#37 George Lillo, Marina (1738)
One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays was Pericles, an episodic romance that centers on the separation and reunion of Pericles, his wife Thaisa, and their daughter Marina. The play was not included in the First Folio collection, perhaps because it was written in collaboration with George Wilkins. The text of the play also seems to be corrupted, and so it has long been considered as a marginal work in the Shakespeare canon, despite its initial popularity. This adaptation of the play includes a prologue written by the playwright George Lillo which praises Shakespeare’s “matchless wit” while also justifying his alteration of the work by claiming that “some mean scenes” in the original play are “injurious” to Shakespeare’s fame. Lillo’s play focuses only on Marina’s story, and he ends the prologue by claiming that his adaptation will “charm the sense” and “improve the mind” of the audience.