Venus and Adonis

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An Ovidian poem by Shakespeare, published 1593, and written in sestra rima (i.e. a quatrain followed by a couplet). It was dedicated to Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton, who has been connected with the Sonnets. The poem was probably Shakespeare's first publication, and was first printed by Richard Field in 1593.

Venus, in love with the youth Adonis, detains him from the chase and woos him, but cannot win his love. She begs him to meet her the next day, but he is then to hunt the boar. She tries in vain to dissuade him. When the morning comes she hears his hounds at bay; filled with terror she goes to look for him and finds him killed by the boar.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

Reference entries

William Shakespeare (1564—1616) playwright and poet

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