The nautical tale of a wandering prince, Pericles is narrated by John Gower, a poet from the English past. Gower explains that Pericles, Prince of Tyre, hopes to win the hand of a princess in Antioch. When Pericles learns that she and the king, her father, are lovers, he flees for his life.
Pericles brings grain to Tarsus during a famine, but loses his ships and men ina storm. In Pentapolis, he wins a tournament and marries the king’s daughter, Thaisa. With Thaisa pregnant, she and Pericles sail for Tyre. Thaisa bears a daughter, Marina, at sea, but apparently dies. Her coffin drifts ashore at Ephesus, where she is revived and becomes a priestess of Diana.
Pericles leaves the baby Marina with the king and queen of Tarsus. Fourteen years later, Marina, kidnapped by pirates, is sold to a brothel, but her eloquence protects her. Told that she has died, a grief-stricken Pericles rediscovers her. Guided by a vision from the goddess Diana, Pericles and Marina reunite with Thaisa.