The speaker of this poem, Shakespeare's wife, channels her late husband's poetic talent through using the sonnet form, but her sonnet breaks from his mould by abandoning most of a rhyme scheme and a strict meter. She reminisces about her husband's love and likens it to his writing. She interprets the gift of the second-best bed as a symbol of the love they shared on it.
William Shakespeare, who lived from 1564-1616 in England, is the most famous writer in the English language. The playwright and poet, though unnamed, is implicitly present in the poem. He is unique; unlike the guest occupants of their first-best bed, who "dribble in prose," his existence is defined by poetry, romance, and drama. In this poem Shakespeare's wife has only positive feelings toward him; this rejects the popular notion that their marriage was forced, due to their age difference (Shakespeare was 18, while she was 26) or the fact that they had a child less than nine months later.
Anne Hathaway Questions and Answers
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