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AS and A Level: Other Play Writes

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    The History Boys. Consider the significance of finding your way in life, in relation to the characters in the play.

    3 star(s)

    Bennett went to Oxford University and also fell in love with a classmate. The character who epitomizes Bennett the most is Posner. The boys in this novel are all trying to find their way in life and getting into Oxbridge goes a long way towards achieving that. The primary aim for all the boys of the class is to get into Oxbridge. It is more important to them than other students knowing the fact that they?re from a working-class background.

    • Word count: 2658
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    Re-read Act 2 Scene 6 of Murmuring Judges. Discuss Hares presentation of the position of women in the police force and the legal profession in this extract and the play as a whole.

    3 star(s)

    Also, no other characters enter the scene as it progresses, so the conversation between Sandra and Irina, and the issues appertaining secrecy and injustice which it raises, are more well-received by the audience, who focus their attention totally on the speech and aesthetic expressions of the two women, and their meanings. For instance, towards the end of the scene, there grows "a real warmth suddenly between the two women," building upon the aforementioned smile share between them, emphasising their rapport and so the matriarchal nature of their culture.

    • Word count: 1082
  3. Eugene ONeills Before Breakfast portrays the tale of a couple entangled in a lengthy struggle, destined to end in tragedy.

    Alfred and Mrs. Rowland's marriage is falling apart. Alfred is hung-over from drinking the night before and Mrs. Rowland has just about had it. She lives an unhappy life and is fed up with Alfred. He has no job and has no aspiration to go out and get one. They hardly make ends meet and live off of her paycheck. She believes Alfred has pawned all their valuable items to simply keep from getting a job when she says "It's been nothing but p**n, p**n, p**n, with you-anything to put off getting a job, anything to get out of going to work like a man." (5). The relationship between the couple has begun to wear down on Mrs.

    • Word count: 612
  4. In the play A Raisin In The Sun, many things could be thought as the major idea. But in my opinion, the idea of not selling out is.

    people, to buy the house from ?the Younger's? at a financial gain to your family"(Hansbery 118), to ensure that it will stay an all white neighborhood. This book takes place after the Civil Rights Movement so the Youngers may move into Clybourne Park if they wish. The movement was not passed long ago and there are yet any colored people to move into the neighborhood therefore it is still segregated. Like most white people during this time they do not want this to change and will do anything for it, even pay money.

    • Word count: 650
  5. Evoking the past is one of the most important strategies in the practice of West Indian Writers. Discuss with close reference to Dennis Scotts An Echo in the Bone.

    The play discloses various issues of oppression, hegemonic ideology being infiltrated and perpetuated throughout the society, as well as racial prejudices. It is through his characterization, the construction of the plot, and also the use of props, which are key techniques he employs, that he is able to link the present with the past, both the ancestral and personal. The main plot of this piece is centered on the Nine-night ceremony. In Jamaica it is believed by the n*****s that "nine nights after death, the spirit rises out of the grave and returns to its familiar haunts,"(Beckwith)

    • Word count: 1438
  6. Explore Shepards use of setting, lighting and sound effects in Fool for Love; how do these elements enhance the action of the play?

    The setting within Shepard's opening scene can be seen as a link towards Tennessee Williams play 'Streetcar named Desire', Within his opening scene which is set within the street where there is a sense of decay within the background with the decompositions of the buildings. However within the opening scene the setting contrasts with the use of sound and music. 'Merle Haggard's tune "wake up"' this is a pop song which are complete opposites. The setting is seen as dull and gloomy where as the music is loud and engergetic.

    • Word count: 770
  7. Troy Maxson, the main character in August Wilsons critically acclaimed play Fences, talks about his father who was never there for him when he was a kid. Born in the southern United States, where African- Americans were racially discriminated during th

    He says: My mama couldn't stand him. Couldn't stand that evilness. She ran off when I was eight. She sneaked off one night after he had gone to sleep. Told me she was coming back for me. I ain't never seen her no more. All his women run off and left him. He wasn't good for nobody. (1.4.109) His father was not good enough for everybody and whoever was with him they would only last for few days and after that they left because Troy thinks Maxson Sr.

    • Word count: 1537
  8. Equus Performance Commentary. On paper, Peter Shaffers Equus is extraordinarily vivid piece of literature. Onstage, it is a visually engaging masterpiece

    If one allows their imagination to roam as it will (and definitely as Shaffer wished it to be) the audience will form a rather imposing backdrop, hundreds of eyes that look down upon the tormented actors and silently, quietly, judge. Eyes are an important recurring motif in Equus: those of Equus, Alan's jealous God, that perpetually watch Alan are emulated by the horse-actors and the audience that view the stage from above and the sides. Not only is the judging audience meant to be a sort of stand-in for God, but they also represent the masses; the forever judging, cruel, intransigent and sentient being that is society. The stage that the audience looks down is sparse, and movable.

    • Word count: 1314
  9. Equus Essay. Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to seem like normal, average people and good parents, his portrayal of Dora leads the audience to believe the contrary. She is one of the least likable characters in Equus and t

    with a nervously administered excuse: "I've been shopping in the neighbourhood. I thought I might just look in" (although it is apparent that it is the other way around: Dora's main goal was to meet Dysart, shopping simply an excuse, even though she "wears an overcoat, and is nervously carrying a shopping bag" to help reinforce the idea that she was shopping). This same pattern manifests itself in scene seven, where Dora "nervously" greets Dysart, and physically demonstrates her discomfort by "hold[ing] her hands tightly together". As Frank describes Dora's religious tendencies and how she "indulged" Alan (he effectively blames her for Alan's crime), Dora's burdensome guilt is plainly shown to the audience; she "wrings her hands in anguish".

    • Word count: 1930
  10. Pygmalion. The identity of Eliza how does it change and is it for the better?

    The first time we meet Eliza is when she is trying to sell flowers to people who are running for shelter from the rain into the porch of St. Paul's church. It becomes apparent that Liza is a low-common flower girl with her gutter speech. There is a note taker who is taking down what the flower girl is saying, which then leads her to think he is a police officer. At this time the flower girl is the only person who doesn't have a name.

    • Word count: 1304
  11. Equus Essay. In the play Equus by Peter Shaffer, Shaffer uses this passage to convey that Dysart is beginning to lose confidence in his profession of psychiatry

    Dysart refers to the Strang case as "the usual unusual" at the start of the play showing his dismissive attitude toward his patients, not knowing the extremities of this particular case. Due to Alan probing questions about Dysart's marriage he is left reflecting on whether they got married to soon accentuated by the repetition of "brisk". But the tone developed in the first half of this scene is not so much tragic as humourous because Dysart is cracking jokes about his marriage describing Margaret (his wife)

    • Word count: 527
  12. John Osborne admits to there being commercials in the play Look Back in Anger. What are the moral, social and political implications of the play?

    The main symbolism for this theme is the array of newspapers which Jimmy reads, even though they are directed at another class. This arguably shows that he does not feel he can fit in with society, as he is well-educated but situated within a lower class. Another is the iron; which has the capability of destruction and symbolises the frustration and potential danger of the educated, yet unemployed, a key example being Jimmy himself. Jimmy tends to attack those from a higher class due to jealousy or hatred as he regards his own relatives as "pretty posh" and opposes them

    • Word count: 1525
  13. Re-read Act 1 Scene 7 of Murmuring Judges. Discuss the effects of Hare's use of dramatic techniques and stagecraft in this extract and elsewhere in the play.

    He is likewise isolated due to that the police station is "empty", communicating to the audience his marginalisation from the rest of the police force because of his corrupt methods and attitudes. The audience grows sympathy for him as a result, because, although he uses unorthodox and illicit ways of solving crime (namely the planting of "Semtex"), he actually succeeds in doing so, whereas other members of the police force tend to enjoy less success. More astute members of the audience will take this into account and thus be more inclined to have some pity for him.

    • Word count: 827
  14. Discuss Hares use of Sir Peter as a criticism of societys legal system in Act 1 Scene 2 and in 'Murmuring Judges' as a whole.

    A prominent event which incontrovertibly influenced Hare to raise awareness bout this notion was the wrongful imprisonment of the Birmingham Six. The fact that this group were framed for a crime they were not involved in exemplifies the problematic nature of the emotionally withdrawn lawyers, who lack diligence to persevere in cases due to deficiency of true concern for their clients. Similarly, in Act 2 Scene 1, Sir Peter "looks down, feeling himself on thin ice" before lying to the Home Secretary, so the audience notices his facial expression, picks up on his fabrication and holds him in contempt because

    • Word count: 880
  15. Murmuring Judges

    Woody reassures her that Sir Peter is very pleased with her work. 'You're very popular. Sir Peter adores you.' He goes on to tell her how delighted Sir Peter had been when his old rival, Toppy Pilkington had come into the Ritz and seen them eating there together. Irina becomes tense at this and tells Woody that they're not involved - 'it's only appearances.' Woody tells her she needs to 'lighten up', that she needs to 'play a slightly tricky game...'

    • Word count: 2006
  16. How are feelings about love revealed in Mrs Dalloway

    'Mrs Dalloway' is focused on one day in June, and is an example of stream of consciousness storytelling: every scene tracks the momentary thoughts of a particular character. Woolf uses omniscient description and interior monologue for different characters but in this extract we see the viewpoint of Richard Dalloway and his concern for the love of his wife. The form and structure in which the extract is written is very much hand in hand with the stream of consciousness style it takes. We see very long sentences with many semi colons to break down the clauses as Mr. Dalloway thinks.

    • Word count: 1038
  17. Max characterisation - The Homecoming

    By calling Sam a "b***h" he not only emasculates him but also attacks his suspected homosexuality. Max's reminiscence of when he and MacGregor "were two of the worst hated men" he attempts to instill fear and trepidation among those listening to his story and to scare Lenny into submission. His speech is reminiscent of that given by Ronnie Kray, infamous London thug in the 50s/60s, who said he and his brother were "f*****g untouchable". His language register is similar to that of Max, pugilistic, aggressive and filled with expletives.

    • Word count: 706
  18. Pygmalion - the significance of accents and the characters of Eliza and Henry.

    Accents are used to judge people due to the connotations they hold, a British accent is seen as cultured and their words are enunciated showing class while a southern drawl uses much slang and words are not clipped precisely. Through identifying the roots we make judgements or we place the person in a category which we see fit. Words or dialect are often also used to determine the class of an individual. Sticking to the prior example of a Southern drawl, they are often known to use the words "y'all" and "Ain't" which many consider a sign of low intelligence.

    • Word count: 1567
  19. Free essay

    Brave New World

    On one hand John is interested to find out the world where his roots come from. However what he sees he doesn't understand because it is not how he imagined it would be. On the other hand the heroine of "Heroes and Villains", Marianne, adapts to new primitive society quite well however her compressed emotions would not show her actual joy and delight to someone less intellectual. This gives her privilege in a barbarian society. This difference between the characters is important because it shows how individuals can change the environment around them regardless of their position and status in society.

    • Word count: 1290
  20. Discuss Pinters dramatic presentation of Ruth in The Homecoming

    Teddy and Ruth's arrival from America is symbolically representative of Teddy's homecoming after nine years away. He returns married with a 'Doctorship of Philosophy' and supposedly father of three sons, although later questioned by Max, 'all yours, Ted?', suggesting Ruth is, as ever, unfaithful and a prostitute. 'Are you tired?' this passage opens with the estranged couple struggling to find coherence with the blatant discord, 'No'. Ruth's replies are cold, quasi-monosyllabic and detached, perhaps in an attempt to undermine Teddy's ascension to authority as he blatantly refuses to listen and orders her around: 'Go to bed.

    • Word count: 1200
  21. How does Bennett present different teaching styles in 'The History Boys'?

    It shows that Hector sees knowledge as precious- he has an unconventional kind of teaching style which he sees as vital to the boys' education of life in general, and of particular importance is that the boys are aware of this. As Timms says, 'Mr. Hector's stuff's not meant for the exam, sir. It's to make us more rounded human beings.' when the boys are questioned by Irwin on Hector's teaching style. Furthermore, Hector believes in giving the boys the ability to defy the education they have been given- 'You give them an education.

    • Word count: 838
  22. Mabel In Making History Contradicts Prevailing Attitudes Towards Women Shown In Top Girls

    has a mother, sister and child not so far away, and is surprised to find out that Joyce sees her mother every week. When she is in the city and doing her job, she blocks them out completely. This is opposite to the way Mabel feels about Henry and Mary, her siblings. She feels that she should go back and misses them, but she stays firmly put with Hugh because she knows what she wants, and what is best for her.

    • Word count: 1583
  23. Futility of existence in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

    Stoppard highlights human existence as meaningless through this play, as Existentialist theories show that humans don't have a certain 'objective' to fulfil. Stoppard highlights the futility of human existence through the themes and the language. Ros and Guil are shown to have a lack of identity, as they have no narrative history, "Do you remember the first thing that happened today?" Ros and Guil spend most of the play lost and confused about where they are and what they are supposed to be doing. This links into the incomprehensibility of the world as they do not understand anything around them.

    • Word count: 1916
  24. David Hare's criticism of the Legal System in Scene 1 Acts 1 - 4

    We don't see Gerard again until Act 1 scene 4 where he is in the 'gaol'. We once again are made to feel sympathy for him due to him not knowing about the prison system and he does not know what to do. 'Beckett: Don't you know the procedures? Haven't you been in prison before? Gerard: No.'. This again makes the reader or audience feel sorry for Gerard due to him not being in prison before and the prison guards expecting him to be a re-offender.

    • Word count: 1232
  25. How does the opening of Alan Bennetts The History Boys introduce the audience to the themes and concerns of the play?

    The association of education within politics reflects Irwin's meretricious way of teaching. He is represented in the scene to be spin doctor for a group of MPs in the 2000s, where his job is associated with using facts and arguments that would satisfy the public, rather than display an entirely truthful aspect of government. By saying 'Paradox works well and mists up the windows' Irwin is conveying that he believes that using paradox to deceive people 'works well' reinstating his position as the anti-hero; having concerns that do not consider other people involved.

    • Word count: 1235

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • With detailed reference to at least three of the monologues, discuss how the narrators may be considered 'artless' in Alan Bennett's terms.

    "In conclusion, all, but one, of Alan Bennett's monologues are considered to star artless narrators. Although some of the monologues are less artless than other, for example, Graham in 'A Chip in the Sugar' is far more artless than Susan in 'Bed Among the Lentils' but both are considered to have artless qualities."

  • Explore the ways R.C. Sherriff presents the attitudes of key characters in 'Journey's End'. Compare and contrast your findings with the ways the attitudes of key characters are presented by Peter Whelan in 'The Accrington Pals'

    "In conclusion, the attitudes of characters in Journey's End and The Accrington Pals are largely similar. However, because of the massively different situations that the plays' characters are confined to, they're forced to think differently about certain aspects of things. Journey's End's characters try their hardest to be completely devoid of emotion, because they have to be, whilst The Accrington Pals's predominantly female characters are much quicker to allow their own feelings to get dragged into things. These two mindsets, that of the numbed soldier and that of the emotionally charged female townie, inevitably have an effect on the characters' attitudes. However, amongst the men of the two plays, even though there's definitely a natural divide between the attitudes of the upper class and the lower class, as we have seen through our comparisons between the two plays, it's clear that, as officers become more experienced in war, their attitudes begin to become increasingly similar to those of their men - Raleigh even chooses to sleep and eat with his men rather than be with his fellow officers at one point, which shows how war can change one's initial attitude to class; it unites people of different backgrounds and beliefs in order to combat what most believed was a common enemy."

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