Study Guide

Venus and Adonis

  • Introduction

    Pop quiz: think about every super dramatic love story you've ever read or seen.

    Ready? What's on your list? Maybe some of these:

    Now, picture all of these stories pumped up on steroids – that's what "Venus and Adonis" is like. You've got the goddess of beauty, love, and (ahem) procreation, falling desperately in love with a guy who is literally the sexiest man on earth. What could possibly be a more love-y love story? We have no idea. So, if you're into romance, here you go – Shmoop delivers it to you in a heart-shaped box.

    But maybe you aren't into romance. Maybe you'd prefer that Jake wasn't healed by a magic tree and turned into a Na'vi in Avatar. Maybe you wish Edward and Bella broke it off before they had a monster baby. Well, if you like to see love thwarted, this is definitely the story for you.

  • Best of the Web

    Venus and Adonis Resources


    Check out this website to learn about Adonis' Phoenician roots.

    This is a great website for all things mythical. We're linking to Aphrodite's (Venus) page, where you can learn more about the goddess of love and Adonis.

    Historical Documents

    Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis
    Here's a link to the full text of Shakespeare's take on the tale.

    Let us not forget Ovid's famous version, found in Book 10 of The Metamorphoses.


    Kennedy Center
    Check out this history of the Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis.

    John Blow
    Listen to a bit of one of the operatic versions of the myth.