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.
- William Shakespeare
"Sonnet 18" is one of Shakespeare’s best-known love sonnets, also known as "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"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?
Nothing Gold Can Stay
- Robert Frost
Robert Frost (1874-1963) was one of the most popular and critically respected American poets in history. His poems frequently employ rural scenes from the New England countryside. “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” published in 1923, uses nature to describe aging and the inevitable course of time.Pair “Nothing Gold Can Stay” with “Sonnet 5” and ask students to discuss how both poems explore aging. What are the speakers’ beliefs about the connection between age and beauty? How do both poets use images of nature to explore themes of beauty and youth?
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 “Teaching Shakespeare in a Maximum Security Prison” with “Sonnet 5” and ask students to discuss how reading William Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays could help prison inmates. What valuable lesson do students think inmates could take away from “Sonnet 5”?