William Shakespeare: The Rape of Lucrece

(3816 words)

Note: This article treats both of Shakespeare's narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece

Shakespeare probably completed much of the work on his two major narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, during periods of theatre closure to prevent further plague outbreaks in 1592-4. This historical circumstance has conspired with their publication history (almost always printed separately from the plays), and twentieth-century literary tastes to leave the poems somewhat in the shade. Though critical interest has increased steeply in the first decade of the twenty-first century, it has had to combat the tendency to see them as the poor relation of the …

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Scott-Baumann, Elizabeth. "The Rape of Lucrece". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 March 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7524, accessed 26 September 2016.]