Neither Venus and Adonis nor the Rape of Lucrece is widely read. Both poems were quite popular during Shakespeare’s time, however, and each gives promise of future development of the playwright’s later skills. Still, as the Riverside Shakespeare says, “Venus and Adonis . . . is an Ovidian poem that does not fully succeed” (1798). One might assert this about the Rape of Lucrece also. Still, the Shakespeare scholar can profit from the poetic approach in both.