Compare and contrast Anne Hathaway and Frau Freud in Duffy’s
collection The World’s Wife
There are both similarities and contrasts between ‘Anne Hathaway’ and
‘Frau Freud ‘One of the mail similarities between the two poems are
the sexual references in both poems , the structure of the poems and
that they are both written in a women’s voice.
One of the main similarities between the poems is that they are both
written by wives of two very famous men, William Shakespeare and
There are also similarities in the fact that there are sexual
references in both of the poems. In ‘Anne Hathaway’ she uses these
sexual connotations as a way of explaining why Shakespeare did leave
her the second best bed.
“The bed we loved in was a spinning world/of forests, castles,
torchlight, clifftops, seas/where he would dive for peals.”
In ‘Frau Freud’ the poem contains a list of euphemism for penises that
men use. Duffy or Frau Freud uses these synonyms to completely debunk
Freud theories with this list that brings the readers attention to
Freud’s theories of the male obsession with the penis.
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