The women in the two poems both enjoy sex, Anne Hathaway comments on how she and her husband shared their love with their actions and words. In ‘Frau Freud’ she also says that she enjoys sex “I’m as au fait with hunt-the-salami/as Ms M. Lewinsky"
Another similarity between the two poems is that they are both written in sonnet form. They both contain fourteen lines and are written as a sonnet for two specific reasons. ‘Anne Hathaway’ is written in sonnet form because it was Shakespeare’s most famous and memorable form of expression. Duffy also used as a way of keeping Anne Hathaway’s love for her husband alive in her poem , just as Shakespeare did in his sonnet ‘Shall I compare the to a summers day?’ in this poems Shakespeare uses the premise that although humans die his love will be immortalised within his words which Anne Hathaway has used in this poem. Another reason why ‘Anne Hathaway’ is written in sonnet form is that sonnets are often love poems which it obviously is.
‘Frau Freud’ is not a love poem so there must be a different reason why it is written in sonnet form, it could have been used ironically, it does not contain romance and feeling so could be seen as ironic using a form to express these two outlets of human emotion in a bitter, contemptuous poem. A second argument for the strange use of sonnet form could be that a sonnet is an extremely structured and disciplined type of poetry, this lends ‘Frau Freud’ academic discipline and a public forum feel which stops it from being seen as a female rant of indignity, which would undermine Duffy’s theories which completely debunks Freud’s methods and work.
Both poems contains metaphors for sex. In ‘Anne Hathaway’ “my body now a softer rhyme/to his” I think this is a metaphor for her and her husband sharing sexual intimacy together not only being a physical pleasure but also a mutual emotional connection. This is maybe where you can start to see the differences between the two poems because although ‘Frau Freud’ has sexual metaphors quoted previously in essay, for Freud’s wife it is not one of love as she compares herself to Monica Lewinsky who was not in love when she shared sexual relations with president Clinton.
From the previous paragraph, there already differences that have been highlighted, the main differences between the two poems are the completely contrasting in the women’s feelings towards their husbands. Anne Hathaway loves her husband and the poem is a declaration of their love and an explanation to why he left her is second best bed. In ‘Frau Freud’ she does not seem to like her husband let alone loves him which of course is the opposite of ‘Anne Hathaway’. The feelings and themes which are shown in ‘Frau Freud’ are that of contempt, bitterness, and discontent. The list of synonyms for the penis shows that she is tired of being tied to discourses of a phallocentric society in which responsibility sexual intimacy lies with a male. This shows that Freud had a male view in which women do not have a right to sexual pleasure, which mean have an egocentricity obsession with sex and their manly hood represented by the penis.
In contrast to this the feelings and themes present In ‘Anne hatchway’ are that of remembrance as Anne hatchway remembers the feelings she and husband shared when he was alive, justification of Shakespeare’s will. There is a reflective theme in the poem and homage to Shakespeare as it is written in sonnet form, Shakespeare wrote one hundred and fifty four sonnets so acts a vice in which Anne Hathaway can keep her love for Shakespeare alive in the immortal art of poetry. Also throughout the poem there references to Shakespeare’s plays, when Duffy describes their bed as the centre of their fantasy world shared between the two them.
The justification is the basis of the whole poem, the epigraph to the poem is an extract from Shakespeare’s will which supposedly insults Anne Hathaway, but Anne explains in her sonnet to the people outside of their marriage that she would not want their best bed because this was not the bed they loved each others in. “as he held me upon that next best bed”
Overall the similarities that can be seen between the two poems are mostly superficial comparisons and are not really relevant to the main themes of the poems. Even the similarities have contrasts within them, for example they are both about relations with their husbands and their sexual relationships. But Anne Hathaway looks upon Shakespeare with love and compassion, Frau Freud sees Freud as obsessive and has no emotions towards him and sees sex as a merely physical activity. So I must conclude that the poems contrast more than they are able to compare.