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OCR A2 English Literature exam. F663. Othello, Duchess of Malfi and The Pardoner's t

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    I've found that for both Malfi and Donne essays and Othello essays, recurring imagery is a good way to slip AO2 in - stuff like "goats and monkeys" in Othello, which shows how Iago's influence on Othello is getting stronger because Othello is using animalistic imagery like Iago does, and this quotation is especially good to analyse because you can also make the point that a psychoanalytic critic would see the elision of Iago's words earlier ("were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, as salt as wolves in pride") as further evidence of his effect on Othello. There's also a LOT of black/white hell/heaven and military imagery throughout the play, which you could link to Othello's 'foreignness' and the domestic conflict throughout the play.
    As for Malfi and Donne, our teacher said that anyone can compare quotations which mean the same thing, but if you can find ones with matching imagery and analyse it, that's A* - so things like Donne referring to women as angels or supernatural beings, and Antonio saying that the Duchess' "nights, nay more, her very sleeps, are more in heaven than other ladies' shrifts", can be compared, and you can comment on the specifically Catholic imagery used in both texts. Other ideas for Malfi/Donne - animals, religion, poison, heaven/hell and jewels (my personal favourite: "both th'Indias of spice and mine" -The Sun Rising: India - voyages of discovery, exotic; spice - exciting; mine - gold/jewel mine, comparing women to something valuable/precious, not very useful so you can mention misogynistic/patriarchal views at the time. Then you can contrast that with "you will discover what a wealthy mine I make you lord of" - Duchess to Antonio: "lord" might show that she wants him to control her - again, patriarchal society; "wealthy mine" shows that she is aware that she is valuable and a prize.)
    Hope that helps you guys!
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    (Original post by LeSacMagique)
    The first question has to be what the nature of the ‘struggle’ in each text is. In Faustus there seem to be two struggles: between Faustus and the divine or infernal agents who try to sway him alternately into sin and into repentance, and between the forces of Hell and Heaven. The dual nature of the struggle is encapsulated in Faustus’ response to the Old Man’s plea that he repent – ‘I do repent, and yet I do despair. // Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast.’ The syntactic parallelism of ‘I do repent’ and ‘I do despair’ suggests just how even-sided Faustus’ struggle is. ‘Conquest’ has connotations of wider warfare between good and evil that are picked up on elsewhere in the text: Marlowe very often describes Lucifer and his crew in terms of military hierarchy and government, with Lucifer himself being ‘Arch-regent and commander of all spirits’, Mephistopheles his ‘minister’, Beelzebub his ‘companion prince’, and Faustus’ soul enlarging his ‘kingdom’. The terminology of nationhood used to describe Lucifer and his realm emphasises the warlike qualities of the struggle between Hell and Heaven: something that was picked up on in the 2011 Globe performance of the play, where the good and bad angels were dressed in military attire, complete with swords. This might be a somewhat clumsy way of making the point, perhaps, especially when compared with the subtler portrayal of the characters in productions where the angels have been represented by Faustus’ internal monologue, like the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1974 production, but it does show just how martially Marlowe’s depiction of the struggle can be read.
    I regret not seeing the play now. The militaristic aspect of his struggle is the first I've heard of it.
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    Hi I'm doing Othello, Doctor Faustus and the Pardoner
    Does anyone have any 'A' grade essays for these texts?
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    (Original post by snow leopard)
    I regret not seeing the play now. The militaristic aspect of his struggle is the first I've heard of it.
    To be honest the warrior-angels are the most useful thing we took away from it...
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    (Original post by LeSacMagique)
    To be honest the warrior-angels are the most useful thing we took away from it...
    Are you serious? I got loads from it! I could write a whole essay just on that production!

    Did you watch the Greenwich Theatre DVD one?
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    when answering a question on the tragedy of Othello, could you talk about his alienation and racial identity?
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    (Original post by Harry.K)
    when answering a question on the tragedy of Othello, could you talk about his alienation and racial identity?
    I think you should reference the conventions of a tragedy, especially Shakespearian tragedies, then link it to Othello's fatal flaw
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    I did the exam in January, we did Donne/Malfi and Othello. The questions weren't too bad, the Donne/Malfi question was something to do with marriage/general relationship stuff, so I basically went down the route of comparing Antonio and the Duchess to the other main pair in the play, Cardinal/Julia, and the differing portrayals of Donne's relationship with his wife, such as in Elegy XIX and The Good Morrow. I can't remember the Othello question, but I remember using the quote "Iago is a motiveless malignity," so perhaps something to do with Iago as the antagonist/his character, or perhaps it was an Othello-centric question about his character. Either way, I came out thinking I'd done pretty bad, but I actually got 105/120 and am currently on track for an A* if my coursework grade isn't moderated down
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    Aah i'm doing Othello, Pardoner and faustus. I really want an A* for it as well!
    our class have had not so good teaching haha so we've had to do it ourselves really. i'm just gonna do key quotes for each theme and try to match them to critics...
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    heyy, does anyone have any predictions of what may be asked on Malfi+Donne and Othello? x
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    (Original post by Harry.K)
    when answering a question on the tragedy of Othello, could you talk about his alienation and racial identity?
    Definitely, I would, it's his downfall, and the biggest tragedy, fuelling his jealousy


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    Does anyone have any good Donne quotes to remember?


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    (Original post by rocknrollnerd)
    Does anyone have any good Donne quotes to remember?


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    If you want a critical quote, the one I used to end my essay was from T.S. Eliot, from a poem that he did, don't copy this word for word (I suggest you look up the actual quote because my memory is a bit hazy) but it goes something like "Donne was wise beyond his years" and a bit after that
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    Othello, Pardoner and The Duchess here.

    Hmm i think military may come up, dont think it has before.

    As for The duchess i would love like greed or sin or evil characters
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    Doing Duchess of Malfi and Othello.. the exam is on the 20th right??
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    (Original post by rocknrollnerd)
    Does anyone have any good Donne quotes to remember?


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    The first and last lines/sentences of each poem are always good, and I've just gone through each poem and found a quotation that sums up the main ideas/themes in the poem, as well as the themes you're studying - are you doing Malfi too? Which poems are you doing? I can send you some of my quotations if we're doing the same poems.
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    (Original post by NickyJWatkinson)
    The first and last lines/sentences of each poem are always good, and I've just gone through each poem and found a quotation that sums up the main ideas/themes in the poem, as well as the themes you're studying - are you doing Malfi too? Which poems are you doing? I can send you some of my quotations if we're doing the same poems.
    I'm doing that too.. :/

    urgh **** I have not revised.. for english at all.
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    Public/Private Environment settings came up in jan 12 and Iago and othello together have already come up
    i think
    -Emilia--> about how she used to considered as minor and now she's not, or like how she's empowered in comparison to other women
    Desdemona with someone or
    othello + race
    or Othello alone
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    I think.....


    Public/Private Environment settings came up in jan 12 and Iago and othello together have already come up

    So i reckon

    -Emilia....about how she used to considered as minor character and now she's not, she is seen as highly influential, or how she's empowered in comparison to other women
    Desdemona with someone or
    othello + race
    or Othello alone

    Not sure about the theme/drama one, I hate those ones
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    Public/Private Environment settings came up in jan 12 and Iago and othello together have already come up

    So I reckon...

    -Emilia--> about how she used to considered as minor character and now she's not, she is seen as very influential, or how she's empowered in comparison to other women
    Desdemona with someone
    Othello + race
    or Othello alone

    those are what I think

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Updated: August 18, 2012
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