Tuesday, August 25, 2015

William Shakespeare Sonnet 1 English Literature lesson

While Shakespeare's plays are very popular,  sometimes it is better to begin studying with the sonnets. They are short, only 14 lines, they rhyme and have only a few ideas.  
We are starting with Sonnet number 1. 

Key Terms

beauty's rose - symbol of youth's perfection
contracted to thine own bright eyes - vain person wants to see only their own reflection
self -substantial - consuming itself
buriest thy content - killing your offspring
churl - miser 
niggarding - not giving charity
To eat the world's due, by the grave and by thee - to you and the grave will be the end 

What are the themes in this sonnet?
What does the rose symbolize?  In modern times?  In Elizabethan times? 
Who is Shakespeare writing this sonnet to?  Is this person happy to get this sonnet? 
What is the feeling of this poem? 
What is Shakespeare's criticism?  
Is the person beautiful? 
What trait does he criticize? 
How old do you think the person is? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher 

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