Dionyza is a complex and intriguing character in William Shakespeare's play, Pericles, Prince of Tyre. She is a noblewoman and the wife of Cleon, the governor of Tarsus. Dionyza is portrayed as a manipulative and ambitious woman who is willing to go to great lengths to achieve her desires.
In the play, Dionyza initially appears as a kind and compassionate person. She offers aid and shelter to Pericles, the protagonist, when he arrives in Tarsus, seeking refuge from a storm. However, as the story progresses, Dionyza's true nature begins to emerge.
Dionyza's most notable action is her betrayal of Marina, Pericles' daughter. Fueled by jealousy and envy, Dionyza plots to have Marina killed after realizing the young woman's beauty and intelligence threaten her own daughter's prospects. Dionyza hires an assassin to carry out her wicked plan, but fortunately, Marina is spared and ends up in the care of a brothel owner who treats her with kindness and respect.
Dionyza's betrayal showcases her cunning and deceitful nature. She is willing to sacrifice an innocent young woman's life for her own selfish gains. This act of treachery adds depth to Dionyza's character and highlights the darker aspects of human nature.
Despite her malicious actions, Dionyza does experience a moment of remorse. When confronted by Pericles and Marina, she realizes the gravity of her deeds and expresses regret for her actions. This moment of remorse reveals a more complex side to Dionyza's character, suggesting that she is not entirely devoid of humanity.
Dionyza's character in Pericles, Prince of Tyre serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ambition and jealousy. She represents the darker side of human nature and the potential for cruelty that lies within us all. Shakespeare masterfully crafts Dionyza's character to provoke thought and reflection on the complexities of human behavior.