I was under the impression that actress Anne Hathaway, who played an awkward American teen in “The Princess Diaries” and who was Jake Gyllenhaal’s long-suffering wife in “Brokeback Mountain,” was another example of a movie star who had been born with a name that didn’t seem right for film publicity, the way Greta Gustafsson’s last name had to be changed to Garbo.
So I thought that this young woman chose, as a nom de movie, the name of William Shakespeare’s wife: Anne Hathaway.
But none of that is true; actress Anne Hathaway was born Anne Hathaway.
However, this interesting factoid got me to thinking about Will Shakespeare’s marriage. Most people don’t think of our greatest playwright as a family man, but he was, with three kids, by the time he was 21.
In fact, he had been forced to get married. As a lad, he had gotten mixed up with an older woman. (Did they have “cougars” back then?)
Actually, Anne wasn’t all that old, but she was eight years older than teenager Will. One embarrassment was that Anne had to go with her family to get the marriage license; the guy she was marrying was a minor so he couldn’t do it.
Years later Shakespeare wrote these lines:
“Between the acres of the rye
These pretty country folk would lie.”
And that’s evidently pretty much what they did.
From the evidence that exists, it would appear that young Will was not all that eager to get married. However, in his Puritan community once it was determined that Ms Hathaway was definitely preggers there weren’t many other choices. And Anne would certainly have insisted.
James Joyce put it this way: “Shakespeare hath a Will, but Anne Hathaway.”
1 year ago