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AS and A Level: Other works

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  1. To what extent does the tragedy of Titus Andronicus unfold from the protagonist and his actions?

    It is possible that he turns down the position of emperor because of a slight insecurity as he claims 'a better head her glorious body fits'. As one of the many first impressions we gain of Titus we see that of an altruistic old man, however prior and subsequent actions cause the audience to deviate from this as a final opinion. In the Hopkins adaptation of the play the first scenes very much contradict each other and set the tale of an almost childlike unsureness of Titus' self, he tries to be a strong leader whilst doubting his strength, causing the audience to doubt Titus and his character.

    • Word count: 1475
  2. In his opening soliloquy, the true nature of Richards character is revealed, his villainy being divulged in the devious plans that he has plotted in order to usurp the throne.

    Furthermore, the covert bitterness that he feels is subtlely made known with the suggestive and deliberate comparison of wartime activities and the present ones; "And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds....he capers nimbly in a lady's chamber" (1.1.10-12). With this, he implies that the glorious tasks that he has accomplished in war have been reduced to frivolity in peacetime; spending his time in the company of women. In the subsequent lines, Richard proceeds on to an extensive elaboration on the ugliness of his physique; the deformities that separate him from society.

    • Word count: 1563
  3. Coriolanus is a man of action who is finally defeated by words. To what extent do you agree?

    His pride gives him the ability to completely disregard the impact his words will have on others and, eventually, himself, which indeed gives the impression that words, particularly his own, will be the destroyers of his position. However, this tendency that Coriolanus has to speak his mind without hesitation reflects his nature as a soldier and the way that it is essential to act instantly on the battlefield, as even the slightest hesitation could be disastrous. As Menenius says, 'his heart's his mouth' and that his mother has 'bred [him] i'th'wars / Since 'a could draw a sword, and is

    • Word count: 1412
  4. The Dramatic Significance of Act 3.4 of Richard III

    He is also the one who has most often been associated with hell and the devil by many characters in the previous acts of the play. For example, in Act 1 Scene 3 Margaret refers to Richard as "The slave of nature and the son of hell!". The hard alliteration of the 'd' sounds in "damned", "death" and "devilish" also make him sound evil and cruel. As such, we are able to see through his false front and also realise how absurd his argument is as he is born with the deformities that he is accusing others inflicting upon him.

    • Word count: 982
  5. Significance of soliloquies and asides in Richard III with reference to Richard's character

    He speaks of his family's victory in the fight against Henry VI and tells us that his brother Edward, who has recently ascended the throne, is now living the high life "He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber/ To the lascivious pleasing of a lute" (I.i). In addition, he shows us the contrast in his mood and explains to us his inability to be merry due to his physical deformities saying, "But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks/ Nor made to court an amorous looking glass/ ...

    • Word count: 1010
  6. How Richard III's Battle speech is presented in the film adaptations of Olivier and Al Pacino.

    Another irony is that he was the one who uses the power of language to manipulate and seduce Lady Anne, stealing the "beauteous" wife of Henry IV first. Such irony is engaged by Shakespeare to emphasize one of the themes of the play which is the allure of evil. Richard III does not explore the cause of evil in the human mind so much as it explores its operation, depicting the workings of Richard's mind and the methods he uses to manipulate, control, and injure others for his own gain.

    • Word count: 1409

    It would appear that his association with characters such as Falstaff and Poins have nothing but negative implications. This is a key example of an escape from the past into a new future. Hal is attempting to break away from the grasp of Falstaff and his tarnished past into a future of glory, maturity and strong leadership. The idea that in fact past events can have a positive effect is then developed. In a conversation with the King, Warwick states that 'the Prince but studies his companions like a strange tongue, wherein, to gain the language'. This implies that through his knowledge of characters such as Falstaff, and past experience, Prince Hal is in fact gaining a skill that will eventually lead to successful leadership.

    • Word count: 935
  8. To what extent does Falstaffs role transcend that of a buffon in henry IV part 1

    And it may well be the case that Falstaff's theatrical origins include many such figures such as the Kings of the Harvest Festivals where the rules of order are temporarily suspended in the name of communal celebrations free of normal restraints. But we must be careful not to get to emotionally involved with Falstaff, because if we do, we will fail to take account of his more corrosive qualities. For Falstaff does not represent the temporary overthrow of traditional order in the name of communal celebrations.

    • Word count: 1019
  9. How far do you agree that the ending of Henry IV (part 2) is more tragic than triumphant?

    Shakespeare presents the ending as Falstaff having all hope in become a great man with wealth as Hal is now going to become King of England. However, this situation doesn't occur as he is banished from being part of the court. From this it shows us that Hal has matured and that England has potential to turn into a properous country and the disease which was created by the politics of the court would disappear. As Henry IV held this disease and guilt from taking the crown from Richard II it showed us that England had a slight weakness however,

    • Word count: 891
  10. Comment on and analyse the role of women in the King Richard 3rd?

    The women in the play, Queen Margaret, Queen Elizabeth, The Duchess of York and Lady Anne Neville are all victims of the misogyny in society where men have all the power. This is shown in a number of scenes during the play one of which is, Act 1 Scene 2, where Richard is trying to get Anne to marry him even though he has just killed her proposed husband, Edward, and his father, Henry VI. To start with, Anne curses Richard for everything he has done as she cannot do anything about it except let him knows that she hates him and wishes him to be "damned for that wicked deed".

    • Word count: 3572
  11. Richard III, explore the way Shakespeare shapes an audience's response to Richard

    The further the soliloquy progresses, the stronger this view becomes. This is primarily due to the pace of Richard's speech. For instance, line 9: 'Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front' This line conveys that Richard is presumably speaking reasonably quickly, as there is a use of iambic pentameter alongside a hyphenated word (which is also demonstrated during the BBC video of Richard III). He seems impatient and almost bitter when announcing that the War of Roses has come to an end.

    • Word count: 2550
  12. The Importance of the Conflict and Resolution in King Henry IV Part I

    The first type of conflict, i.e., the external conflict is reflected in these lines. England is undergoing civil war and this conflict brings out the political and social setting of the play. "The political instability stems from the very manner in which Henry acquired the throne"- Kaston. It is ironic that even though Henry has attained the throne he is unable to unify the country. The exposition also focuses on Henry's inner conflict. The very first lines he uttered in scene one, is an indication of the unstable condition of his mind. King Henry is never forgetful of how he came to be on the throne and his usurpation of King Richard II is a constant reminder of his guilt.

    • Word count: 1114
  13. Taking into consideration of the language and structure of the play, how would you direct a stage version of Act 1 of Richard III?

    I would have him put emphasis on the words winter and summer, so the natural imagery comes across. The theme of identity leads me on to my next point. Shakespeare is trying to portray this idea of identity by using an oxymoron and ambiguity to play with how Richard sees himself. When Richard says "unless to see my shadow in the sun / And descant on mine own deformity" this illustrates the fight within Richard. By his shadow being in the sun he almost looks at himself in this negative way, as if he overcasts a shadow on those that are good.

    • Word count: 2594
  14. who in your opinion is the true hero of Henry the fourth part 1

    he sporns a new, modern breed of heroic character. Hotspur is better suited to the traditional hero. This is why I believe that Hal is the true hero of the play, the audience also link success with heroism and this boosts Hal's popularity. To begin with Hal suffers from an abundant amount of criticism from his father, 'see riot and dishonor stain the brow of my young Harry', (Act 1 Scene 1, line 84) consequently the audience views him negatively. These criticisms are confirmed to be correct when in Act 1 Scene 2 Hal displays all of his negative qualities, asking 'Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?'(Act 1 Scene 2 line 95).

    • Word count: 2242
  15. Examine closely the contrasting characters of Hal and Hotspur in King Henry IV, Part One, showing how the play is built around their actions and different destinies, and how this contrast is reflected in the language associated with them.

    The word 'theme' shows that Hotspur is a main part of the word honour and without Hotspur and all his honour there is not much honour left as Hotspur holds a great deal of it. He is described as: 'the straightest plant'; by the king as the word straighest shows that hotspur is in his prime and that he is the strongest, most full and most wanted. The word 'plant' is also significant as plants and trees are needed for the survival of humanity as they take in the carbon dioxide that humans exhale which is useless to humans and

    • Word count: 3007
  16. A comparison (up to the end of Act 3) of the 'courts' of Henry IV and his son Prince Harry

    This setting in which he is in is extremely royal and expensive; this helps me to explain my comparison. But also, during Act 3 in the book, there is some clear ink drawings describing the settings of his courts. These are extremely plain areas, but they have their unique points to them. But in a complete contrast of this court, is Hal's: Inns, dirty apartments filled with commoners and prostitutes- that was the world of Hal's. But this was also of feeling, of life, of happiness.

    • Word count: 3455
  17. In Henry The IV Part 1 The Transformation Of Prince Hal Is Central To Shakespeare's Presentation Of Kingship. Looking At Two Different Scenes In The Play, Explore The Ways In Which Shakespeare Analyses Issues Related To Kingship

    Even though it is set in the past the play is clearly designed for the Elizabethan public as it represents the end of the old politics and the start of the new capitalism over feudalism. The key characters in the play are: King Henry Bolingbroke (Henry the IV) Prince Hal Bolingbroke (Son of the king heir to the throne) Harry Hotspur (Son of the earl of Northumberland) Sir John Falstaff (Prince Hal's companion) The play is set in two worlds.

    • Word count: 1719
  18. The contrast between Hotspur and Hal is the main theme in Henry IV part one.

    His bravery and rashness are the two qualities constantly commented on by the other characters in the play. Henry sees Percy as a young god of war, "Mars in swathling clothes" and says he is acknowledged by all as the holder of "military title capital". He is regarded as the greatest soldier in Europe. On the whole it is his bravery which impresses them most, for them he is the epitome of honour, the living example of those chivalric values to which a noble youth should aspire.

    • Word count: 3382
  19. How Important Is Prince Henry (Prince Hal) in Henry IV-Part 1?

    Really all this time Falstaff was asking Prince Hal about himself. Knowing this Prince Hal asked the 'king' "what manner of man, and it like your majesty? By this time, Falstaff had most probably thought of enough words to praise himself and so replied, "A goodly portly man, I' faith, and a corpulent; of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage." What he meant by this was that he was a very dignified man with a good figure and that he had a noble behaviour. Prince Hal now decided that it was time for him to play King and for Falstaff to play Prince but Falstaff thought otherwise; he replied, "Dispose me?

    • Word count: 1308
  20. Consider How Shakespeare Presents and Develops the Character of Prince Hal and Hotspur In Dramatic Contrast In Henry IV Part 1.

    by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry" The King says somewhat unconvincingly that maybe Prince Hal and Hotspur were swapped as Baby's "by a night tripping fairy." We see some justification in Act 1, Scene 2 of why Prince Hal is such a disappointment to the King. In Act 1, Scene 1 King Henry spoke of his Son's 'riot and dishonour.' We see this in action in Scene 2 as Prince Hal and his friend Falstaff are joking and poking fun about when the Prince shall become King.

    • Word count: 3496
  21. How does Shakespeare create an atmosphere of unrest and lawlessness in Act I of Henry IV Part II?

    Rumour is catching the audiences attention by making them listen to the lies he's spread. He's potentially dangerous. Rumour causes nations to get ready for war when no war is coming, and it makes people think that all is peaceful despite real danger and conspiracy. Since crowds are always quick to believe rumours and gossip, it never has any trouble doing its job. He first says what actually happened at the battle of Shrewsbury. King Henry defeated the rebels lead by Hotspur. In Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare's portrayal of the battle shows Prince Hal killing Hotspur and rescuing his father from death at the hands of the Scottish warrior Douglas.

    • Word count: 1133
  22. The Characterisation of Prince Henry In King Henry The IV Part One.

    This shows that Falstaff too is using Hal; although he has an unhealthy dependency on Hal does not have any control over his future, as Hal will be responsible for him in the future. This can perhaps be related to a certain type of father/ son relationship, whereby, as time moves on, often the son may become "stronger" than the father, whilst the father may become "weaker" and thus the father becomes increasingly dependant on his son. However, Hal and Falstaff do have a very superficial father-son relationship, as Falstaff is the father figure to Hal.

    • Word count: 1652
  23. Discuss Shakespeare's portrayal of Hal in Henry IV Part One.

    There was still however a stronger claim to the throne, Edmund Mortimer; descendant of Lionel, Duke of Clarence. It was thought that Bullingbrook had unrightfully taken the throne from Mortimer. However in Shakespeare's play it is shown that Bollingbrook is deeply saddened by Richards death and that the Mortimer's had passed the throne to bollingbrook. This would have pleased the Tudors. Another way in which Shakespeare keeps on the good side of the Tudors is with the use of hal's "reformation". The fact that Hal had once been an immature and foolish young prince, who was in no way fit to be a king yet he had changed so much to take on his new role as the king.

    • Word count: 3010
  24. Compare Shakespeare's presentation of the characters of Hal and Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1.

    "Whilst I by looking on the praise of him [HOTSPUR] see riot and dishonour stain the brow of my young Harry" he confides in Westmoreland. He even goes as far as wishing that Hotspur was his son instead of Hal! "Oh that it could be proved that some night-tripping fairy had exchanged...our children where they lay". Hotspur is an aggressive, short-tempered character. He always says what he thinks, no matter who is around, and this characteristic tends often to get him into hot water.

    • Word count: 1104
  25. Examine the theme of honour as presented in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV: Part I.

    However in contrast to this dishonourable behaviour at the beginning of the play, he comes through a true hero nearing the end of the play as he successfully leads an army into battle and virtuously praises his army for their bravery and loyalty. Edging closer and closer to civil war, Hal offers a one-on-one battle against Hotspur to settle the disagreement and, in turn save hundreds of innocent lives. This shows a tremendous amount of bravery, respect for his fellow countrymen and a staggering amount of loyalty to his father, the King and his country.

    • Word count: 1131

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