Why Does Lucretia Commit Suicide?

Lucretia was a noblewoman known for her innocence, beauty, and suicide that she committed after a rape. Her death is a symbol of dishonor in human relationships in Ancient Rome. Livy introduced Lucretia as “occupying herself differently,” which tells about her high honor and the distinction from other women (79). She is proud of keeping purity and following marital values. Because of the “terrifying threat” of death, Lucretia could not resist the man who “repaid hospitality with hostility” and “destroyed” her as “the victor over her resolute chastity” (Livy 80-81). The act of rape influenced the woman, and she did not “exempt” herself “from punishment” (Livy 81). She realized that this night might change the whole country, and the burden of her disgrace should not weaken but motivate her men to revenge and punish the offender. Her suicide was a demonstration of the woman’s attempt to resist unfair man’s power.

Work Cited

Livy. The History of Rome: Books 1-5. Translated by Valerie M. Warrior, Hackett Publishing Company, 2006.

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