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To What Extent is Anne Hathaway Typical of the Collection The World's Wife?

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Introduction

'Anne Hathaway' is written in a very similar style to all the other poems in The World's Wife. "My lover's words were shooting starts that fell to earth as kisses" is a metaphor emphasising the brilliance of his words and implying that they originated in heaven, thus making them perfect. Duffy frequently uses imagery thus. "The bed a page beneath his writer's hands" is an example of figurative language in the semantic field of writing, which is associated with Shakespeare. Similarly, 'Mrs Aesop' is filled with morals such as "the pot that called the kettle [black]", as fables are what Aesop is remembered for, and 'Frau Freud' is centred around euphemisms for penis, as penis envy was Freud's legacy. This use of subject-specific lexemes is frequently used by Duffy to invoke thoughts of the famous figures concerned. Just as "I had wept for a night and a day / over my loss" in 'Mrs Lazarus' contains enjambement, very few lines in 'Anne Hathaway' are endstopped, resulting in a flowing syntax emphasising the fluidity of their love. Duffy does, however, use caesura on the line "...a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance and drama...", dividing the ensuing "romance and drama" from Anne dreaming, perhaps implying that she would still have experienced romance and drama without dreaming. ...read more.

Middle

The two lexical chains do touch in places, for instance "the bed a page beneath his writer's hands". Each time the two themes combine it is to describe more vividly a sensual action, such as the innuendo "a verb dancing in the centre of a noun". This is to emphasise how Shakespeare put his whole being and essence into loving Anne Hathaway. There is only one other true love poem in The World's Wife: 'Delilah'. The love Delilah feels for Samson is emphasised by the use of polysyndeton, sibilance and alliterative fricatives in "slip and slide and sprawl, handsome and huge". Samson's physical strength is represented semantically by the nouns "tiger", "fire" and "Minotaur" which carry connotations of power and fear. The simple rhyming couplets "bear/dare", "fear/here" bring a feeling of truth and simplicity to Samson's claims. This strength contrasts with the emotional weakness he then demonstrates, justifying Delilah's desire to help him. She is portrayed as very possessive of Samson, "my warrior" and "his head on my lap" suggesting that she felt empowered and within her right to act. The simple, isolated sentence "I was there" implies that she loves the power, as do the adjectives "deliberate, passionate". Although in this poem Duffy doesn't represent the woman as being in the right, Duffy at least makes both characters seem more human, lowering Samson from his position of strength and raising Delilah from her baseness. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lewinsky" equally adds a sense of timelessness to the poem, suggesting that his phallic theories are old and the ensuing female frustration everlasting. This is further enhanced by internal rhyme, for instance "winky/Lewinsky", a feature also used in 'Anne Hathaway'. While 'Anne Hathaway' shares many of the literary techniques prevalent throughout The World's Wife, there are some typical Duffy features missing from 'Anne Hathaway'. Most of her poems feature bathos, particularly the euphemisms in 'Frau Freud' and the swearing in 'Delilah'. 'Anne Hathaway' maintains a high register throughout, accentuating the continuity of their love and it's continued existence after Shakespeare's death. 'Anne Hathaway' doesn't contain any similes either, the metaphors imbuing it with a more personal feel than any other in the collection. On a shallow level, 'Anne Hathaway' is very typical of the collection The World's Wife. It is written in the same style as the other poems and is based upon a woman describing a famous figure from history. It also adds a new dimension to a man hitherto not realised in quite such a manner. But on a deeper level it is very different. Duffy doesn't demean Shakespeare. She doesn't empower Anne. This isn't a feminist poem, unlike the rest. It is a love poem, pure and simple, and in that respect it is very, very different. To What Extent Is Anne Hathaway Typical Of The Collection The World's Wife? To What Extent Is Anne Hathaway Typical Of The Collection The World's Wife? ROBERT EYERS ROBERT EYERS ...read more.

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