Mythological Poems Compared

Compares and discusses “Venus and Adonis” by William Shakespeare and “Hero and Leander” by Christopher Marlowe.

The poems “Venus and Adonis”, by William Shakespeare, and “Hero and Leander”, by Christopher Marlowe, are more than erotic poems with an added mythological element. Both poems explore unorthodox attitudes and personalities, as well as put a humorous spin on mythological tales. The paper shows that the poems have different messages about love; however, despite their outcomes, both poems end in tragedy. The paper examines the similarities and differences between the poems.
“Another similarity between the two poems is the amount of lust that each author has intentionally embedded. For instance, Shakespeare has added the scene of the two horses that scamper off into the woods to mate in Venus and Adonis. This scene serves as a mirror in relation to Venus’ pursuing Adonis. While Venus is tempting Adonis is every way she can imagine, Adonis’ stallion “leaps” and “bounds” (Shakespeare 107) for a jennet. Shakespeare even says that the horse excelled a “common one” (293), insinuating that Venus is quite unlike any mortal. The horse is very aggressive in his approach, as is Venus in her pursue of Adonis. However, as the horses romp off into the woods, Venus was “red and hot as coals of glowing fire,/Adonis is “red for shame, but frosty in desire” (35-6).”