Sonnet 18 - Lesson Assignment on Shakespeare\u2019s Sonnet 18 \u201cShall I compare thee to a summer\u2019s day?\u201d[What follows is a sort of \u201clesson

Sonnet 18 - Lesson Assignment on Shakespeareu2019s...

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Lesson - Assignment on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” [ What follows is a sort of “lesson / assignment,” You will, in effect, be teaching yourselves these poems by following the steps I’ve laid out for you. The more conscientiously you follow the steps, the more you will learn. The parts that constitute the “assignment”—that is, what you need to write and hand in—are in boldface type. It’s all one continuous learning process, but part of the learning will be the result of what you write. Do try not to think of the writing as an assignment—especially not as an assignment you’ll lose points on if you come up with “wrong” answers. Think of the writing as a way of putting down on paper what you’re thinking. You will start out vague, with more questions than answers, and the answers will be half-hearted and tentative. Give the process the time it requires, and see what happens. I’ll be giving you a total of three of these lesson-assignments—this one now and the other two tomorrow. Let’s say that I’ll expect at least the first one back by next Monday, April 27] Preparation and Reading Background: Anticipate the Poem. What do you know about Shakespeare? Probably you know that he’s the most famous English author, but do you know why, or what he’s famous for? Write down any impressions or ideas you already have about Shakespeare. Reading: You may have heard the first line of this poem—it’s pretty famous—but not be familiar with the rest of it. Read Sonnet 18 silently, twice. Don’t try to “do” anything with these readings, just concentrate on finding out what the poem is like. Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date; Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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