Today, I’ll encourage the kids to use a bit more colour in their illustrations of our Shakepeare work, transformed, The Play of Bearicles, Prince of Tyre.
Summary: The Play of Bearicles, Prince of Tyre, Act II
The ghost of the Turtle-Poet, Gower, lets us know that there are more adventures in store for our hero Bearicles: In Tarsus (Turkey), Bearicles feasts with King Cleon and his people. Amidst the celebrations, however, a letter arrives from Helicanus, Bearicles’ right-paw-bear in Tyre (Lebanon). Helicanus writes that Antiochus has sent a bounty-hunter after Bearicles and that the hunter is headed his way. He and his bear-crew load their ship and set sail, but they are shipwrecked. Only Bearicles survives, washing up on the seashore of Pentapolis (which may be Ancient Greece, or Ancient North East Libya). A trio of fisher-bears drag up his family suit of armour, now rusted, from the sea. They return it to Bearicles, joking that he might want to wear it at the next day’s tournament, which is being held by the “good king” Simonides to celebrate the birthday of his daughter Thaisa. Bearicles, excited by the prospect of meeting a ruler so beloved by his fishing-bears, decides to travel to the king’s palace-den and to enter the tournament. He carries a dead-looking yet-still budding branch of bear-posies as his personal symbol. Bearicles wins the tournament. But the other knights and gentle-bears in the competition make fun of his homely appearance and his rusty armour. King Simonides and his daughter Thaisa, however, suspect that Bearicles is indeed a gentle bear of noble birth. The king sends the other princes and knights away, telling them that they might as well go and hibernate, because Thaisa has vowed not to choose a husband-bear for at least another year. He asks Bearicles to remain, however, as a “tutor” for his daughter. After a bit of good fun, the king tricks Bearicles and Thaisa into professing their love for one another, blessing their marriage.