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Themes

"Anne Hathaway," like many sonnets, is about love and all those nice things that come along with it: sex, passion, and of course poetry. It's a message to the world from Shakespeare's wife that she and her husband were very much in love, despite the way other people might interpret his will. Their love is beautiful, romantic, sexy; sounds like a pretty good relationship to us.

Questions About Love

  1. What is the relationship between love and writing in the poem?
  2. Why does Duffy use so many metaphors to describe Anne and Shakespeare's relationship? What do metaphors have to do with love?
  3. Who has the power in this relationship? Is this a marriage of equals? What is the relationship between love and power?
  4. After reading the poem, have your thoughts about the meaning of Shakespeare's will changed? Do you think that he and Anne were really in love?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"Anne Hathaway" convincingly argues that Anne Hathaway and Shakespeare were really in love.

"Anne Hathaway" shows that Anne really loved Shakespeare, but the only word we have from Shakespeare himself is his will. We can't be sure that he loved Anne the way that she loved him.

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