Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway Summary

The speaker of this poem is its titular character, a woman who lived in England from 1556-1623 and was married to the famous playwright and poet William Shakespeare. She describes her and Shakespeare's relationship through reference to his writing, which allowed the bed they shared, though it was the second best bed in the household, to become extraordinary through its connection to their love. The poem works to reject the mainstream notion that their marriage was without love, an idea backed up only by circumstantial evidence. In doing so the poem reveals our society's bias against women, which clearly exists even in the creation of historical narratives.

The poem is a sonnet—a formal allusion to Shakespeare's sonnets, for which he is famous. However, unlike Shakespeare's (and most) sonnets, this poem—apart from the last couplet—does not follow a rhyme scheme, and the meter is not strictly iambic.