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Synopsis

Rape of Lucrece
by William Shakespeare

Lucrece is described as if she were a work of art, objectified in as if she were a material possession. Tarquin's rape of her is described as if she were a fortress under attack -- conquering her various physical attributes. Although Lucrece is raped, the poem offers an apology to absolve her of guilt. Like Shakespeare's other raped women, Lucrece gains symbolic value: through her suicide, her body metamorphoses into a political symbol.

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