Gower, an offscene narrator, enters to tell about the kingdom of Antioch, where king Antiochus and Antiochus's daughter are engaging in incest. Antiochus has kept suitors from marrying her by requiring that they answer a riddle correctly or die. Pericles, Prince of Tyre, tries his hand at the riddle. He is successful, but discovers that its answer reveals the incestuous relationship between father and daughter. Pericles doesn't reveal the truth, and Antiochus gives him forty days before his death sentence. But Pericles is sure Antiochus will want him dead for knowing the truth, so he flees back to Tyre. Antiochus sends an assassin after him.
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