Shakespeare’s Sonnet 152
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” The famous opening line of Shakespeare’s eighteenth sonnet still resounds in today’s educational setting. Little do many students know that William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets; all of them in the same format. Going through many of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a recurring theme of forbidden and secret love appeared. In his Sonnet 152, Shakespeare desperately pleads with an unknown love about their hidden love and how it affects their surroundings. Often Shakespeare was accused of making fun of other poets and authors of his time period, however this sonnet may have had a correlation with his complicated love life at the time.
There is little known about Shakespeare’s love life, but the little known is quite scandalous. When Shakespeare was about seventeen or eighteen he courted and impregnated a woman named Anne Hathaway; she was eight years older than him and at the time they were not married. The age of consent to be married at that time was twenty-one and everyone was married through the Church since there weren’t any Registry Office marriages at the time. This required Shakespeare to receive permission from his father (as he was under the age of consent), Anne’s family, and the Bishop to marry a pregnant woman. As if that wasn’t scandalous enough, there were two documents concerning the marriage. According to http://www.william-shakespeare.org.uk/, there are two different entries mentioned in the Episcopal Register at Worcester, one on November 27, 1582 and November 28, 1582. The entry on November 27th refers to the marriage of "Wm Shaxpere et Annam Whateley de Temple Grafton" while the entry on November 28th refers to the marriage of "William Shagspeare and Anne Hathwey." Many historians and analysts question whether or not this was a misprint or if Shakespeare really was involved with two different women. Various spellings were also used at the time; there were at least sixteen different...
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