In this essay, I argue for the benefits of Suzanne Gossett’s reading of Pericles over the Oxford’s 1986 reconstructed Pericles, looking specifically at Act 3, Scenes 1 and 2. Gossett argues that Cerimon’s “rough and woeful music” is not a scribal error in the quarto, a doubling of Cerimon’s “rough” in 3.2.78-79, but perhaps intentional on Shakespeare’s part. If we side with Oxford’s emendations of these scenes, Cerimon’s call for “rough and woeful music” becomes a call for “still and woeful music”; his admonishment, that Pericles was “too rough” when he “threw her in the sea” becomes the insistence that he was “too rash” when he “threw her in the sea.” In accepting Oxford’s
emendation, we lose the repetition in Cerimon’s earlier admonishment. More importantly, we miss the fact that Thaisa’s recovery by Cerimon turns as much on Pericles’ rough handling as the rough notes he places on her coffined body.