I can't find the right title for this blog post. Why is that? Is it because I've waited to long before actually pen this down? The thing is, it's not easy to review this particular narrative poem. It's simple, and yet, it's a lot of things.
Longer than his other work, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece tells the darker shade of love - lust. It talks about a man's reaction to a sudden and strong desire and the aftermath of his decision.
The argument of the poem actually spoils everything out. Sextus Tarquinius (Tarquin) wanted to prove for himself the virtue of Collatine's wife, Lucrece, of whom her husband had boasted a lot. He went to Collatine's house just to find Collatine's praise of Lucrece "hath done her beauty wrong, Which far exceeds his barren skill to show." Tarquin, unable to resist the temptation, raped Lucrece. He left her devastated in the morning, ashamed of what he had done, but too proud to actually admit it. Lucrece sent word to her husband, requested his immediate return, and, in front of everyone, killed herself - but not before relating all Tarquin had done.
Nothing so interesting in the plot. Shakespeare's beauty, after all, is rarely in the cheesy plot. His strength is in the characters, the human beings. Now the two main characters here have an interesting trait of humanity - conscience. But these two work it out differently.