidenced by reprinting: four editions of Pericles and Romeo and Juliet and five of Richard 2, Richard 3 and 1 Henry 4 and were published by 1623. Far from denying printers access to their scripts, Blayney's argument and its development by Lukas Erne suggest that this mode of dissemination was actively sought by the King's men but they were at the mercy of a limited market.34 In the theatre-historical domain too, then, textuality encroaches on the origin point--early performance--preferred by the New New Bibliographers of the Oxford Shakespeare who were themselves revising the authorial-manuscript centred New Bibliography of W. W. Greg, R. B. McKerrow, Alfred Pollard, and John Dover Wilson.

    An urgent question for the editing of Renaissance drama after New New Bibliography is how far we should treat a surviving textualization as a link with the primordial textuality which preceded the performed event rather than as a witness to that event, of which it is a second-order, debased, derivative. In private conversation Roger Warren reported that his Oxford Shakespeare single-volume edition of Pericles will go further than Taylor's Oxford Complete Works text in adopting material from Wilkins's novella. For the Arden Shakespeare Suzanne Gossett will, reportedly, take the view that the quarto is all we have to go on. The Oxford and Arden series are converging in their practices regarding plays existing in multiple early printings, offering readers full texts of multiple early versions because editors are increasingly reluctant to nominate one printing as superior to all others. Editors have become inclined to see the early printings as different versions essentially equal in authority. But in relation to a play such as Pericles that exists in only one early and unsatisfactory printing, the remaining differences between the Oxford and Arden editorial philosophies are starkly apparent and will be instantiated in utterly different texts of Pericles. As Masten observed,35 the problem begins with the early title-pages, of which the Pericles quarto is typical in marking the intersection of two markets: one performative, "As it hath been diuers and sundry times acted by his Maiesties Seruants, at the Globe on the Banck-side", and the other textual, "Imprinted at London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne in Pater-noster row, &c".36 But for all its admission that it follows performance ("hath been . . . acted"), the title-page of Pericles nonetheless insists that it actually is "The Late And much admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre". This is an unusual claim. Early sixteenth-century interludes by John Heywood were printed with title-pages claiming that the contents were plays37 and several of these printings continued into the Shakespearian period. Likewise an anonymous verse jest about Robin Hood was reprinted several times in the early decades of the sixteenth century and for a printing around 1560 "a newe playe" of about 200 lines was added.38 But play title-pages stopped calling their contents plays just as the professional London theatre started. Thomas Nashe's Lenten Stuff claims on its title-page to include "a new Play neuer played before" but is wholly a non-dramatic prose satire39 and likewise The Jesuits' Play at Lyons is a prose treatise, not a dramatic work.40 Apart from the Tudor interludes, no extant drama before Pericles is called a "play" on its title-page. The link with interludes is significant because their title-pages frequently declare that the contents can function as the origin of a subsequent performance, in such phrasings as "Fiue may easely play this enterlude"41 and "to be plaied in May-games",42 rather than, as is common with the drama of Shakespeare's time, purporting to be records of performances that have already happened ("as it was played"). Nonetheless, a group of recusant players under Richard Cholmeley's patronage toured in Yorkshire from 1606 to at least 1616 using only printed playtexts for their repertory.43 When tried for sedition these players insisted (falsely, it turned out) that they had not strayed from the printed texts, apparently thinking that this gave them a kind of surrogate licence from the Master of the Revels who had licenced the original manuscripts underlying the printing. One of the actors reported that at Candlemas 1609-10 they performed "Perocles prince of Tire", which was undoubtedly the work of Shakespeare and Wilkins, and "Kinge Lere" which might have been Shakespeare's (his quarto was the most recent) but equally might have been the old chronicle history of King Leir printed in 1605. Like the interludes, then, the printing of Pericles was in its own time a textual record of early performances ("As it hath been diuers and sundry times acted") and the textual origin point for other performances. The play's early theatrical history mirrors its theme that writing is at once the offspring of performance and its parent.


1 John Orrell, The Quest for Shakespeare's Globe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 140; Bruce R. Smith, The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O-factor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), pp. 206-8.

2 Except where otherwise stated, all quotations of Shakespeare are from William Shakespeare, The Complete Works, ed. Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery. Electronic edition prepared by William Montgomery and Lou Burnard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).

3 Gabriel Egan, 'Hearing or Seeing a Play?: Evidence of Early Modern Theatrical Terminology', Ben Jonson Journal, 8 (2001), 327-47.

4 Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), pp. 30-1.

5 Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, ed. Peter Dixon and John Chalker. Introd. Michael Foot (London: Penguin, 1985), p. 230.

6 Jeffrey Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture, 14 (c: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 75-93.

7 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, p. 77.

8 Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett and William Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 558.

9 Wells, Taylor, Jowett & Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, p. 558.

10 William Shakespeare, [Pericles] The Late, and Much Admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre, STC 22334 (Q1) (London: Edward Allde for Henry Gosson, 1609), E4r.

11 F. Elizabeth Hart, 'Cerimon's 'Rough' Music in Pericles, 3.2', Shakespeare Quarterly, 51 (2000), 313-31.

12 Andrew Murphy, ''Came Errour Here By Mysse of Man': Editing and the Metaphysics of Presence', Yearbook of English Studies, 29 (1999), 118-37.

13 Shakespeare, [Pericles] The Late, and Much Admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre, C1v.

14 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, p. 89.

15 Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, eds., The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd edition (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996).

16 Grant F. Scott, 'The Rhetoric of Dilation: Ekphrasis and Ideology', Word and Image, 7.1 (1991), 301-10 (p. 301).

17 Wells, Taylor, Jowett & Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, pp. 127-8.

18 There is some evidence that plays were composed to take advantage of existing costumes, at appears to be the case with The Tempest (Michael Baird Saenger, 'The Costumes of Caliban and Ariel Qua Sea-nymph', Notes and Queries, 240 (1995), 334-6; Gabriel Egan, 'Ariel's Costume in the Original Staging of The Tempest', Theatre Notebook, 51 (1997), 62-72), but since nothing but the scripts have come down to us, the principle that written script conditions all else in performance applies at least to post-Restoration productions.

19 Sir Philip Sidney, The Defence of Poesie, STC 22535 (London: [T. Creede] for W. Ponsonby, 1595).

20 Phyllis Gorfain, 'Puzzle and Artifice: The Riddle as Metapoetry in Pericles',Shakespeare Survey, 29 (1976), 11-20 (p. 13).

21 Sidney, The Defence of Poesie, C1r.

22 From an editor's point of view there may well be need to treat a play's stage directions as less 'authorized' than its speeches, as argued in Stanley Wells, Re-editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), pp. 57-78. The reconciliation of this need to a poststructurally-informed textual theory is possible, but beyond the scope of this essay.

23 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, pp. 75-93.

24 Marjorie B. Garber, Shakespeare's Ghost Writers: Literature as Uncanny Causality (New York: Methuen, 1987), pp. 1-27.

25 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, p. 87.

26 Michel Foucault, 'What is an Author?', Partisan Review, 42 (1975), 603-14.

27 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, p. 89.

28 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, pp. 90-3.

29 Gary Taylor, 'The Transmission of Pericles', Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 80 (1986), 193-217; Wells, Taylor, Jowett & Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, pp. 556-60.

30 Wells, Taylor, Jowett & Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, p. 557.

31 Wells, Taylor, Jowett & Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, p. 557.

32 Wells, Taylor, Jowett & Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, p. 558.

33 Peter W. M. Blayney, 'The Publication of Playbooks', in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 383-422.

34 Lukas Erne, 'Shakespeare and the Publication of His Plays', Shakespeare Quarterly, 53 (2002), 1-20.

35 Masten, Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, p. 114.

36 Shakespeare, [Pericles] The Late, and Much Admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre, A1r.

37 John Heywood, The Play of the Wether, STC 13305 (London: W. Rastell, 1533); John Heywood, A Play of Loue, STC 13303 (London: W. Rastell, 1534).

38 Anonymous, A Mery Geste of Robyn Hoode and of His Lyfe, Wyth a Newe Playe, STC 13691 (London: W. Copland, 1560?).

39 Thomas Nash, Nashes Lenten Stuffe, Containing, the Description of Great Yarmouth. With a New Playe of the Praise of the Red Herring, STC 18370 (London: [T. Judson and V. Simmes] for N. L[ing] and C. B[urby], 1599).

40 R. S, The Jesuites Play at Lyons in France, as it Was There Presented, STC 21513.5 (London: [W. Jaggard and J. Windet] for N. Butter, 1607).

41 Ulpian Fulwell, An Enterlude Intituled, Like Wil to Like Quod the Deuel to the Colier, STC 11473 (London: J. Allde, 1568).

42 Anonymous, A Mery Geste of Robyn Hoode and of His Lyfe, Wyth a Newe Playe

43 C. J. Sisson, 'Shakespeare Quartos as Prompt-copies', Review of English Studies, 18 (1942), 129-43.