"With kissing him I should have killed him first": Death in Ovid and Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis

Sarah Carter


This essay will explore the tangled poetic functions of death, both figurative and actual, in Shakespeare’s poem of unrequited love and negotiate the departures from the supporting mythology of Ovid’s text and the mythology from which that text is derived. The poem’s irony, use of antitheses, and utilisation of the received languages and tropes of love are established. I suggest that within these tropes and literary commonplaces, Shakespeare is also playing with and emphasising the potential irony in the language and meaning of death when used as part of the expression of love and desire.


Ovid, Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.