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.
- Edgar Allan Poe
“The Raven” is one of Poe’s most famous works. In it, he bemoans the loss of his lover and tells the tale of a man who, tortured by love, steadily slips into madness.Pair "The Raven" with "Sonnet 18" to contrast different kinds of love poems and to continue discussing the question, “How are we changed by love?”
Why Do We Hate Love?
- Robert Firestone, Ph.D.
Loving another person and accepting love from another person can sometimes be a very painful experience. In his article, “Why Do We Hate Love,” Robert Firestone, Ph.D. explains the psychology behind this phenomenon.Pair “Sonnet 18” with “Why Do We Hate Love” and ask students to discuss how each article portrays the experience of being in love.
what love isn't
- Yrsa Daley-Ward
In Yrsa Daley-Ward’s poem “what love isn’t,” Ward explores attributes of love not often discussed.Pair “Sonnet 18” with “what love isn’t” and ask students to discuss how the two poets explore love. How does Shakespeare’s poem portray a version of love we more commonly see in media? How is this different from Ward’s portrayal of love?
- Linda Pastan
In this Linda Pastan poem, the speaker describes a snowstorm.Pair “Sonnet 18” with “Blizzard” and ask students to discuss how both poems use a description of nature to develop their themes. Even though the two poems use imagery from different seasons, how do their descriptions of the natural world play similar roles in shaping the theme of each poem?
- Pablo Neruda
In this poem, a speaker uses figurative language to describe the exceptional qualities of their love.Pair “Sonnet 18” with “Sonnet XVII” and ask students to consider how both writers challenge traditional ideas of romantic love. Students should compare the two writers’ use of figurative language and discuss how they communicate themes. Do these writers have similar experiences of love? Is one more successful in describing love?
- William Shakespeare
In William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 5,” a speaker describes the loss of outer beauty.Pair “Sonnet 18” with “Sonnet 5” and ask students to compare the themes of the two sonnets. How do the speakers make a connection between love and beauty in the sonnets? What is the effect of the speaker using seasons to describe abstract concepts? How do the speakers suggest beauty should be preserved in the two poems?