Category Archives: Venus and Adonis

Venus and Adonis: stanzas 102-37, or “not-quite-lovers argue”

When last we left our titular not-quite-lovers, in stanza 101 of Venus and Adonis, she had–upon learning that he was leaving her to hunt the boar in the morning–fallen to the ground, pulling him down onto her, and kissed him some more in hopes of changing his mind.

But even the poem’s narrator knows this is…

Continue reading Venus and Adonis: stanzas 102-37, or “not-quite-lovers argue”

Venus and Adonis: stanzas 69-101 (part 2), or “you must remember this…”

OK, so yesterday, I left you hanging, mid- (actually late-)section of Venus and Adonis. Adonis has just told Venus that if she’ll let him go, he’ll give her a kiss. She accepts, throws her arms around his neck in an embrace, and they kiss.

And what a kiss this is…

Continue reading Venus and Adonis: stanzas 69-101 (part 2), or “you must remember this…”

Venus and Adonis: stanzas 69-101, or “senses and a feigning faint”

OK, so it’s been a while… and I can’t vouch for the quality of today’s discussion, but we’ve got to get back to the matters at hand, the matter being Adonis and the hands being those of Venus, in the poem Venus and Adonis.

When we last left our not-yet-(ever)-lovers, after Adonis has broken free from Venus, his horse breaks away from his reins and runs off to dally with a female horse; Venus corners Adonis again, and tells him that he should make like the horses do, and learn to love.

Continue reading Venus and Adonis: stanzas 69-101, or “senses and a feigning faint”

Venus and Adonis: stanzas 41-68, or “Whoa”

OK, after Friday’s bawd-fest, let’s slow things down a little with the next 28 stanzas of Venus and Adonis, ones that give us some bizarre description, a depiction of nature that is obviously a metaphor for how our titular characters should be (?) behaving, and more Adonis with “no no” on his lips and Venus with “yes yes” in her eyes.

Continue reading Venus and Adonis: stanzas 41-68, or “Whoa”

Media Thursday Redux: Venus and Adonis

As part of our new plan, Thursdays are our “media” day, on which I’ll focus on a non-text version of Shakespeare (or some other Shakespeare-related work). But today, even though it’s Saturday, as we are in the beginnings of our Venus and Adonis, I’ve updated the Bill / Shakespeare Project YouTube channel to include a playlist for Venus and Adonis

Continue reading Media Thursday Redux: Venus and Adonis

BAWDY Venus and Adonis: stanzas 32-40, or “bottoms and hillocks and mountains, oh my!” [EXPLICIT]

[EXPLICIT CONTENT, ADULT LANGUAGE AND SOPHOMORIC SEX HUMOR AHEAD… SKIP IF EASILY OFFENDED.]

You’ve been warned: Get out now while you can.

Germaine Greer, lecturer and author of Shakespeare’s Wife, has claimed that due to its perversity, burlesque, and eroticism, Venus and Adonis was the Fifty Shades of Gray of its day. It certainly was popular–as seen in the number of editions published (16 before 1647). And Eric Partridge, he of the great dictionary Shakespeare’s Bawdy, refers to the poem as a “cornucopia of amorous phraseology” (Shakespeare’s Bawdy, Partridge, Eric. New York: Routledge Classics, 2001; page 48).

So, while the whole poem has sexual imagery (remember the few hints I mentioned on Wednesday), I’m going to focus today on stanzas 32-40, where we gets some pretty damned fine double entendre… Continue reading BAWDY Venus and Adonis: stanzas 32-40, or “bottoms and hillocks and mountains, oh my!” [EXPLICIT]

Venus and Adonis: stanzas 1-31, or “Was Venus the Harrriet Weinstein of her ‘day’?”

So the narrative poem Venus and Adonis starts straightforwardly enough: the first six-line stanza of rhymed iambic pentameter (ababcc) sets the table in terms of characters, conflicts, and themes:

Even as the sun with purple-colored face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase.
Hunting he loved, but love he laughed to scorn.
 Sick-thoughtèd Venus makes amain unto him
 And, like a bold-faced suitor, ‘gins to woo him.
  • Lines 1-6

Continue reading Venus and Adonis: stanzas 1-31, or “Was Venus the Harrriet Weinstein of her ‘day’?”