The medieval poet John Gower returns from the grave to tell the story of Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
His life no longer in danger – and his identity finally revealed – Pericles sets sail for Tyre with Thaisa, now pregnant with their first child. During a storm, Thaisa dies giving birth to a daughter and is buried at sea. Pericles lands at Tarsus and entrusts his baby daughter, christened Marina, to the care of Cleon and Dionyza. Thaisa's coffin lands at Ephesus, where she is revived by the physician Cerimon. She enters the temple of Diana as a nun.
Fourteen years pass. Marina attracts the envy of Dionyza, who arranges her murder, only for her to be abducted by pirates who sell her into a brothel in Mytilene, where her chastity proves bad for business. Lysimachus, the governor, visiting the brothel in disguise, is greatly impressed by her.
Stop reading now if you don't want to know how it ends.
Pericles, still wandering the seas, arrives by chance at Mytilene, where his ship is visited by Lysimachus. The latter has Marina brought aboard in an attempt to rouse Pericles from his sorrows. When their conversation reveals her to be his daughter, Pericles is overjoyed. In a dream, the goddess Diana directs him to make sacrifice at her temple in Ephesus and they set sail to accomplish this final act.