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.

Read the play a number of times. This will help you consider the themes and issues relating to the play.
Write a brief outline for each scene and each act.
It is important to know where a scene fits in relation to the play as a whole.
Once you have a firm grip of the order of events you can then explore the character, themes and issues.
An idea is to jot down the headings of themes and issues for each play.
Dramatic function of the Character
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?
What do the audience learn about the character specifically in this scene?
What is the function of the character in the scene?
What might Shakespeare have intended?
Always show an awareness of the writer.
Effect of an extract on the Audience
In what way do the audience's feelings and attitudes develop during the course of the extract?
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?
Which techniques are used to influence the audience?
Do the characters speak directly to the audience, use asides, or speak to each other?
How does Shakespeare build up the tension during the extract.?
Are there problems with staging the scene?
Is it easier to overcome them within the modern theatre?
Does Shakespeare use descriptive language to describe events that would be difficult to portray on the stage?
Does Shakespeare use irony? If so how is it used?
Does a character do something which the audience later realises is ironic?
General Questions
What significance does the opening line of a speech have to what has happened before?
How does the direction of the play change during the course of the extract?
What questions are answered in this extract?
How are these questions answered?
Does the audience's attitude change during the extract?
In what way are there parallels between this scene and what has happened earlier or will take place later in the play?
Does Shakespeare develop an image or idea that he has used before or is this the scene where he introduces a key idea? How does this work on stage?
Why do you think this scene has been chosen by the examiner?
In what way is this scene significant?
General Questions
What images has Shakespeare used and why?
Simile, metaphor, conceit, symbol, symbolism, figurative language, extended metaphor.
What effect do the images have on the audience?
Do they help create a better understanding of the character?
What mood do they create?
Does this image represent the emotions and thoughts of the characters?
Are they used to help create the scene?
Does Shakespeare appeal to the five senses to create this setting?
Perhaps he focuses on only one sense?
What effect does this create?
Images and Extended Metaphors
Has Shakespeare focused on only one image or used a range of images? What effect does this create?
Does Shakespeare take one image and develop it through the course of the extract?
Does Shakespeare use word play or change the meaning and interpretation of the word?
How many characters are involved in creating this imagery?
Do they build on each other's ideas or provide a conflicting interpretation of the image?
Is the description of the image used to represent the relationship between the two characters?
Does the image link in with or build on the overall themes of the play?
Does the image represent the thoughts of one character, or the status of the whole play at that particular point?