Anne Hathaway Essay

442 Words2 Pages
Anne Hathaway by Carol Anne Duffy is a poem which centres on the subject of love. In this poem Duffy adopts the persona of Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare. Historically, Hathaway’s relationship with Shakespeare was portrayed in a negative light. Little is actually known about Hathaway herself, but its commonly believed that Shakespeare cared little for her and that their marriage was one of convenience. In fact from the epigraph at the beginning of this poem from Shakespeare’s will in which he bequeaths “unto my wife my second best bed” the reader might be inclined to believe the same. However, Duffy has chosen to subvert this unfortunate perception, and instead, through Hathaway’s monologue, attempts to convince us of the great love that existed between them. At the beginning of the poem Hathaway invites us to visualise the romantic and imaginative nature of her relationship she has with Shakespeare and centres is around the key symbol of “the second best bed”. The idea of the second best bed continues throughout the poem and symbolises where Hathaway and Shakespeare spent most of their time and where they made love. The poem makes gives the impression Hathaway and Shakespeare had a good sex life. In the opening two lines, Duffy uses a metaphor to express the magic of the bed in which Shakespeare made love to Anne. ‘a spinning world of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas’ It shows how she found their sex life magical in a way and how she was deeply in love. More metaphors follow in lines three and four as Anne Hathaway recalls their lovemaking; she expresses the notion that Shakespeare would ‘dive for pearls’, and she describes the sweet words he said to her as ‘shooting stars’ that landed on her lips when he kissed her. In line five to line ten Duffy uses imagery and it relates directly to the fact that Shakespeare was a writer.
Open Document