Venus & Adonis Synopsis
Cupid addresses assorted shepherds and shepherdesses (who are actually Venus's courtiers), at first deploring their general faithlessness, but then inviting them to seek the true pastoral pleasures of the grove.
Venus and Adonis are resting on a couch, and Venus flirts with Adonis. As their flirting intensifies, hunting music is heard, and she encourages him to leave her and join the chase. Although Adonis objects that he wishes to stay with his love, the huntsmen intrude and sing of an enormous boar that is causing severe problems. Convinced, Adonis leaves.
Cupid is taking instruction in the art of love from Venus, and he, in turn, instructs the young cupids-in-training. Cupid then humorously advises his mother to treat Adonis badly to assure his constancy, and Venus laughs. The Act ends as the assembly is entertained with song and dance.
Venus and Cupid are shown struck by grief. Adonis is brought in, dying from the wound inflicted by the boar. He duets with Venus, and dies in her arms. As a lament, she sings a funeral march with her courtiers.