The Rape of Lucrece

William Shakespeare

200px|alt=Tarquin attacking nude Lucretia with a dagger|Tarquin and Lucretia by Titian The Rape of Lucrece (1594) is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Roman noblewoman Lucretia. In his previous narrative poem, Venus and Adonis (1593), Shakespeare had included a dedicatory letter to his patron, the Earl of Southampton, in which he promised to compose a "graver labour". Accordingly, The Rape of Lucrece has a serious tone throughout.