A2 English Literature

A2 Lit has two elements to it. Firstly, you’ve got the dauntingly dubbed ‘love across the ages’ (because, yeah, that’s not at all overwhelmingly huge) and you’ve got the SHAKESPEARE coursework (drum roll please!)

The Coursework

Your A2 coursework actually requires you to compare a Shakespeare text with two other texts of your choosing and you can go for more drama, or mix things up with some prose or poetry. The crucial part is that you pick texts you KNOW and ENJOY and that have interesting and original connections to your Shakespeare text. Your coursework will address each of the 4 assessment objectives (terminology and expression, analysing language, form and structure, comparing and interpreting and context). You will definitely need to read around your chosen texts and get a really good feel for what other, relevant people think. It is vital for your sense of debate that you have done your research.

Starting points when approaching any Shakespeare text should be a copy of the play (either your own or an online version) and an accompanying guide. York notes are always pretty decent but, thanks to the joys of t’interweb you can look at a site like Sparknotes’ brilliant ‘No Fear Shakespeare’ which has a modern translation: NFS.sparknotes.com

There are huge numbers of excellent critical articles. A good starting point is: http://www.shakespeare-online.com but there are plenty of other places to look

This year I am ‘doing’ Hamlet with my year 13s, so  I’m going to include a couple of useful academic  articles to dip into.

supernatural in Hamlet

The Exam

This is shamelessly stolen but is a brilliant starting point…



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English Teacher Numero Uno

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