gcse english comparing poems essay

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Gcse english comparing poems essay capitilize job titles in research paper

Gcse english comparing poems essay

Alternatively, a teacher might encourage students to engage intellectually or emotionally with the poem by exploring a still image, a moving image clip or by sharing a story. The subsequent process of the shared reading of the poem in its entirety and the ensuing discussion is a great opportunity to model the process of reading, understanding and thinking analytically. When helping students to deal with aspects of language and structure, a teacher might provide a tool to help students structure their thinking and note-making the acronym FLIRTS, for example, which stands for F orm and Structure, L anguage and Sounds, I magery, R hyme, Rhythm and Repetition, T heme and Tone, S peaker.

The Power and Conflict cluster could be usefully divided into poems about power and legacy; poems about the power of natural world and conflict with humans; poems about conflict that can happen as a result of culture and belonging; poems about war and conflict. Thinking about the poems in these clusters will guide students toward making a helpful choice of second poem. Some of the possible ways of structuring a poetry comparison can lead to answers which can constrain the level of the response.

They might seek an interesting angle on the task, such as how patriotism might lead soldiers into combat. Addressing the task itself — and considering why the poems might have been written — will enable the student to naturally explore context — rather than including lots of biographical information. However less rigid structures worked better for those working at higher levels.

For me, like many, the PEE paragraph was a formula to get students through coursework essays and to use as a model for exam-style responses. However, a more flexible response would be rooted firmly in analysis. The response will feel much more fluid. When aiming for top flight responses, there are several techniques students can deploy as part of a well-structured, insightful essay.

These include evaluation, anticipating the response of the reader, tentativity, spotting patterns and deepening analysis are some great ways of making analytical writing more ambitious. The student here has noted the ambiguity of the poem in this example of deepening analysis…. Futhermore, the meta-language around each level needs to be properly exemplified and understood — something even experienced teachers and examiners need ongoing support with. Photo by Artur Matosyan on Unsplash. And the first door we must knock on is the one housing the crone of context.

What the GCSE mark schemes will eventually ask for is a well constructed, conceptual response replete with oodles of subject terminology and a fairly deep mention of context. It also ignores the fact that the biographical takes you away from the textual, and that since the value in poetry analysis is the study of how words and form align to construct beauty or its antithesis, mention of context inevitably takes you into the realms of history — and this is a whole other subject.

So, my recommendation to students when constructing the first paragraph of an essay comparing two poems is, if appropriate, to make glancing reference to the titles — but only so far as they link to comparison of theme. The contextual is in the thematic. For example:. Both these poems linger around ideas of memory, and both narrators are tortured. This is as far as we might want to go with context.

Otherwise, we are addressing the poetic with its opposite and scribing a list of dates. So, the next paragraph should examine structure. We do so by using rhyme scheme and form as a way of unlocking it. First of all, say what you see and, where possible, state the form:. Generally, it is best to leave this unanalysed, however, as analysis of rhyme scheme is much richer in terms of unlocking structure.


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As you generate points of comparison, consider the purpose and content of the assignment and the focus of the class. How does it fit with what you have been studying so far and with the other assignments in the course? Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself? Here are some general questions about different types of things you might have to compare. You may want to begin by using the questions reporters traditionally ask: Who?

By now you have probably generated a huge list of similarities and differences—congratulations! Next you must decide which of them are interesting, important, and relevant enough to be included in your paper. Ask yourself these questions:. Suppose that you are writing a paper comparing two novels. However, if you were writing a paper for a class on typesetting or on how illustrations are used to enhance novels, the typeface and presence or absence of illustrations might be absolutely critical to include in your final paper.

Sometimes a particular point of comparison or contrast might be relevant but not terribly revealing or interesting. Talking about the different ways nature is depicted or the different aspects of nature that are emphasized might be more interesting and show a more sophisticated understanding of the poems. Be careful, though—although this thesis is fairly specific and does propose a simple argument that atmosphere and delivery make the two pizza places different , your instructor will often be looking for a bit more analysis.

Again, thinking about the context the class provides may help you answer such questions and make a stronger argument. You may find our handout on constructing thesis statements useful at this stage. The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points in my example, three about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter.

How does it impact on our later understanding of him when he struggles to kill Duncan, when he gets the murderers to kill Banquo and also to dispatch MacDuff or, at least, his family? Why can he do this but not that?

After the Captain has served his purpose and been carted off stage, Ross and Lennox come on stage with more news. Why not allow the Captain to do it? That tells me this change of character to pick up the baton in the narrative relay is significant. We hear of a second traitor. If Macbeth felt bad about one, then we can predict what will happen with the next.

One critic actually suggested Shakespeare may not mean Macbeth here. As opposed, say, to having more soldiers? What does it make us think about Macbeth? Also, we could have got straight into meeting Macbeth. We have a delay. As we start in Act I scene iii, we have 37 lines of the weird sisters talking. We might want to think about why Shakespeare spends this time on the witches just before he switched to Macbeth.

After all, he could have omitted it. It adds nothing to the plot. So why include it? For me, it seems to build on the very scanty evidence we had in Act I scene i, where I think you could finish that scene without really being aware of the evil nature of the three women.

As Macbeth enters, his first line echoes that of Act I scene iii. So why use the same words as the witches? And yes, it foreshadows that reversal of roles and meaning and fortunes that is about to take place. Also in this scene, Macbeth rides back with Banquo. Why have it like this? I mean, the whole Banquo plotline is much more than just a nod to King James: Banquo serves as our true north. Revisiting the scenes between the two serves as a barometer by which we can measure Macbeth.

Only ten lines go between the vanishing and the arrival of Ross and Angus. Why is that structural gap so small? Partly because it emphasises the prophetic powers of the witches once more, and partly because its temporal proximity convinces both Macbeth and the audience in a much more dramatic way.

Now, this could have waited. In the next scene, Duncan is happily handing out praises and promises titles to Malcolm. Partly this is less messy. If this news had been left to Act I scene iv, there would have been more people on stage, more things going on, the event would have bled into the news about the Prince of Cumberland, too.

Also, it distances Duncan from Macbeth some more. If we were thinking before about this distance of Duncan from his populace, Act I scene iv actually emphasises it further when he asks if the execution has been carried out on the Thane of Cawdor. As we move into Act I scene v, Shakespeare is no longer using reports to fill in the audience, but to fill in the characters. We see a Lady Macbeth alone.

Some 54 lines later, she is about to be reunited with her husband — so arguably, this could have been a dialogue rather than a monologue. We get to see her unadulterated, unmitigated determination. Her naked, raw ambition. Why do you think Shakespeare omits this detail? It also allows her to build up to that monumental reunion, where she, not he, is the first to speak. That order, then, is not insignificant. As we move into Act I scene vi, we see her in conversation with Duncan.

This harks back to two earlier ideas. Act I scene vi then acts as evidence of this: we see Duncan at his most naive, and Lady Macbeth at her most snake-like. The structural purpose of the soliloquy is usually to reveal inner thoughts, engaging indirectly with the audience and cuing us in to facts that will be important as the play unfolds. For instance, Macbeth is about to deliver 27 lines that are all of his reasons I think there are 16 reasons contained within them, but feel free to correct me!

Once done, audience informed of just how set against it he is, along comes Lady Macbeth breaking out of a meal, by the way to change his mind. For me, line 31 is absolutely pivotal. Play over. Curtain falls. Houselights come on. The audience can go home.

The rest of this scene, then, acts as the turning point. He was tempted. He thought it over. He decided against it. We will proceed no further in this business. Game Over. Despite his soliloquies, Macbeth is a man who speaks little compared to other tragic heroes. Compared to Hamlet, Macbeth is practically speechless. In the Sean Bean stage version which some critics panned but I loved we really got a sense of Macbeth being a man of few words.

A brusque, brutal, efficient killer who is not a man who waxes lyrical. The sentences become looser, the diction more elaborate, more poetic, less clear. The soliloquies and conversations with Lady Macbeth often show him unraveling. Yet in conversation with others, we see a different side: the public Macbeth. Comparing the public Macbeth and the private Macbeth is hugely interesting and well worth exploring.

As you can see, to get 10 great points out of Act I alone shows just how useful it can be to consider aspects of structure. We should be thinking about organisation and order:. Last time, we looked at the way the Inspector in An Inspector Calls lays a trap for Mrs Birling that leads up to her accidentally accusing her son of causing the death of Eva Smith and her unborn child.

We also looked a little at the ending. This is not a cliffhanger where anything could happen. We end — despite the ellipsis — knowing exactly what will happen and what lies in the future for the characters.

Most cliffhangers leave us on a knife edge of uncertainty. Priestley leaves us in absolute certainty. Do we really think the Montagues and Capulets can hold their peace? Do we trust Prospero not to resort to magic once again? What happened to Caliban anyway?

Here, we have a director do exactly what Priestley did — lay out a whole new play beyond the final lines in which we have absolute certainty about how it will go. Many texts have a sense of completion, tying up loose ends. What happened on the island will stay on the island, no doubt. But even where we have a resolution of a sort, we get the sense that Ralph will be changed irrevocably as he stands weeping on the beach.

It becomes a story about class, about friendship, about loss and about how there are uglier evils in the world than we could ever imagine. Poets also choose to end with that final full stop, or to leave a story to unfold in the white space beyond the page. Yet in other poems, the narrative or the ideas go beyond the final line. In Remains for instance, we are left with the certainty that the persona will be unable to dig out that memory deep behind enemy lines and that his future will be filled with a battle to master his own conscience, grief, guilt and regret.

Likewise in Bayonet Charge, Hughes does not tell us whether the soldier makes it to the hedge or not. Sometimes we love the satisfaction of a story well-resolved. The proverbial happy ending. Macbeth ends with the chain of being restored at the very least. No loose ends, no threads we still want to pull at. I guess this is true as long as we are happy with the ending.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that a writer whose story lives on beyond the page is doing something more powerful: transferring ownership of the story to you. You get to resolve the story yourself. Do the Birlings really end up dragged through the mud, or will the new Inspector be a little kinder if they all tell the truth from the beginning?

Will Malcolm make a better king than Macbeth? Will the Capulets and the Montagues keep the peace? Sometimes, those loose ends and unresolved questions are sub-plots, like Lydia and Wickham in Pride and Prejudice. At other times they simply involve the main characters, such as whether Frankenstein and his creation die out on the wilds of Arctic ice. Ironically, many texts do not really give us any sense of closure at all. Narrators go and get back on with their life.

Supposedly happy endings come complete with in-built shadows that the author deliberately built in, seeming to leave us unsatisfied on purpose. As well as thinking about WHY the writer chooses to finish in the way that they do, we need to consider how else they could have resolved things. Does the writer resolve issues? And, just as we find with openings, we need to think about why the writer makes the choices they did.

What would happen if it finished a page or so earlier? What would happen if the writer added another few pages more? In the last post , we looked at some ways in which writers open poems, plays and novels. Openings are generally designed to establish things. They set out situations and problems. They introduce characters.

They set their stall. We might consider what themes they establish and what expectations they plant as tiny seeds in our minds. Why start with Marley? Who even is Marley? When you know the rest of the story — about Ebeneezer Scrooge — you might well wonder why Dickens starts with this consideration of death.

Death, after all, runs all the way through the novella. We might also be thinking about death not being an ending. Not Marley alive. Not Marley and Scrooge as young business partners. Not Marley on his deathbed telling Scrooge not to be so humbug.

Actually, none of those would work as a plot device. But it also sets up the big ideas: life, death, how we live, how we behave… and it prepares us to think that this is a book about death not being an end to things. So openings establish. They provide foundations. They cast on stitches on the great knitting needles of the plot. And turning points deviate. They diverge. They take us in unexpected directions. The prologue has spilled all the beans. So we know the purpose of the opening.

Establish a fragile peace over a town likely to erupt like Vesuvius at any point. And then, here comes Romeo, mooning about. Not only that, Shakespeare teases us. Wait, what?! First-time audiences are going to have their minds blown by that.

Not Juliet? So why tell us all this about Rosaline? Well… one theory is that it shows how fickle Romeo is and how Juliet is absolutely right to pin him down into marriage. Another might be that it shows how infatuation and love are not alike and when true love hits, as it does in just twenty lines of text, THEN you know what you felt before was nothing special at all. So turning points often come with these pivotal moments or decisions where the destiny of the characters, the narrative or the idea changes forever.