Anne Hathaway

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“Anne Hathaway” by Carol Ann Duffy, the current poet laureate, is a strikingly poignant poem. It is in the persona of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife, and is perceived to be the opinion of what she thinks about when she is left the second best bed in his will. The sonnet explores the loss felt by Hathaway as she grieves for her husband. Throughout the poem Duffy effectively uses poetic techniques to explore the feeling of loss felt by Hathaway as she is now a widow. The sonnet form allows Duffy the opportunity to discuss the emotion of loss as it highlights the grief felt by Hathaway perfectly. The title of the poem is interesting as it directly quotes from Shakespeare’s will “Item I gyve unto my wife”. Using the sonnet form effectively allows the feeling of loss to flow through the poem. Duffy emphasises the words “living laughing love” by putting stresses on them. This highlights the feeling of loss that she has for her dead husband. Duffy wrote the poem in the persona of Anne Hathaway but did not follow the rules of the sonnet form. If Duffy followed the rules of the sonnet form then the work “rhyme” would fall on a stress but it doesn’t and this illustrates the flow of the emotion of loss. Duffy describes the bed that Hathaway and Shakespeare made love in as a “Spinning world”. This gives the idea of it being magical and exciting. Duffy uses metaphors such as “forests…” to indicate the romance that they shared as it is no longer there and now there is only the feeling of loss. Duffy uses the words “my lover’s words” and this instantly illustrates the feeling of loss because Hathaway would never be able to hear him speak to her again during romance. Enjambment is effectively used to convey the spilling over of emotions of loss felt by Hathaway as she remembers the romance and the kisses they shared. Duffy creates the idea that there relationship was bright, exciting and out of this world by using the words “shooting stars”. Duffy reinforces...
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