The Poetry Place



Shall I compare thee to a fairground ride?
Thou art more lovely and more budding fair:
Rough winds do shake the mortal limbs of man,
And summer's lease hath all too fleeting an air:
Sometime too hot the tropic sun doth burn,
And often is his gold skin burnished bright;
And every fair from fair sometime must part,
By chance, or nature's changing course, ta'en flight;
But thy eternal summer will not decay,
Nor lose possession of affection dear;
Nor shall Death brag thou will be his bride,
When in eternal lines thy time grows drear;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes breed tears,
So long lives this, and this stills all my fears.

Where did this come from - and what's the point of it?

It comes from a Word document 'Shall I Compare thee' Choices which provides drop down menus from which students can make their own version. They might want to do this as a fun activity. Or you might set the task before introducing the original Sonnet and see how many of Shakespeare's choices they selected. Good opportunities to discuss language and word choice, style, appropriateness and, of course, meaning.

Another alternative can be found on the BBC Learning Zone site.  Type Shakespeare or Sonnet into the search box for a rock interpretation.


This is a perfect sonnet for some investigation.  Firstly, though, something simple: a version of the poem with nouns and noun phrases put into a separate box so that you can see what kinds of nouns seem prevalent (lots of sneers and frowns and wrinkled lips...) and then put them back in the right place.  Try it yourself first!   Ozymandias.

Take a look at the whizzy sequencing activity too.





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