‘Anne Hathaway,’ is a poem which doesn’t depict men in such a harsh light. Duffy uses a much more romantic tone in ‘Ann Hathaway.’ She also uses devices such as metaphor, ‘…My lovers words, were shooting stars which fell to Earth as kisses.’ Here Duffy is complimentary towards the male in the relationship. This is shown through the metaphor as words being shooting stars, which she felt kissed by. Duffy depicts the couple in bed together as equals,
‘The bed we loved in,’ The use of we, shows, what is in this anthology, a rare quality of positive togetherness and that they have a deep fondness for each other, as well as a real respect for each other, and they love each others differences. ‘Mrs Pilate,’ says her husband had ‘camp hands which clap for Grapes,’ clearly showing he is soft and greedy, and by the tone of the quote, she clearly doesn’t respect this feminine quality in a man.
This is a sharp contrast to how ‘Anne Hathaway,’ depicts Shakespeare. Hathaway clearly respects Shakespeare, she uses the words ‘writers hands,’ as if she is revelling in the fact that her husband is a playwright, and she clearly respects what he does, which is very unlike ‘Pilates Wife.’ Ultimately I feel that a lot of the criticism of the men in this collection is from Duffy’s point of view.
I don’t feel that Duffy respects the men she criticises in the poems. For example Pilate had Jesus killed, and Rip Van Winkle got drunk and slept for twenty years. But Shakespeare was the most famous playwright ever. As Duffy is a writer too, I feel that she respects Shakespeare, and therefore won’t want to criticise him.
The majority of the poems show women being in unhappy relationships with their men. Ultimately I do feel that the ‘Worlds Wife,’ does want a divorce. ‘Mrs Rip Van Winkle,’ would enjoy a divorce to ‘find some hobbies,’ for herself, and ‘Mrs Aesop would just like to get away from her boring husband. Duffy does have some exceptions to this in the anthology. ‘Anne Hathaway,’ seemed very happy with her husband’s company, even in the ‘next best bed,’ but for some women that isn’t good enough. I feel that each poem Duffy writes is influenced by who she is writing about and whether she respects that person. Clearly she didn’t respect Pilate with his ‘camp hands,’ but Shakespeare was another matter. With Duffy’s particular sexual orientation, I also feel that it would be hard for her to be with a man who she would be satisfied with, which I also think reflects why she depicts most of the ‘World’s Wives,’ wanting a divorce.