Romeo and Juliet, true love?
Are Romeo and Juliet really the most romantic of all lovers? Or is their love more folly, infatuation and teenage angst?
Why did Shakespeare leave his wife his "second best bed"?
One has to wonder, though...Shakespeare himself didn't write his will. It is conjectured that he had an attorney who wrote it up with him. The part about the second-best bed, however, is an interlinear addition to the will, scrawled in near the end of the will. Perhaps it was an after-thought. One has to wonder, though, just how many wills during this period referred to a "second-best bed." His eldest daughter, Susanna, got the bulk of special items, but the second-best bed is given specifically to his wife. Even if it was meant to be an act of love or gratitude to his wife, when you look at the original will and see it written between the lines, one has to wonder if there is more actually "between the lines." Great question!
Posted by Rich Roach 01 Apr 12 08:52 pm
The second best bed...?No one knows really why Shakespeare left his wife his second best bed (he didn't leave a diary to tell us) however there are some historical facts which might help us to guess why...
1. As his wife she was already entitled to his property etc indeed everything he did not specifically will to someone else. So he didn't need to specify anything in his will for her to get her due. That means that the request for her to have the second best bed was a specific request that she and only she had that item.
2. In Shakespeare's time the 'best bed' was reserved for guests and kept in the Parlour (a form of showing off your wealth and smartness) so the husband and wife generally slept in the 'second best bed'. It is therefore lightly that the 'second best bed' was William and Anne's bed.
3. As shakespeare did not leave his 'best bed' to anyone else - Anne would have got that too.
And that is all we know...
Posted by Elizabeth Woledge 24 Jan 12 09:09 am