English IOC Help? (King Lear - although you don't need to be familiar with the text)

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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
Hey guys, I’m doing my IOC next week. I was wondering if anybody had any tips on how to analyse Shakespeare (namely King Lear). I’ve done the obvious: recurring motifs, themes within the play, language (such as the significance of using thee and thy instead of “you”), and the text type (if it is in prose or poetry, a rhyming couplet signifies the end of an action etc.), however, I do not think I will be able to talk about a single abstract of approx. 30 lines for 8 minutes with only this to go on.
Any tips?
Additionally, are there any drama terminology I should look at specifically? We’ve learnt terms like catharsis and aphaeresis, but I’ve listened to some sample IOCs, and they haven’t really used any advanced vocabulary, at most mentioning enjambment a couple of times.

--And finally, can I reference abstracts outside of my text, but from the same play, or would that be wasting time as it is not the abstract I should be focusing on? For example, in 1.1.140, Lear says to Albany and Cornwall: “This coronet part between you.” This shows the beginning of Lear’s loss of power, which I want to relate to 4.6.79 (stage directions immediately above) – “Enter Lear (mad) crowned with wildflowers.” (I will of course elaborate on this in my actual IOC).
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Report 7 years ago
Hello! I did Lear for my IOC as well. Here's general lear-based-guide for preparing and presenting. I'll go in point form so I hope you'll get what I'm trying to say. From top down, this is an example of how your actual IOC may go. Disclaimer: It's just how I did mine, there may be other better ways.

Introduction: (try to keep to 1 min or less)
Identify where you extract is in the novel. Act/scene (if you can remember)
What happens in the extract
Identify what happened before the extract
Why the extract is significant & Effects of the events in the extract
Outline your commentary, including any significant themes or symbols that you are going to discuss
State if you are approaching the extract in a linear or thematic fashion (I recommend linear as it is easier to cover everything

(assuming you've decided to go linearly)
Go down line by line and analyse the literary features/words used in each line as well as its significance.
And what I mean by this is pretty much literally talk about anything that has significance (of course make sure you are not just crapping your way through).
And lastly, EFFECT ON AUDIENCE. Remember this is a play. Imagine it as a play and talk about how the audience at the time would have felt

An example I can give you would be the first six lines Lear speaks
Talk about the word "darker", the use of the royal "we", the revelation of this division by the king (maybe also about how kent and glouscester are close to lear and knew about it) , the significance of the division (a break in unity, foreshadowing of the chaos in later scenes/madness/tragedy), talk about the use of commands like "give" and "know", the irony of talking about giving up burdens when he later faces pain due to his decision and regrets it" And then you can relate it all to the themes in Lear as well. The example I gave was the start of the play, but if you do get middle extracts or ends there will be stuff to cross reference to as well, which gives you a lot more to talk about. You can also mention if it's the conflict in the play or building up the conflict or resolution.

Which brings me to your other question. YES. Reference other abstracts if you can. Especially if they contain recurring motifs and symbols e.g. clothing imagery and talk about how they show transitions/significance. E.g. Lear goes from royal robes to wildflowers to clean clothes when he is rescued. The play has many MANY repetitive words and phrases sometimes paraphrased so make sure you talk about them. There may be too many for you to remember the exact references so if you can't, simply just state the quote and describe the scene you are talk about. DO NOT OVERDO IT THOUGH. Simply just reference, state significance, and move on. So for example, in the scene where Cordelia treats Lear, say that "in this scene Cordelia has dressed Lear in clean garments and this shows a restoration of Lear to cleanliness and good health as compared to the wildflowers he wore during the storm scene and the tragedy he faced. it also hints at a restoration of the status Lear once had as Lear is in Cordelia's castle now. Also this restoration shows Cordelia's kindness and how Lear is in here care.. etc. etc." and then continue with your next lines. You do not need to elaborate too much on the storm scene or anything like that. Same thing with phrases, just state where it was said before, why it said, the significance (usually irony, or thematic).

Familiarize yourself with the text and train yourself to be able to analyse and prepare for an extract/picking out key things to mention as efficiently as you can.

And finally, about sophisticated terminology. Everything in moderation. Don't use words you do not understand wrongly or you'll get penalized. I've always believed in using simple words to convey meaning. That being said, you should be able to identify everything (how do I put this?) everything that you've been taught before plus a little more. Just to list: metaphor emotion mood atmosphere command words royal pronouns imagery themes motifs symbols foreshadowing irony dramatic irony humor tension - the list goes on.
Obviously if there are stage directions talk about them.
It doesn't hurt to read up on more drama terminology e.g. anagnorisis but don't stress yourself out over memorizing all of them. Just make sure you get the rest right first. There's mainly a lot of irony and filial piety and inversion of natural order and sadness and tragedy thematic stuff in Lear so you have to talk about those.
I mentioned this before but because it is important I'll say it again: EFFECT ON AUDIENCE.
Don't forget to relate your literary devices to their effects.

Oh lastly your Conclusion (The literary markschemes like to use the word "synthesis of ideas" or whatever crap for essay conclusions so I'll just leave that here)Summarise the events of the extract and what you've said about the extract briefly
Talk about the extract's significance and tie it to what happens after the extract (e.g next extract)
(If you get the last extract, talk about the resolution of the play. If you get the first, give a summary of the events of the play and talk about the foreshadowing)

Other advice I can give you: Once you get down to annotating line by line. There really is a lot of stuff to talk to for most key extracts so no worries. Also, they tend to pick the more important extracts (ones with key events) so make sure you're well prepared for those. (and even better prepared for crap extracts in case you get screwed over).

There's really a lot of stuff I could mention but I'll leave it at here for now. Hope it helps! Let me know if you have any questions!

All the best for your IOC!(:
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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
(Original post by hipsterrapunzel)
All the best for your IOC!(:

Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful!

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