by Sir Francis Bacon
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.
Joseph's Dreams from Genesis 37
Genesis 37 is an Old-Testament passage that contains the story of Joseph and his dreams. Joseph is an important figure in the Hebrew tradition. In this passage he is the favorite of his father Jacob, and dreams that he was chosen by God to rule over many people, including his brothers. His brothers sell him into slavery and he ends up in Egypt.Pair “Joseph’s Dreams from Genesis 37” with “Of Revenge” and ask students to discuss the former in context of the latter. What type of revenge would the brothers’ betrayal fall under, according to Sir Francis Bacon? Would Bacon find the revenge to be justified? Why or why not?
A Poison Tree
- William Blake
In "A Poison Tree," a speaker allows their hatred and anger to grow, like a poisonous tree.Pair “Of Revenge” with “A Poison Tree” and ask students to consider Sir Bacon’s position on revenge in the context of the poem. Would Sir Bacon approve of the speaker’s motivations for revenge? Under what circumstances would the speaker’s action be considered more understandable?
- H.G. Wells
In "The Cone," an ironworks manager leads his friend on an eerie tour of his company shortly after discovering a secret.Pair “Of Revenge” with “The Cone” and ask students to discuss the nature of betrayal and revenge. Would Bacon have found Horrock’s actions to be justified? Why or why not?
- Howard Pyle
In this humorous old folktale, a man must deal with the desires of three tricky rogues. However, he overcomes their tricks with a plan of his own.Pair “Master Jacob” with the higher-level “Of Revenge.” Challenge students to evaluate if Bacon’s reasoning lines up with Master Jacob’s actions.
Excerpt from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act III, Scenes I & II
- William Shakespeare
In this excerpt from Shakespeare's historical play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the titular Roman dictator faces death and betrayal on the Ides of March.Pair “Of Revenge” with “Excerpts from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act III, Scenes I & II” and ask students to discuss “public revenge” which Sir Bacon distinguishes from “private revenge.” According to the excerpts from the play, was his assassination driven more by public or personal revenge? Consider how Shakespeare may have framed or exaggerated characters’ motivations.
Nazi Summer Camp
- Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, from RadioLab
In this transcription of the podcast, "Nazi Summer Camp", Reporter Karen Duffin discusses the lesser known Aliceville POW camp in Alabama, and the treatment of POWs in the United States at that time.Pair “Of Revenge” with “Nazi Summer Camp” and ask students to compare the two texts’ similar messages on revenge. Why is it important to not let revenge guide your decisions? How did the United States benefit from adhering to the Geneva Convention, rather than seeking revenge against their enemies?
Assassination of the President
- Evening Star
On April 14, 1965, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theatre. Lincoln would die the following day.Pair “Of Revenge” with “Assassination of the President” to prompt a discussion about what motivates people to do bad things. Was John Wilkes Booth taking a stand for what he believed in? Does that make his actions right? When is it acceptable for someone to do something wrong for the right reasons?
Lamb to the Slaughter
- Roald Dahl
In "Lamb to the Slaughter," Roald Dahl tells the story of a woman betrayed by her husband and her violent retaliation.Pair “Of Revenge” with “Lamb to the Slaughter” and ask students to compare the opinions of the two texts on revenge. Is there ever a situation in which revenge is the correct response to a betrayal? According to “Of Revenge” how will Mary be effected by the revenge she enacted on her husband? Will she find peace?