Venus and Adonis by William ShakespeareVenus and Adonis is Shakespeares narrative poem about the love of the goddess Venus for the mortal youth Adonis, dedicated partly to his patron, the Earl of Southampton (thought by some to be the beautiful youth to which many of the Sonnets are addressed). The poem recounts Venus attempts to woo Adonis, their passionate coupling, and Adonis rejection of the goddess, to which she responds with jealousy, with tragic results.
Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis
Epigraph: 'Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi flavus Apollo Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua. Golden Apollo , lead me to the abundant spring of poetic inspiration. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a god-father, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation. Dear sir, I'm not sure if I'll offend you by dedicating my less-than-perfect poetry to you, sir, or if the world will criticize me for choosing someone as powerful as you to validate my pathetic creation. But if you're happy, sir, I'll feel like I've been successful—and I'll promise to use all my free time working until I can write a more serious poem to dedicate to you.
Even as the sun - At the time that the sun. Presumably the time referred to is the early morning. The sun abandons the dewy dawn and climbs into the sky. Rose-cheeked Adonis - With cheeks like roses, ruddy. Adonis is introduced as a handsome youth with rosy cheeks.
Venus and Adonis is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare published in It is probably Shakespeare's first publication. The poem tells the story of Venus , the goddess of Love; of her unrequited love; and of her attempted seduction of Adonis , an extremely handsome young man, who would rather go hunting. The poem is pastoral, and at times erotic, comic, and tragic. It contains discourses on the nature of love, and observations of nature. This form was also used by Edmund Spenser and Thomas Lodge.
With Venus and Adonis , Shakespeare launched his career as a poet. The poem is a minor epic, a genre that many poets in the s chose for their first efforts. Characters in a minor epic usually come from the periphery of myth or legend; its interest is in eroticism, sophistication, and wit. Within this genre, Venus and Adonis was so successful that it was Shakespeare's most popular published work throughout his lifetime. Shakespeare has Adonis reject Venus—an ironic and comic development for early readers. Venus endlessly argues for making love, with Adonis uttering petulant protests.