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AS and A Level: Other Criticism & Comparison

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  1. Using the opening of Oedipus Rex and the opening scene of King Lear, compare and contrast the role of the King as portrayed in both plays.

    We can compare this to the leadership of King Lear who in the opening that the King has a less enthusiastic approach to his kingdom, we learn this from the conversation from Kent and Gloucester, 'the division of the kingdom' shows there is far from the closeness that is experienced in Thebes, by dividing the kingdom the King is creating a competitive environment and weakens the nation considerably, this being said we can see that King Lear is not the ideal leader.

    • Word count: 1156
  2. Novels often present women as constrained by society. Explore the presentation of women in the light of this statement. In your response, you should focus on Wuthering Heights to establish your argument and you should refer to the second te

    a society back then, and so did Emily Bronte, by demonstrating the relative silence and passivity of the female characters in her novel, to portray the society's negative treatment and speak on the behalf of those who suffered... As we read on throughout the novel, we find a lot mentioned to prove how women were constrained by society back then. We know that Catherine grew up among nature and lacked the sophistication of high society. She was removed from society, unconsciously, where for example; she was forced to remain at Thrushcross Grange, the Linton's place, after her injury where she was isolated from Heathcliff and her world of freedom.

    • Word count: 1305
  3. Explore the presentation of unrequited love in the Sonnets and Far From the Madding Crowd. In the course of your writing show how your ideas have been illuminated by your response to the Way of the World and other readings of both core texts.

    It goes to be further explained in "The Way of the World," through the characters of Mrs Fainall and Mirabell as well as Fainall and Mrs Marwood. Unrequited love is presented through conversations, highlighting the weakness of the male characters. In Hardy's novel, during an interaction between Bathsheba and Oak regarding a proposal of marriage, the reader is presented with a male who is shown as being the weaker character. At some stage in this exchange, Oak says, "I shall do one thing in this life...and keep wanting you till I die," which Hardy describes as a "genuine pathos," portraying Oak's ingrained love for Bathsheba.

    • Word count: 785
  4. Analyse Shakespeares presentation of the theme of betrayal in Hamlet and show how far your appreciation and understanding of this theme have been informed by your reading of The Revengers Tragedy.

    Yet, some critics have argues that a feminist reading of the play might be that women are not being portrayed as inciting betrayal, (as Hamlet believes), but as being weak. Gertrude's supposed betrayal stems more from weakness in her character than purposeful betrayal. Contextually, Hamlet's exclamation that "Frailty, thy name is woman," and his equation of women with frailty indicates the conventional belief of women as weak and vulnerable. The idea that it is men, who are instigators of such betrayal, is highlighted in "The Revenger's Tragedy."

    • Word count: 1238
  5. How do the writers of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights use setting and atmosphere in the development of their novels?

    Emily and Charlotte Bronte's novels display rebellious undercurrents of their feelings against these expectations, making their stories atypical. Their experience of being governesses and living in a parsonage next to a graveyard on the Yorkshire Moors resonates in their novels and is related to the complexities of human relationships within the parameters of the Victorian Era. Emily Bronte inventively creates the setting for Wuthering Heights within a malevolent atmosphere which radiates throughout the novel. The outsider Lockwood arrives on a tempestuous night with the intention of renting Thrushcross Grange. The Heights impresses Lockwood as being an archetypal, gloomy house, embedded into the "bleak hill top", defended by "large jutting stones" and "gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun".

    • Word count: 4015
  6. Comparing The Foresyte Saga & Othello

    In Galsworthy's novel, the man is indeed slowly losing control, but still tries to grasp it. His wife had gone off and had an affair and he wasn't able to control that. Now he tries to claw it back by shouting at her to leave, "get out of my sight", and then contradicts himself by continuing to ask her to stay, which she obeys, and he is now in the stronger position. John Galsworthy uses animalistic imagery throughout this extract to show the way that Irene has become trapped: "resemblance to a captive owl."

    • Word count: 1110
  7. English Lit Coursework (Comapring Othello, Wuthering heights and Gatsby)

    of the heath on top of Wuthering Heights', Bronte uses this therefore to signify that Cathy sees Wuthering Heights and the moors as her heaven. Likewise she wants the window open when ill at Thrushcross Grange; here Bronte enforces the theme of imprisonment and entrapment, in a foreign world. Equally Thrushcross Grange has always been an alien and uncomfortable place to Heathcliff as we see when he chooses to grieve on the out skirting grounds of Thrushcross Grange in contrast with Edgar who stays inside.

    • Word count: 1998
  8. Commentary on Text Transformation of 2 Black Men on a Leicester Park Bench by Grace Nichols

    Not much is known about what he looks like; emotions are the main factor in this story. The story being told from the characters point of view helps the reader form an allegiance with him as they feel the emotions he feels. In reality he is cheating on his wife which should make us dislike him but it does the opposite as we feel what he is feeling and become understanding. The story begins with a rhyme, "Half of our lives were spent fighting, fighting on their behalves, they have us to thank for the air they breathe, yet no thanks were ever received."

    • Word count: 1144
  9. Compare and contrast the ways Ibsen presents Nora in A Dolls House with the ways Bront presents Jane in Jane Eyre.

    On Nora's first entrance she is shown to be quite immature as she acts very child-like. Nora is happy and joyous mirroring the time of year as she 'continues to laugh happily to herself' showing that she is giving the impression of being cheerful. On its own this wouldn't strike an audience as strange but added to her other childish actions such as the way she 'tiptoes' to listen 'at her husband's door' and the way she clandestinely wipes her mouth after she "pops... macaroons in her pocket" which is a similar action a child would make to the threat of being caught eating something they shouldn't.

    • Word count: 1277
  10. Setting and Atmosphere in Bleak House and The Woman in White

    However all of these influences are dictated by how the writer wants the reader to feel and express their feelings. Dickens and Collins create a wide variety of feelings on their readers through out the novels from upbeat, down to morbid aswell as awkward. Dickens creates this awkwardness by adding humor into the novel which almost seems forced upon the characters and the reader. This in seen in the scene in which Skimpole looks at other people paying his debts with the air of a kindly outsider, hoping that the people may 'sign something'.

    • Word count: 2463
  11. Comparison between scientific advancements in Frankenstein and Dorian Gray

    Shelley wanted to 'speak of the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror,' and so created a gothic novel. Mary Shelley was influenced by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), a poet and critic, who deemed it important to address scientific issues in his work. Shelley's biggest inspiration was her husband, Percy Shelley, who had an intensive excitement for nature, the supernatural and science, all themes that vividly run through Frankenstein. He was interested in live matter emerging from dead matter.

    • Word count: 1637
  12. Discuss this interpretation of Iagos role in the light of the critical views you have read

    Jealously is his initial motive for disgracing Cassio. He wants Cassio's reputation and wants to revenge on both Cassio and Othello. I also think that we have all wished for revenge at some time. We don't envy Iago because he is amoral and we are always fully aware that he is the villain because his role leads everyone to death. r****m is another of the important themes which Iago emphasises in his role. In act one scene one (39), for example Iago refers to Othello as the Moor (which refers to the Berbers who lived in North Africa.

    • Word count: 2031
  13. How the theme of deception is presented in extracts from Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea The extract I have chosen from Jane Eyre is from chapter 19,

    Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre in 1847 and there are many elements of the novel that reflect her life. Bronte has taken revenge on her hard life at Cowan Bridge by making it the basis of her book at Lowood. Here many similar events from her own life take place. At the time the novel was published there was not many female writers, because of this Bronte used the pseudonym of Currer Ball in order to get her novel published, as women writers where criticised a lot In these times.

    • Word count: 848
  14. The Nature of Evil

    By analysing the first few pages, we have already judged Chigurh's character and believe he's set to kill. By juxtaposing him with Bateman, we can distinguish how different Bateman is. When we're first introduced to him he is a wealthy, social, normal human being, living the "American dream". Evil does not lie within him, or so it seems. As he is narrating, he uses infinite description on pointless little things. He's very examining of the world around him and very detailed. "A Ralph Lauren silk tie and leather wing tips by Fratelli Rossetti." This phrase explores the idea of Bateman's personality being overall, arrogant.

    • Word count: 1798
  15. s****l perversion in Wuthering Heights, Othello, and a View from the Bridge.

    In all, certain religious or evolutionary rules forebode each relationship and show the consequences of each transgression. According to Freud those who are s******y jealous are repressing h********l desire. It is for this reason the psychoanalytical interpretation that a strong h********l attraction to Othello may motivate Iago to persecute him may hold true. For example, the language Iago uses throughout the play is heavily laden with animal and plant imagery which may be a manifestation of Iago's subconscious desires. For instance, Iago uses the metaphor "our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners" which symbolises, on one hand, how Iago's conceit is comparable to a poisonous plant.

    • Word count: 1293
  16. s*x and Love in the Sorrow of War and the Unbearable Lightness of Being

    The great love story of the Sorrow of War is one painted with nostalgia, disappointment and a pathetic sense of beautiful disaster. 'Ordinary love', as Kien refers to it, is rapt with nonsense and petty elations. With a sense of nostalgia, Kien notes, 'Those were the days when all of us were young, pure and sincere.' Most intrinsic is this purity of lien. Never consummated, Kien and Phuong's relationship is 'so intimate, so perfect, that it made [Kien] ache', grieving him years on, while the reader is drawn into the immeasurable sadness of a very two-dimensional relationship.

    • Word count: 1569
  17. In relation to the archetypal American Dream, compare and contrast the main characters in The Great Gatsby and Gone with the Wind: to what extent can Jay Gatsby and Rhett Butler be considered heroes?

    There is a chance that they did not wish them to be heroes at all, but created them as some vision of an antihero to contrast against people's hopes. However, I think it more likely both authors wanted to make their hero into characters who could be related to because they are not perfect or flawless but share the same needs and wants as us. Both authors step away from a fairytale hero, and give us an insight into what real heroism might be.

    • Word count: 2035
  18. Awakenings and Changes in Consciousness

    Her disgust leads to his suicide, ultimately contributing to her own demise. When considering 'awakenings', we could perhaps consider the sheer force of her disgust to be exacerbated by the very depth of her own feelings for him and the 'awakening' of love they inspire within her - this is particularly evident in retrospect, as seen when she talks to Mitch: '[...] the discovery - love. All at once and much, much too completely.' In the context of Williams' own life, her revulsion becomes even more poignant: himself a h********l, we can see here a symbolic manifestation of his own feelings in the face of others' disgust.

    • Word count: 1955
  19. Analyse and access Conrad's presentation of Kurtz in Hearts of Darkness

    Kurtz as presented by Conrad may be seen as an exaggeration of the white people who had come to Africa for money through ivory. He went to the Congo with great plans for civilizing the natives however he becomes greedy and falls over the edge. In many ways he appears almost as a representation of the wilderness, God-like an imperialist who though his vanity had become dehumanized and in inhumane. It is through Conrad's own experience that has led him into the writing of 'Heart of Darkness' as he becomes a political commentator.

    • Word count: 903
  20. How does cat in the rain use and deviate from the traditional codes, functions, roles and structure of folk tale morphology?

    This happens at the start of 'cat in the rain'. "There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel". The readers are now introduced to the family or a potential hero. When it says "only two" this could mean they are hiding and alone. The story begins with a description of the surroundings. At first the text begins to seem positive, "there were big palms and green benches in the public garden". This could mean that this is the description in summer or spring; this could also mean that it is a nice place to be and a romantic get-away.

    • Word count: 1096
  21. Explore the representation of women in Jane Eyre and Small Islands

    The first, Queenie, is Gilbert's white landlady; they met during wartime when he came over as an RAF recruit. Hortense, the Jamaican girl whom Gilbert married immediately before boarding the boat, arrives later to share his crumbling attic room; and Queenie's long-lost husband, Bernard, finds his way back, a year after his demobilization, shortly after Hortense has taken up residence. These representations of fictional characters are often based upon the experiences of people, most particularly the experiences of women during post-war Britain.

    • Word count: 1983
  22. The male gaze

    that men desire. In his painting he depicts a women solely on display for a males pleasure. He does this by using light to highlight her n**e body, but he completely obscures the face of the women in darkness. Also, Rembrandt publicly displayed this private act of bathing for the male gaze. This is similar to Scott Russell Sanders discussion of naked women on display in his college dorm room. The women in those pictures like Rembrandt's "Bathsheba" were on display in an artificial way, "The paper women seemed to gaze back at me, enticing or mocking, yet even in

    • Word count: 1076
  23. How can love sometimes only be l**t and obsession?

    At one point, Orsino describes love as an "appetite" (I.i.1-3) that he wants to satisfy. This is an example for l**t because love is not something that gets satisfied but something you have with another person. At another point, he calls his desires "fell and cruel hounds" (I.i.21). Olivia describes love as a "plague" from which she suffers terribly (I.v.265). These metaphors reveal the violence and the obsession that goes around with love. If it was love that the characters were feeling for each other they would not characterize it as something bad or unpleasant.

    • Word count: 1054
  24. "Oedipus is an odd kind of hero, who shares many of w***y Loman's weaknesses; w***y is an odd kind of anti-hero, who displays a similar nobility of character to that which we see in Oedipus. Indeed, w***y may be said to be even more of a tragic hero than

    Some may argue that Oedipus lives the life of a tragic hero but does not die the death of one, whereas w***y Loman lives the life of a common man but dies the death of a tragic hero. Either way, the valididity of Oedipus's and w***y's status as tragic heroes will always come down Aristotle, the great Ancient Greek philosopher, claimed that a tragic hero must possess certain characteristics in order to be classed as a tragic hero. The most important of these characteristics are; nobility or wisdom, hamartia; a fatal flaw that leads to the hero's downfall, a reversal

    • Word count: 1467
  25. Wilde and Shaw

    Though deeply corrupted, Dorian remains unchanged while the portrait is made ugly by vice and crime. Dorian meets his punishment in self-inflicted death because he cannot escape God's judgment. The novel has also been read as a criticism of the Victorian middle-class, which hides its moral responsibilities under a face of hypocrisy and as a description of Wilde's theories of art because art is eternal and it is more important and truer than life. Shaw always conceived of drama as a vehicle of idea, that is why the drama is called the theatre of ideas where the stage is used as a means to attack institutions or expose hypocrisy.

    • Word count: 938

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