The Character Lucrece in Virgil and Shakespeare Poem Review by Jay Writtings LLC

This paper takes a look at the character Lucrece as she is represented in Virgil's "Aeneid" and Shakespeare's Sonnet "Lucrece."
# 119808 | 1,281 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on May 25, 2010 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Literature (English) , Shakespeare (Sonnets)

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This paper gives an interesting and in-depth character analysis of Lucrece as she is seen in Virgil's "Aeneid" and Shakespeare's sonnet "Lucrece." Both works are analyzed, showing Lucrece's reaction to her lack of control over her life. The reviewer compares and contrasts the different epochs and and literary style that describe this woman's trials and tribulations. The reviewer also compares Lucrece's responses to grief reactions, including guilt, shame and blame while she tried to secure her own destiny.

From the Paper:

"From the moment that the rape occurs, Lucrece places all the blame on herself, "upon my cheeks what helpless shame I feel" (Shakespeare 756). She is plagued by the "non-choice" that Tarquin gave her, but she is also haunted by laws of the time. Tarquin told Lucrece that she could either resist him and he would kill her and a slave, and place them in bed together to bring shame to Collatine; or she could submit to his advances and save her husband's reputation. To Tarquin, this seemed like a reasonable choice, as his "rage of lust" (424) could not be controlled any longer. But for Lucrece, this was no choice. Either way she was to be sexually violated against her wishes, but one of these "non-choices" could be construed as consent. Lucrece chose this option. She wanted to save Collatine's name, and even though she understood this might be seen by others as an adulterous crime, she knew time would be to her advantage if she did not resist - she would have the opportunity to formulate a plan after the rape was over."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Saunders, Corinne. Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2001.
  • Shakespeare, William. The Oxford Shakespeare Complete Sonnets and Poems. "Lucrece." New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Virgil. Aeneid: The 4th "messianic" eclogue. trans. Dryden. ed. Howard Clarke. University Park: Pennsylvania State Press, 1989.

Cite this Poem Review:

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The Character Lucrece in Virgil and Shakespeare (2010, May 25) Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

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"The Character Lucrece in Virgil and Shakespeare" 25 May 2010. Web. 18 April. 2021. <>