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.
Adolescence and the Teenage Crush
- Dr. Carl Pickhardt
In his article, “Adolescence and the Teenage Crush,” Dr. Carl Pickhardt delineates between different types of teenage crushes. According to his analysis, having a crush on someone is a normal part of adolescence.Pair “Romeo & Juliet” with “Adolescence and the Teenage Crush” to spark an in-depth discussion about the nature of the love between Romeo and Juliet.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnet 43 is better known by it's popular first line, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Elizabeth Barret Browning's Sonnet 43 is one of the most famous poems in the English language.Pair “Sonnet 43” with “Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet” to further demonstrate the strong effects of love on identity.
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.After reading “Teaching Shakespeare in a Maximum Security Prison,” have students read this final scene from Romeo and Juliet. Ask them to consider what it is about a scene like this that might appeal to a group of men in a maximum security prison who are much older than a character like Romeo? How are the themes in Shakespeare’s stories universal? How are they especially applicable to men in prison?
- Gary Soto
Inspired by a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and told from the perspective of a pining stable boy, this poem offers insight into his love for the farmer’s daughter.Pair “Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet” with “Hamlet 1.3.78” and ask students to discuss the obstacles the lovers face in each piece. How do these obstacles impact their love? How do social differences between lovers affect how a relationship develops?
Apollo and Hyacinthus
- Thomas Bulfinch
In the classic myth “Apollo and Hyacinthus,” Thomas Bulfinch retells the tragic story of the relationship between the god Apollo and a young man, Hyacinthus.Pair excerpts from “Romeo and Juliet” with “Apollo and Hyacinthus” and ask students to discuss how love changes the characters in the two texts. How do the two texts use imagery of flowers? What effect does this have on the theme and tone of the two texts?
“Frailty, Thy Name is Woman!”
- William Shakespeare
In a soliloquy, Hamlet expresses his rage towards his mother due to recent choices she has made.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?
The Lure of Shakespeare
- Robert W. Butler
In the informational text “The Lure of Shakespeare,” Robert W. Butler discusses William Shakespeare’s success as a playwright.Pair "Excerpt from Romeo and Juliet" with "The Lure of Shakespeare" to provide students with an excerpt from one of William Shakespeare's most well-known plays. Ask students to discuss the rhythm of Shakespeare's words in the excerpt and the range of emotion that he explores. How does the excerpt help readers understand Shakespeare's skills as a writer and his lasting fame?