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Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

by Carol Ann Duffy

Truth Theme

In "Anne Hathaway," Carol Ann Duffy wants to set the record straight about Anne Hathaway and Shakespeare's relationship. People tend to interpret Shakespeare's will to mean that he didn't love his wife. This seems to frustrate Duffy, so she writes a poem that imagines a totally different point of view. In doing so, she questions the assumptions that we all make about other people's lives. Is it really possible to know the truth of someone else's relationship?

Questions About Truth

  1. Why does Duffy include part of Shakespeare's will as the epigraph to the poem?
  2. Is Duffy's poem any more true than other interpretations of Shakespeare's will by other scholars? In her poem, does Duffy say "this is how there relationship was"? Or does she say, "this is how their relationship might have been"? What's the difference?
  3. What other perspectives on Anne and Shakespeare's relationship would you like to have?

Chew on This

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

In her poem, Duffy argues that Shakespeare really did love his wife. The poem intends to be the final word on the subject.

In her poem, Duffy suggests that Shakespeare might have really loved his wife. She provides just one alternative point of view to the standard theory.

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