Shakespeare | The Rape of Lucrece | A Review


Shakespeare | The Rape of Lucrece | A Review

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Shakespeare  The Rape of Lucrece  A Review

Shakespeare’s ‘The Rape of Lucrece’-A Review

“The Rape of Lucrece” is a narrative poem written by William Shakespeare, first published in 1594. The poem tells the story of the Roman noblewoman Lucrece, who is raped by the son of the king, Sextus Tarquinius. The poem is widely regarded as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works, showcasing his mastery of language, storytelling, and character development.

The poem begins with a dedication to the Earl of Southampton, to whom Shakespeare dedicated several of his works. The dedication is followed by an introductory section in which Shakespeare explains the purpose of the poem: to warn against the dangers of lust and the consequences of giving in to one’s desires.

The narrative of the poem follows the story of Lucrece, a virtuous and beautiful woman who is married to Collatine, a Roman nobleman. One day, Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the king, becomes infatuated with Lucrece and, unable to control his desires, rapes her in her own home.

The majority of the poem focuses on Lucrece’s emotional turmoil in the aftermath of the rape. She is overcome with shame and guilt and decides that the only way to cleanse herself of the stain of her violation is to commit suicide. The final section of the poem describes Collatine’s reaction to Lucrece’s death and the anger and sadness that sweep through Rome when news of the rape and suicide become known.

Shakespeare’s use of language in “The Rape of Lucrece” is both powerful and poetic. He employs a range of literary devices, including metaphors, alliteration, and personification, to convey the emotional weight of the story. The poem’s rhythm and rhyme scheme are also notable, with Shakespeare frequently using iambic pentameter and other poetic forms to enhance the narrative’s impact.

One of the poem’s most compelling aspects is its portrayal of Lucrece as a complex and multi-dimensional character. Rather than simply being a victim, she is shown to be a woman of great strength and resilience, grappling with the emotional fallout of a traumatic experience. Similarly, Sextus Tarquinius is not portrayed as a one-dimensional villain, but rather as a flawed human being struggling with his own desires and emotions.

In conclusion, “The Rape of Lucrece” is a masterful work of poetry that explores complex themes of desire, power, and the consequences of one’s actions. Shakespeare’s use of language and character development makes the narrative both engaging and emotionally resonant, and the poem remains a timeless work of literature that speaks to the human experience. 0 0 0.


N. B. This article originally belongs to the book ‘Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)
  16. Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works

Additional Searches:

  1. Reviews of Shakesperare’s Best Plays
  2. Shakespeare’s Works
  3. Introduction to Shakespearean Tragedy
  4. Shakespeare’s Sonnets
  5. Shakespearean Comedy ….

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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