by Robert Browning
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.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
- Robert Browning
"The Pied Piper of Hamelin" is a classic narrative poem about a man who is asked to rid a town of its rats. But when the greedy mayor won't pay, the Pied Piper takes revenge by luring the townpeople's children away.Pair these two texts by the same author and ask students to consider similarities and differences in structure, form, and theme. Robert Browning was particularly well known for constructing dramatic monologues, of which “My Last Duchess” is a prime example. How does “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” deviate from this niche? How does its content reinforce the themes expressed in Browning’s other work?
A Jury of Her Peers
- Susan Glaspell
Susan Glaspell (1876-1948) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, actress, journalist, and pioneering feminist writer. Her short story “A Jury of Her Peers” is an adaptation of her one-act play Trifles: when a local man is mysteriously murdered, the men investigating assume that little can be learned from listening to their wives.Pair “My Last Duchess” with “A Jury of Her Peers” and ask students to consider how the latter work builds upon the perspective on gender roles expressed in Browning’s poem. By what means and to what effect have men historically stifled the women in their lives? Beyond the individual consequences of this repression, what is the societal danger of a patriarchal system that disallows half of the population from voicing their opinions and making their own decisions?
The Lady of Shalott
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
In this popular Lord Tennyson poem, the Lady of Shalott leaves her magic tower to pursue Sir Lancelot, but is followed by a tragic curse.Pair these two popular texts from the Victorian era and compare their imagery, themes, styles, and tones. What features might have characterized poetry in the Victorian era?