Shakespearean Sonnet Presentations. Your grade will be based on the quality of your analysis and the clarity of your presentation.

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Shakespearean Sonnet Presentations

In groups, assigned by the teacher, you will work to explicate and analyze Shakespearean sonnets. Groups will have time in class to prepare and will teach the sonnets to the rest of the class.

Your grade will be based on the quality of your analysis and the clarity of your presentation.

Because every group member will receive a separate score, each person must be equally involved in the presentation to the class. You will turn in a typed copy of your answers on the day of your presentation. Answers should be in complete sentences with no unidentified pronouns.

Group 1 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1. 1. Explicate the sonnet

A. Mark the iambic pentameter B. Define the quatrains

C. Define the couplets D. Mark the rhyme scheme E. Mark (and explain) the volta

2. Paraphrase lines 1 and 2. What do you think is meant by “fairest creatures” and “beauty’s rose? 3. Paraphrase lines 3 and 4. Who carries on talent, intellect, and memories when parents die? 4. What does it mean to be “contracted to your own bright eyes?” (line 5)

5. What is “feeding his light’s flame?” (line 6)

Group 2 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1.

1. What does it mean to make “a famine where abundance lies?” (line 7) How might you label this type of imagery? (What sense does it appeal to?)

2. Characterize the speaker of the sonnet. What can you tell about him/her? Support your assertions with clues from the sonnet.

3. How would you describe the person the speaker is addressing? (keeping in mind that the reader’s view comes solely from the speaker of the sonnet)

4. How might you paraphrase “yourself your foe, to your sweet self too cruel?” 5. Paraphrase the third quatrain.

6. Consider the logical structure of Sonnet 1.

A. What is the moral premise stated in the first quatrain?

B. How does the beloved young man violate that moral premise as described in the second quatrain? C. What reason is given in the third quatrain to change his ways and obey the moral premise?

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Group 3 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73. 1. Explicate the sonnet

A. Mark the iambic pentameter B. Define the quatrains

C. Define the couplets D. Mark the rhyme scheme E. Mark (and explain) the volta

2. Many people regret growing old. How do you think the speaker of the sonnet feels about it? Support your answer with details from the sonnet. Does the organization of the sonnet contribute to this idea? 3. How does the thought in the final couplet relate to the rest of the sonnet?

4. Explain in general terms the symbolism and relationship between a human lifetime (birth/youth, prime

of life, middle/old age, approaching death/death) and the following:

a. The seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, winter)

b. The sun’s journey across the sky during one day (sunrise, high noon, sunset, nightfall) c. A fire (from first spark to growing fire, to bonfire, to extinguishing/burning out)

Make connections. Feel free to use a visual.

Group 4 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73.

1. Do you agree with the speaker’s claim that the nearness of death makes “love more strong”? Why or why not. Explain.

2. To what season of the year does the speaker compare himself? Why? 3. To what time of day does the speaker compare himself? Why?

4. What comparison does the speaker make in the third quatrain? Why?

5. In the “bare ruined choirs” of line 4, the word ‘choirs’ refers literally to the loft where church singers perform. What does it mean as Shakespeare uses it here?

6. Explain the meaning of “death’s second self” in line 8.

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Group 5 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. 1. Explicate the sonnet

A. Mark the iambic pentameter B. Define the quatrains

C. Define the couplets D. Mark the rhyme scheme E. Mark (and explain) the volta

2. Ordinarily, the final couplet of a sonnet offers a summary or solution. This final couplet is a bit different. What point does it make about the content of the rest of the sonnet?

3. Paraphrase the following lines: a. “the marriage of true minds” b. “the edge of doom”

4. What is your opinion of the speaker’s concept of true love?

Group 6 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.

1. Besides true love, what other human qualities or ideals might be considered unalterable? Explain. 2. According to the speaker, what are three things that love is not?

3. Paraphrase the following lines and explain a. “alters when it alteration finds”

b. “looks on tempests and is never shaken” 4. To what is love compared in the second quatrain?

5. What are the points of similarity between true love and the North Star? Paraphrase the line “the star to every wandering bark.”

6. The speaker notes that “Love’s not time’s fool.” (a) What does he mean? (b) How does this idea fit with the central theme of the sonnet?

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Group 7 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. 1. Explicate the sonnet

A. Mark the iambic pentameter B. Define the quatrains

C. Define the couplets D. Mark the rhyme scheme E. Mark (and explain) the volta

2. Sonnet 130 is often called an anti-Petrarchan sonnet. What do you think is meant by anti-Petrarchan? 3. There are indications even before the final couplet that the speaker loves his mistress despite her

supposed imperfections. What is one such indication? 4. Identify the transition used in line 13.

Group 8 Assignments: Read and analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. 1. Do you find Sonnet 130 to be humorous? Why or why not?

2. What is less than perfect about the mistress’s (a) lips? (b) cheeks? (c) breath? (d) voice? Explain each in detail.

3. There seem to be indications even before the final couplet that the speaker loves his mistress in spite of her imperfections. What words or phrases indicate this?

4. Choose one simile and one metaphor from the sonnet. Decide why Shakespeare might have used it explain the comparison.

5. What is the significance of the word “any” in line 14? 6. Discuss the term “false compare.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NAME:_____________________________________________________________PERIOD:________________

   

Sonnet  #1  

William  Shakespeare    

From  fairest  creatures  we  desire  increase

1

,  

That  thereby  beauty’s  rose  might  never  die,  

But  as  the  riper

2

 should  by  time  decrease,  

His  tender

3

 heir  might  bear  his  memory.  

But  thou,  contracted  to  thine  own  bright  eyes,  

Feed’st  thy  light’s  flame  with  self-­‐substantial  fuel,  

Making  a  famine  where  abundance  lies,  

Thyself  thy  foe,  to  thy  sweet  self  too  cruel.  

Thou  that  art  now  the  world’s  fresh  ornament  

And  only  herald  to  the  gaudy  spring,  

Within  thine  own  bud  bury’st  thy  content  

And,  tender  churl

4

,  make’st  waste  in  niggarding

5

.  

Pity  the  world,  or  else  this  glutton  be,  

To  eat  the  world’s  due,  by  the  grave  and  thee.  

 

 

                                                                                                               

1  Increase  =  Procreation,  offspring   2  Riper  =  Older,  more  mature   3  Tender  =  young,  delicate,  soft  

4Churl  =  Ill-­‐natured,  miserly  old  man  (think  Scrooge)   5  Niggarding  =  Being  stingy,  miserly,  or  selfish  

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Sonnet  73  

 

That  time  of  year  thou  mayst  in  me  behold  

When  yellow  leaves,  or  none,  or  few,  do  hang  

Upon  those  boughs  which  shake  against  the  cold,  

Bare  ruined  choirs,  where  late  the  sweet  birds  sang.  

In  me  thou  see’st  the  twilight  of  such  day  

As  after  sunset  fadeth  in  the  west;  

Which  by  and  by  black  night  doth  take  away,  

Death’s  second  self,  that  seals  up  all  in  rest.  

In  me  thou  see’st  the  glowing  of  such  fire,  

That  on  the  ashes  of  his  youth  doth  lie,  

As  the  death-­‐bed,  whereon  it  must  expire,  

Consum’d  with  that  which  it  was  nourish’d  by

6

.  

This  thou  perceiv’st,  which  makes  thy  love  more  strong,  

To  love  that  well,  which  thou  must  leave  ere  long.  

                                                                                                               

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Sonnet  116  –      

Let  me  not  to  the  marriage  of  true  minds  

Admit  impediments.    Love  is  not  love  

Which  alters  when  it  alteration  finds,  

Or  bends  with  the  remover  to  remove.  

Oh,  no!  It  is  an  ever-­‐fix*ed  mark

7

,  

That  looks  on  tempests  and  is  never  shaken.  

It  is  the  star  to  every  wandering  bark

8

,  

Whose  worth’s  unknown,  although  his

9

 height  be  taken.  

Love’s  not  Time’s  fool,  though  rosy  lips  and  cheeks  

Within  his  bending  sickle’s  compass  come.  

Love  alters  not  with  his  brief  hours  and  weeks,  

But  bears  it  out  even  to  the  edge  of  doom.  

If  this  be  error  and  upon  me  proved,  

I  never  writ,  nor  no  man  ever  loved.  

                                                                                                               

7  Mark  –  seamark;  landmark   8  Bark  –  sailing  ship  

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Sonnet  130  

My  mistress’  eyes  are  nothing  like  the  sun;  

Coral  is  far  more  red  than  her  lips’  red;  

If  snow  be  white,  why  then  her  breasts  are  dun

10

;  

If  hairs  be  wires

11

,  black  wires  grow  on  her  head.  

I  have  seen  roses  damasked

12

,  red  and  white,  

But  no  such  roses  see  I  in  her  cheeks;  

And  in  some  perfumes  is  there  more  delight  

Than  in  the  breath  that  from  my  mistress  reeks.

13

 

I  love  to  hear  her  speak.    Yet  well  I  know  

That  music  hath  a  far  more  pleasing  sound.  

I  grant  I  never  saw  a  goddess  go;

14

 

My  mistress,  when  she  walks,  treads  on  the  ground.  

And  yet,  by  heaven,  I  think  my  love  as  rare  

As  any  she  belied

15

 with  false  compare

16

.  

 

                                                                                                               

10  Dun  =  A  dull  brownish  gray  

11  Wires  =  wire  was  not  seen  as  an  industrial  object,  but  rather  one  used  in  jewelry  and  lavish  embroidery.    The  shock  here  is   not  the  use  of  wires,  but  rather  they  are  black  rather  than  golden.  

12  Damasked  -­‐  variegated  

13  Reeks  –  emanates;  not  as  harsh  a  term  as  today  [the  sonneteers  beloved  is  usually  compared  to  Venus—skin  like  lilies,  lips   like  rubies,  breath  like  perfume,  eyes  like  the  sun]  

14  Go  -­‐  walk  

15  Belied  –  compared  falsely,  misrepresented  

Figure

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