S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Print out these notes and use them to remind you of what you have revised in this topic. In particular, memorising some of these questions should help you trigger ideas when in your exam.

Setting - General Points
Is the setting important,or merely a vehicle for the scene?
If the playwright does give a scene a specific setting, what was his reason for doing so?
Does a particular setting create a certain environment?
Setting and symbolism
If an object is referred to explicitly in the text, does it represent something significant?
What does the object sybolise?
Is the object 'owned' by anyone in particular?
What value does the character holding the object place in it?
What does it tell you about the character?
Does the setting reflect or affect a character's mood?
That is to say if a character appears unhappy, is it because of where they are, or does the setting reinforce that sense of sadness?
Dialect and Diction
Do the words suggest that the characters come from a particular social class or culture?
Do they appear fashionable, intellectual or upper class?
Does the playwright give the characters a particular dialect?
Is this done merely to show where the play is set or does it tell you about the character?
Can you highlight specific examples of vocabulary to support your ideas?
How does the language used by the character influence your attitude towards either the character or the character's role in the scene?
There may be two characters from different backgrounds in the scene, how does this affect the way they interact with each other?
Does the playwright appear to be raising an issue about status, class or power?
Has the playwright set the play in a particular culture? Does the playwright use language and dialect to reflect this?
Do the words used have a particular value within this context?
What would be lost if different language was used, and there was Standard English dialect?
Does the playwright rely on stereotypes to develop the setting and social context?
Role of Character
Is the character's primary role to develop the plot for other characters?
What is the function of the character in the scene?
What may the writer have intended?
Actions of Characters
In what context does the audience first see the character in this extract?
What are they doing?
What do the actions, mannerisms and behaviour of the characters tell you about them?
Do they act differently during the scene?
What does this tell you about their feelings, response to different characters?
Do their actions seem to contradict what they say, or suggest that there is something being hidden?
What do the Characters say?
What do they say about the events on stage?
What do they say to other characters?
What do they say about other characters?
Do they talk about a particular theme?
Do their ideas about a theme conflict with the ideas of others?
Do they appear to change their mind about a particular idea during the course of the scene?
Do they discuss issues differently with different characters?
Do they state their feelings explicitly, or do you have to work out their emotions from what they say?
Diction
Do the words chosen by the playwright create a certain rhythm or pace in the scene?
How and why does the playwright do this?
Social Status
Do the words suggest that the characters come from a particular social class or culture?
How does the playwright uses vocabulary and appearance to reflect the characters social status?
Does this tell you anything about the character, or does it merely show the setting of the play?
Mood and Tone
Does their mood develop or change during the course of the extract?
Do the characters use particular words that help you to understand their mood?
Does the audience learn about a character's mood from the way another character talks about or to them?
Does another character comment on their mood?
Are their observations accurate? Why? Why not?
Does the way an actor delivers a line affect the audience's understanding of the line?
Is the mood of an individual character different from that of the others?
How does this affect the overall mood?
Response to other Characters
Does one character talk differently to different characters? Why?
How do the characters appear to feel about one another?
Does the behaviour directed towards particular characters create dramatic tension?
Are the characters aware of the feelings of another towards them?
Dramatic Function of a Character in a Scene
How does the audience's response to the character change or develop as result of this scene?
Do the events in the scene build on previous events in the play or alter preconceptions?
How are characters used to develop a theme or event within the scene?
Do minor characters serve only to provide information for the protagonists (main characters) or are they of importance in themselves?
Is the purpose of a character to bring out a different perspective of a certain character?
Development of Character
Do the characters learn something about their own or each other's situation, past, or emotions?
Does a character's actions potentially alter their future?
Do their actions affect the emotions and lives of the other characters?
Development of Plot
Is there a climax in the scene?
Does the tension build during the scene or is the tension dissipated?
Does an event happen which alters the direction of the plot?
Development of Theme
Does a theme appear during the course of the extract?
Does a specific theme or idea develop?
Is the audience offered different perspectives on a development?
Audience Response
Does the audience's attitude towards a particular character change during the scene?
Do the audience have a clearer understanding of a character's intentions at the end of the scene?
Is the audience aware of something which the characters are not?
Use of Language and Mood
Does the mood of the scene change?
Does the tone of the characters change? Why?
Do the characters change the way they speak because of the situation, their emotions or the people they are talking to?
End of Extract
How does the extract end?
How has the setting and situation changed during the extract?
What do the characters and audience expect to happen next?
Has anything been resolved, or is a new piece of information suddenly apparent?
In what ways does the dramatist make use of suspense?
Audience Feelings and Attitudes
Do the audience feel the same about the characters or situation at the end of the scene as they did at the beginning?
What causes their change?
What is the key dramatic moment in the scene?
Do the audience appreciate the significance of the scene at the time?
Techniques Used to Influence the Audience
Do the characters speak directly to the audience, use asides, or speak to each other?
Is the audience being directly involved with the audience? How does the playwright build up the tension during the extract.?
Are there problems with staging the scene?
Does the playwright use descriptive language to describe events that would be difficult to portray on the stage?
Does the playwright use certain characters simply to develop the plot, rather than being of great interest in themselves?
Use of Irony
How is irony used in the extract?
Does the author use covert, overt or dramatic irony?
Staging of the Extract
How is the extract staged?
At what time of day would you set the piece?
How is the stage and lighting used?