Sonnet 73 TPCASTT Analysis

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Sonnet 73 TPCASTT

Example



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Activity Overview


Poetry is one of the most expressive forms of literature. It can evoke emotions, set a mood, tell a story, or create a deeply and universally understood feeling in its readers. This makes expounding its elements, and understanding its rich meaning, comparisons, and symbols, even more important.

The TPCASTT method of poetry analysis is a great way to teach students to dissect a poem and understand its parts. It helps students to uncover the deeper meanings within poems while giving them the confidence to be self-educators. TPCASTT Poetry Analysis is an order of operations similar to PEMDAS for math. It asks students to list items in sequential order and answer questions based on their reading of the poem.


TP-CASTT Analysis
( TPCASTT Lesson PlanBuy PosterBuy PDF )

TPCASTT Example for "Sonnet 73"

T

TITLE

[Since the sonnet is a number, consider having students look at the first line instead] “That time of year thou mayst in me behold”
  • The narrator might be talking about a special time of year, or a holiday.
P

PARAPHRASE

[Short Version- Expand the storyboard if you would like your students to do it by stanza, quatrain, or couplet]:
  • The narrator is comparing his increasing age to things like fall/winter, twilight/night, and dying embers from a fire. At the end, he says that love and appreciation can increase when time is running out.
[Long Version]:
  • In the first quatrain, the narrator compares his increasing age with the end of fall and the beginning of winter. This is the time of year when things begin to wither and go bare.
  • In the second quatrain, the narrator says he is twilight left behind after the sun sets, which then becomes black night, Death’s counterpart. Death brings everyone to eternal rest.
  • In the third quatrain, the narrator says that he is like the dying embers left behind by a raging fire, the embers lying on top of the ashes like lying on their own deathbed, the ashes consuming the embers.
  • In the final couplet, the narrator says that despite all of the images of dying in the last three quatrains, the love for him increases because he will not be around for much longer.
C

CONNOTATION

The narrator’s use of metaphor for the seasons, twilight, and a dying fire seem like he is concerned with the passing of time, and with how time has aged him. The lessening of time creates a sense of urgency to love more strongly and cherish things more closely.
A

ATTITUDE/TONE

Shakespeare uses words like bare, ruined, fadeth, death, ashes, deathbed, expire, and consumed to invoke images of death and time running out. The words are depressing and somewhat desperate.
S

SHIFTS

A shift occurs in the final couplet when the narrator points out that the effect of getting older is that one must love the time he has more strongly, and cherish the little things.
T

TITLE

After reading the poem, my prediction about the title was incorrect, since Shakespeare did not focus on a time of year, but discussed the passage of time that leads to death.
T

THEME

Love strongly and spend your time wisely because you never know how much time is left.

This is a great activity to have students do in small groups! Once they are finished, ask them to create a storyboard with the TPCASTT steps.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Perform a TPCASTT analysis of "Sonnet 73". Remember that TPCASTT stands for Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude/Tone, Shift, Title, Theme.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose any combination of scenes, characters, items, and text to represent each letter of TPCASTT.
  3. Write a few sentences describing the importance or meaning of the images.
  4. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.

TPCASTT Template

Template


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Rubric

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