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Safeline presents Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece performed by Elena Pellone and music by Katherine Abbott

11 May 2023

Elena Pellone presents a dramatic performance of Shakespeare’s moving and harrowing narrative poem, The Rape of Lucrece.

The Rape of Lucrece details the story of a virtuous Roman woman, raped at knifepoint by a king’s son. Her consequential suicide leads to the end of the kingdom of Rome and the founding of the Roman Republic.

Safeline in partnership with Elena Pellone and Kevin Taylor, is presenting Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece at Stratford Town Hall. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with Dr Paul Edmondson Head of Research, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Inspired by Livy and Ovid, Shakespeare’s poem tells of Lucrece, the wife of a Roman officer, Collatine, who in boasting of his beautiful wife’s chastity to his fellow officers – including jealous Tarquin, the son of the king – seals her fate. Tarquin creeps into Lucrece’s bedroom and rapes her. Throughout the poem, Lucrece is depicted as a noble and honorable woman who is devoted to her husband and upholds the ideals of chastity and modesty. Her betrayal and violation by Tarquin highlight the vulnerability of women in a society that values male power and sexual conquest. Lucrece’s rape and subsequent suicide reflect the tragic consequences of the abuse of power and the destructive impact of sexual violence on individuals and society.

Safeline has organised this event in partnership with Cllr Kevin Taylor of Stratford-Upon-Avon with the support of Elena Pellone and Katherine Abbott. All monies raised from the evening will support survivors of sexual violence.

Trigger Warning: This performance includes references to sexual abuse and suicide.

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