THE ACTIONS OF PERICLES

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The Actions Of Pericles

Pericles must answer Antiochus' riddle to win the hand of his daughter. If he fails he will face death. The riddle is:

"I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh which did me breed.
I sought a husband, in which labour
I found that kindness in a father:
He's father, son, and husband mild;
I mother, wife, and yet his child.
How they may be, and yet in two,
As you will live, resolve it you."

What does Pericles do?
Hint:
Understands the riddle to mean incest and hints to Antiochus his understanding.

Antiochus realises from Pericles' hints that Pericles has understood the riddle and determines to have him killed. I am not aware of any other reference to incest in Shakespeare. Incest seems to retain its rightful shock value much more in Shakespeare and the classics.
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