Rape of Lucrece’ is a famous poem by William Shakespeare
English: Title page of William Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece London (1616) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portrait of William Shakespeare done while he was alive Lëtzebuergesch: Uelegporträt vum William Shakespeare am Alter vu 46 Joer, gemoolt 1610 zu Liefzäite vum Dichter, haut am Besëtz vum Konschtrestaurator Alec Cobbe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
William Shakespeare was a great poet, many recognize him as the greatest. His fame rests on plays like Hamlet, Merry wives of Windsor, Othello and much more. But little is known about his poems and ballads. One that has captivated me is the “Rape of Lucrece”. He wrote the poem in 1594.
The poem has some fact behind it and relates the rape of a young wife Lucretia by Sextus Tarquinius who coveted her immensely.The poem with its explicit descriptions of Lucretia’s body is lovely to read. In particular, the description of her breasts which had known no yoke is simply enthralling.The rape itself is described in flowery verse and shows that Shakespeare was a great poet as well. incidentally, in real life, Lucretia committed suicide after the rape. Something that happens even now. Read the poem with your consort in your arms and you will remember it.
excerpt Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue,
A pair of maiden worlds unconquered,
Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew,
And him by oath they truly honoured.
These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred;
Who, like a foul ursurper, went about From this fair throne to heave the owner out.