The Rape of Lucrece is a 1594 narrative poem. In 509 BC Lucretia was raped by the son of Tarquin the King of Rome. Lucretia was the wife of a Roman aristocrat. She committed suicide and her body was paraded around the Roman Forum. A revolt followed and the royal family was banished. Thus began the beginnings of the Roman republic. Shakespeare used this story as the basis for his poem.