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Summary

Venus and Adonis is a rich and rewarding work. This version includes substantial in introductory and concluding commentary from Shakespeare expert Charlie Creed, in addition to the full poem. 

Written in glorious language, the story balances comic invention with a tragic and moving love story. Appearing in quarto form in 1593, Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare’s first published work - for though several of the author’s plays had been performed by this date, none had been printed. 

It is believed that the poem was composed a year earlier when, in 1592, the London theatres were closed to halt the spread of a plague outbreak. Facing a hiatus in his career as an actor and playwright, Shakespeare turned to poetry. 

As in Ovid’s version of the myth, Shakespeare’s poem tells the story of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and her passion for Adonis, a beautiful young man destined to be killed by the tusks of a wild boar. 

There are several noteworthy departures from the source material, however: Shakespeare’s work is far longer and more detailed; in contrast to Ovid’s rather demure goddess, Shakespeare’s Venus is wild, subject to uncontrollable passions; and while Ovid’s Adonis willingly returns the goddesses’ love, in Shakespeare’s poem her feelings are unrequited. 

This version includes the full play with additional introductory and concluding comments from Charlie Creed. Charlie Creed is a writer of fiction and nonfiction for children. After studying English Literature at Cambridge University, he worked variously as a musician, a subeditor, and a sports journalist. Now a full-time writer, he lives in Bristol, England.

©2020 Charlie Creed (P)2020 Historical Audiobooks

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