Anne Bradstreet: Poems

Anne Bradstreet: Poems Character List

The poet's husband

Simon Bradstreet, the poet's husband, comes across as loving, patient, and industrious. Simon and his poet wife are deeply in love and form a mutually beneficial partnership.


The biblical character whose Fall led all mankind into sin.


The biblical character whose Fall led all mankind into sin.


The son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel and was exiled.


The son of Adam and Eve who was killed by his brother Cain.

Old England

Anne Bradstreet personifies England as a mother. Old England shares her numerous woes with her daughter. She is sick from the political and religious strife and desperately hopes for a reprieve from her troubles.

New England

Anne Bradstreet personifies New England as Old England's daughter, who comforts her troubled mother with the idea that a Protestant revolution is afoot. She is kind, but also bold and vehement.


Flesh, Spirit's sister, delights in the earthly world and wonders how her sister can subsist on contemplation and meditation alone.


Spirit, the sister of Flesh, criticizes her sister and believes in her own superiority because she does not focus on earthly things. Instead, she patiently waits for the time to come when she can go to Heaven, a place of splendor.

Queen Elizabeth

Bradstreet lionizes Queen Elizabeth I, the ruler of England, in the poem "In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth." She describes Elizabeth as powerful, intelligent, noble, wise, inspiring, and a perfect example of how a woman has the capacity to rule a kingdom. Simultaneously, Bradstreet urges men not to dismiss the fairer sex.

The Four Elements

Fire (bold, brash); Water (cool, calm, childish); Earth (serene, ancient); Air (youthful, life-giving, optimistic). All of these elements can be dangerous but they also create everything and sustain life on the planet.

The Four Humors

Melancholy (wise, old, necessary); Blood (vibrant, energizing); Choler (brash, arrogant); Flegme (cool, peaceful). These four work together in the body and can be helpful but can also cause many pains, afflictions, and diseases.

The Four Ages of Man

Childhood (innocent, sweet, peevish, capricious); Youth (beautiful, outgoing, brash, arrogant); Middle Age (smart, industrious, dignified, envious); Old Age (wise, quiet, deteriorating). All of these stages have their high and lows but every man must go through them - provided he is not stricken with disease or death before his time.

The Four Seasons

Spring (rebirth, refreshing, verdant); Summer (hot; fertile; glorious); Autumn (pensive, fruitful); and Winter (cold, sparkling, short). All four seasons work together in a harmonious cycle.