Thursday, January 6, 2011

Venus and Adonis background and first 126 lines


fun fact. this and The Rape of Lucrece were the first of Shakespeare's works to be published.

another fun fact. writing for the theatre brought money, but writing poetry brought legitimacy. all signs point to the fact that Shakepseare was more serious about getting his poetry published than getting his plays published. i think it's hilarious that he thought his poetry would be what made him immortal. yes we know his sonnets, but i would venture to say that his plays are more commonly known. agree or no?

these poems were written more exclusively for an upper class segment of the population than his plays were, so i am interested to see how they read in comparison. of course drama and poetry are totally different and i don't really believe in cross-genre comparisons, but i want to look at tone and sophistication across the board.

the description describes the poem as being 'uneventful' and full of imagery. oh boy. it is, however, also described as being a poem about love that is sexual, spiritual, and funny. i can deal with that. let's see what we find.


okay, i've read the first 127 lines now and i have to say that it's a pretty enjoyable read. i feel like it's easier to follow than i expected. good news.

basically, venus is kind of obsessively in 'love' with adonis. her love seems to be based mostly on his good looks. he is a tease and she is a little pathetic. she wants him so bad, but he won't give it up to her. at one point, he plays like he's going to go for it but then turns away. he's a player, girl! don't fall for it!

what will happen to these two fools? i don't know what i would predict. what do you think?

quote of the day:
'and yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
but rather famish them amid their plenty,
making them red and pale with fresh variety-
ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty.
     a summer's day will seem an hour but short,
     being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.'
       -lines 19-24

for tomorrow: lines 126-570

-rebecca may


  1. Aaargh. Added my comment to the wrong post.

  2. Liking the passage you quoted - insatiable smoochies.