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“The concept is original and the execution brilliant. This is Dr Seuss meets Shakespeare, with all the joy of the former meshed with all the intrigue of the latter.” — David Crystal, author of Shakespeare’s Words and How Language Works.

But bottom of the all-time list
Of Shakespeare’s not-so-greatest hits
The play which always fails to please
The poor, unfortunate Pericles.
But before you stand and leave you a seat
I have to say our play’s a feat
Of editing and derring-do
To bring only the best to you
In forty minutes, not one sec more
Your jaws will be upon the floor.

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The Silly Shakespeare for Students edition of Shakespeare’s Pericles simplifies Shakespeare’s play without dumbing it down. Author Dr. Paul Leonard Murray, director of the Belgrade English Language Theater, has cut the play down to an hour or so and made the language more accessible. And a play like Pericles practically demands an irreverent attitude. This version makes fun of the original and lends itself to an over-the-top, clownish style à la commedia dell’arte! Put the yay back into Traged-yay with this silly, but oh-so-fun version of a Shakespeare classic that he probably didn’t even write! Written for students, but any lover of Shakespeare will enjoy how Dr. Murray weaves the original plot and language into this new, laugh-out-loud version!

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, is considered one of Shakespeare’s worst plays and certainly one of the weirdest. Pericles sails the Mediterranean searching for a wife. On the way he encounters incestuous kings, bawdy fisherwomen, an assassin, and mad kings and queens. His wife apparently dies at sea, his daughter is almost killed by her adopted parents, then rescued by pirates and sold into prostitution, where she talks the governor of the island into marrying her! Happy endings for everyone!

Production notes and a summary of the play make putting on Shakespeare easy and fun, even if you’ve never done drama in class before! Looking for something different for drama club, student theater, or speaking class? Want to spice up your literature or reading class and give students a new appreciation for Shakespeare? This version of Pericles for students is for you.

Download a short sample: Pericles Silly Shakespeare Sample

Need a bookmark to keep your place? Download a Pericles Bookmark!

Additional information

Weight 4.1 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .25 in




84 pages

Publication Date

20 April 2020


5.5 x 8.5 inches



Age Group

, , ,



Raves and Reviews

Amazon rating 4.5 out of 5! ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

** Reader’s Favorite 5-star review **

“I’ve been lucky enough to read three of the resources in this series – consistently engaging, humorous, easy to read and well-graded. I am genuinely trying to hold back the praise with this one – these are top notch resources.” — Peter Clement, ELT Planning and Start-Up

“…just as exciting as the original…The exuberance that he displays in making this modern-day adaptation come to life under his guidance is admirable.” — Reader’s Favorite

“Paul’s Pericles is not a salvaged, sterile artefact to be admired behind glass, but a bouncy being, brimming with life, wit and energy….My own daughters loved taking part in performing Pericles under Paul’s direction for the Belgrade Youth Theatre and were thus introduced to the Bard not as a handle-with-care package ensconced in multiple layers of protective bubble wrap but as a flamboyant jack-in-the-box, “to glad your ear, and please your eyes“. — Andreas Roth, teacher, Belgrade

Taking an old classic and simplifying it for better understanding. Shakespeare can be hard to understand but this book tells the same story but in a way that is easier to understand. Great for students and teachers.” — Rhonda G., Goodreads reader

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