by William Shakespeare
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet
- William Shakespeare
- c. 1593
In these excerpts from Shakespeare's famed drama Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers lament the family names that made them mortal enemies.Pair “Frailty, Thy Name is Woman!” with “Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet” from two of Shakespeare’s tragedies and ask students to compare the tone of each. Ask students to compare the point of view of Hamlet with that of Romeo and Juliet. What feelings are driving each character’s actions or thought processes? Are they similar or different? Why? Ask students to compare Juliet with Queen Gertrude. Is one weak and the other strong? Why or why not?
'To Be Or Not To Be' Soliloquy
- William Shakespeare
- c. 1599
In this famous soliloquy from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet contemplates suicide and poses the most important question one can ask: "To be or not to be?"Pair “‘To Be or Not To Be’ Soliloquy” with “Frailty, Thy Name is Woman” and ask students to analyze Hamlet’s perspective based on both excerpts. How does each text develop Hamlet’s perspective and help students better understand his character? Ask students to consider his tone in each soliloquy, and analyze how the language he uses develops his tone in each speech.
Teaching Shakespeare in a Maximum Security Prison
- Michel Martin
In this National Public Radio interview, Professor Laura Bates discusses her decision to teach Shakespeare in a maximum security prison as a way of educating inmates—and discovering new insights into the Bard’s drama.Pair “Frailty, Thy Name is Woman!” with “Teaching Shakespeare in a Maximum Security Prison” and ask students to explain the value of Shakespeare in today’s society. Ask students to consider the themes present in “Frailty, Thy Name is Woman!” and explain why each is relevant today. Laura Bates finds what some would consider an unlikely audience for Shakespeare in a maximum-security prison. What other unlikely audiences could exist for Shakespeare today? Why? Ask students to cite evidence from each text, their own experience, and other literature, art, or history in their answer.
A Rose for Emily
- William Faulkner
William Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate. This story takes place in Mississippi around the turn of the 20th century. After the death of Miss Emily Grierson, the people of Jefferson, Mississippi uncover a dark history in this classic piece of Southern Gothic.Pair “Frailty, Thy Name is Woman!” with “A Rose for Emily” and ask students how women, specifically widows, are treated in each text. Students should cite evidence from each text to support their response. What are the dangers of holding on to the past? In the context of “A Rose for Emily,” is Queen Gertrude better off for moving on quickly to a new marriage? Why or why not? Ask students to compare Queen Gertrude with Emily. Which woman made the better choice? Why? Students should cite evidence from each text to support their response.