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Poetry about Relationships: 'Sonnet 116'

In this worksheet, students will develop their work on poetry by reading Shakespeare's 'Sonnet 116'.

'Poetry about Relationships: 'Sonnet 116'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This worksheet will allow you to develop your work on poetry by looking at a group of poems about relationships. 

Read the following poem by William Shakespeare (1564–1616) and answer the questions.

 

 

******************

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:

O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his 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.

 

Portrait of William Shakespeare

 

******************

The poem is a sonnet.

What makes it a sonnet? Select the three correct answers from below.

 

Handwriting with feather pen on antique scroll paper. Text is from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. - stock photo

It is written by Shakespeare.

It is about love.

It has 14 lines.

It has 12 lines.

It has three quatrains with a rhyming couplet at the end.

Reread the first quatrain:

 

******************

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:

 

******************

 

 

Is the following statement true or false?

True love does not change over time and remains constant.

true

false

Now read the second quatrain:

 

******************

O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

 

******************

 

 

Here Shakespeare is using a metaphor to describe love. What is he comparing it to?

the North Star

a boat - bark

a storm - tempest

Why does Shakespeare compare love to the North Star?

 

The night sky with the North Star shining

The North Star is important for guiding sailors because it never changes position, just like love never changes.

It shines bright like love.

Now read the final quatrain:

 

******************

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.

 

******************

 

 

In this quatrain Shakespeare describes how time tries to attack and change love but fails. Shakespeare describes Time as a character carrying a sickle.

What is this technique called? 

 

Grim Reaper - stock vector

metaphor

personification

simile

Now read the final rhyming couplet: 

 

******************

   If this be error and upon me proved,

   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

******************

 

 

What is Shakespeare saying in this couplet?

I guarantee that what I am saying is true.

I am not a good writer.

I may be wrong because I have never loved.

Now revise the poem:

Match the following lines with their meaning.

Column A

Column B

Love is not love
Which alters when it alterati...
Love will not be changed by time.
it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempe...
What I am saying is true.
Love's not Time's fool
Love is like the North Star that never changes how...
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never w...
True love does not change.

Match the following images from the poem with what they are about:

Column A

Column B

ever-fixed mark...
wand'ring bark...
ageing
Time's fool...
bending sickle's compass come
sailing
alters...
rosy lips and cheeks within his bend...
personification of time

Select the three words/phrases below that describe the feelings and attitudes explored in the poem.

devotion

constancy

change

true love

lust

Do you think this poem is about the love of younger or older people?

younger people

older people

  • Question 1

The poem is a sonnet.

What makes it a sonnet? Select the three correct answers from below.

 

Handwriting with feather pen on antique scroll paper. Text is from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. - stock photo

CORRECT ANSWER
It is about love.
It has 14 lines.
It has three quatrains with a rhyming couplet at the end.
EDDIE SAYS
Sonnets are always written with 14 lines. They are typically poems of love.
  • Question 2

Reread the first quatrain:

 

******************

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:

 

******************

 

 

Is the following statement true or false?

True love does not change over time and remains constant.

CORRECT ANSWER
true
EDDIE SAYS
The statement is true, because Shakespeare is saying that love does not change over time. He says 'Love is not love that alters,' which means if it changes over time it is not true love.
  • Question 3

Now read the second quatrain:

 

******************

O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

 

******************

 

 

Here Shakespeare is using a metaphor to describe love. What is he comparing it to?

CORRECT ANSWER
the North Star
EDDIE SAYS
Shakespeare uses a metaphor to compare love to the North Star; 'it is the star to every wandering bark'.
  • Question 4

Why does Shakespeare compare love to the North Star?

 

The night sky with the North Star shining

CORRECT ANSWER
The North Star is important for guiding sailors because it never changes position, just like love never changes.
EDDIE SAYS
Shakespeare uses the metaphor of the North Star to suggest how constant his love is. The North Star never moves, and similarly, his love remains fixed.
  • Question 5

Now read the final quatrain:

 

******************

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.

 

******************

 

 

In this quatrain Shakespeare describes how time tries to attack and change love but fails. Shakespeare describes Time as a character carrying a sickle.

What is this technique called? 

 

Grim Reaper - stock vector

CORRECT ANSWER
personification
EDDIE SAYS
Shakespeare uses personification. Time is not a human and cannot carry things. By using personification, Shakespeare can suggest that their love is under threat from someone.
  • Question 6

Now read the final rhyming couplet: 

 

******************

   If this be error and upon me proved,

   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

******************

 

 

What is Shakespeare saying in this couplet?

CORRECT ANSWER
I guarantee that what I am saying is true.
EDDIE SAYS
Shakespeare is saying that no one has ever loved if his love is proven to be false.
  • Question 7

Now revise the poem:

Match the following lines with their meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Love is not love
Which alters...
True love does not change.
it is an ever-fixed mark,
Th...
Love is like the North Star that ...
Love's not Time's fool
Love will not be changed by time.
If this be error and upon me prov...
What I am saying is true.
EDDIE SAYS
The repetition of 'love' throughout the poem reinforces the theme and shows how deep his affection is.
  • Question 8

Match the following images from the poem with what they are about:

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

ever-fixed mark...
wand'ring ...
sailing
Time's fool...
bending sickle...
personification of time
alters...
rosy lips and cheek...
ageing
EDDIE SAYS
The images of time and ageing show how he wishes he could have even longer on the Earth with his love before death.
  • Question 9

Select the three words/phrases below that describe the feelings and attitudes explored in the poem.

CORRECT ANSWER
devotion
constancy
true love
EDDIE SAYS
Shakespeare has written a sonnet that explores the nature of true love and how that is unchanging.
  • Question 10

Do you think this poem is about the love of younger or older people?

CORRECT ANSWER
older people
EDDIE SAYS
The poem is about the love of older people because it describes how love doesn't change over time whatever life throws at it.
---- OR ----

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