Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teaching Modules
Teaching Modules Archive

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Shakespeare's Sonnet 138:  Lesson 5 



Teachers' Rating:
  4 ratings


Shakespeare. Shakespeare's sonnets. London, 1899

 
April 2011
 

Louisa Newlin taught high school English for more than 40 years. She wrote "Nice Guys Finish Dead: Teaching Henry IV, Part I in High School" for the Shakespeare Set Free series. She leads workshops on sonnets for teachers. 

 

Gigi Bradford, former director of the NEA Literature Program and Folger Poetry Series, currently teaches the Folger's "Shakspeare's Sisters" seminar.


 


 

Plays/Scenes Covered

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138

 

 


 
What's On for Today and Why

This is a short lesson which can either start off Lesson 6, which usually takes 20-25 minutes, or, time permitting, be appended to Lesson 4.

 

Sonnet 138, accessible and witty, is usually a favorite with students as it is about love, trust, male-female relationships, and (obliquely) sex.


 
What You Need

Copies of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138 (A copy can also be found in Lesson 4). Again, the teacher should have a copy of the New Folger edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets or other annotated edition, even if the students do not.


Documents:
Sonnet 138, Shakespeare
 
 
What To Do

1. Have students read the text aloud in four groups, one for each quatrain and one for the couplet. This emphasizes the structure of the poem, which, unlike Sonnet 130 read in the previous lesson, has a clear volta between octave and sestet.

 

2. Ask students what is going on in the poem. To whom do they imagine the poet is speaking? How would they describe the relationship between the two lovers?

 

3. Check with students to make sure they understand the meaning/sense of “untutored” “vainly,” “simply,” “credit,” “unjust” – all the words that we still use but which have other meanings now. They should have no trouble getting the pun in the couplet.

 

4. Discuss: How does the wit and humor in this sonnet compared to that in Sonnet 130? Are there differences in tone? In what ways can both be said to be “Anti-Petrarchan”?

 

5. Sonnets 127-152 are often referred to as the “Dark Lady” sonnets. Ask students to write responses to the following questions in their journals: Do you think that Sonnets 130 and138 are about the same woman? Why or why not? Share these responses. If students did the suggested homework for this lesson (writing on the importance of the trust in relationships) these could be shared now.


 
How Did It Go?

Were students able to explicate the sonnet without much difficulty?

Are they increasingly comfortable reading Shakespeare?

Did they enjoy reading and discussing the poem?

Do they express interest in reading more sonnets?


 


If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.

Login or register to post comments.

26 CommentsOldest | Newest

You are so right - an excellent article! Hemmerhoids
Dan August 26, 2014 2:06 PM

Are you sure about it? Is it really that simple? healthy as one
Dan August 22, 2014 8:29 AM

Casa
Shakespeare's Sonnet 138 is indeed very interesting and educational!
Jimmy Sandoski August 11, 2014 8:02 AM

Thank you very much for the post festa lembrancinhas
Sheila August 5, 2014 6:12 PM

Therefore today we all know what becomes on ladies. What might trigger these sites.google.com disgrace? I will inform you that isn't the situation if you were to think this short article is proceeding toward.
Jame July 26, 2014 3:56 PM

The things we have written that is nice for other as well, we are try to write more best information. Buy High PageRank BackLinks
mohan July 24, 2014 1:03 PM

well the things we have written that is nice for other as well, we are try to write more best information. Buy High PageRank BackLinks | mohan July 24, 2014 1:01 PM

Thank you for the lesson, it was really nice to read it!
www.minkner.org
van July 22, 2014 6:32 AM

There are so many questions here, for sure I will find an answer soon!
zoli July 22, 2014 3:27 AM

the music is amazing, I really like what you said! http://www.yachtbooker.com
ungar July 21, 2014 4:07 AM


View More
  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
 
 
Additional Information

Note to Mozilla Firefox Users: If the PDF documents are freezing, please try the following fix: Go to Tools. Under Options click the Applications icon. Under Content Type, find Adobe Acrobat Document. Select Use Adobe Reader. If the option already says Use Adobe Reader, try changing the option to Use Adobe Acrobat.



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623