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    i am currently studying A Midsummer Night's Dream for my AS level english literature and i seem to be a lot helpless in the drama paper as compared to poetry and prose.

    does anyone of you have some useful tips on how to answer a drama essay? i mean, in this case, my biggest doubt is, can i actually include the relations between the characters in the play and the athenian society in the elizabethan era?

    any advice and tips will be greatly appreciated. thanks!
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    I do IB, so idk how helpful this will be for you, but literature (specifically drama modules) are my specialty, so let's see.

    I wouldn't discuss Elizabethan society, as that leaves you at a risk for digression -- the essay is on the play, not the context, and where having a few splashes of knowledge is useful it's best not to focus wholly on it. Also, some examiners mark you down on "assumptions", that is don't hinge whole analysis of a play on what you know contextually. They want to see what the text tells you, not what you already know about the era. Again, it's literature and not history.

    When you discuss relations between characters, you have to remember that the characters aren't real, they're Shakespeare's. So instead of saying "Hermia is left feeling as though no one loves her," instead say, "Shakespeare employs [literary device] to make the audience feel as though Hermia has been deserted," or to that effect. Always try to reference the audience where you can, and the playwright.

    Again, I'm IB, so I've no clue if it's any help, but that's what I usually keep in mind when I'm writing. Best of luck, friend!
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    (Original post by tzeweiyong)
    i am currently studying A Midsummer Night's Dream for my AS level english literature and i seem to be a lot helpless in the drama paper as compared to poetry and prose.

    does anyone of you have some useful tips on how to answer a drama essay? i mean, in this case, my biggest doubt is, can i actually include the relations between the characters in the play and the athenian society in the elizabethan era?

    any advice and tips will be greatly appreciated. thanks!
    Considering IB and A-levels are completely two separate things, I would advise not to follow the above's response.

    Context at A-level is important. It is either AO3 or AO4, so you must make sure you get some context in. This is more to do with how the audience of that time would react to something in a Shakespeare's play. For instance, a man turning into a donkey - the discussion of witchcraft and sorcery back in the 17th century. All these is about taking on a historicist or a cultural production analysis.

    I wouldn't say focus on context too much. Ideally you want to focus on the comedic effects of the play.

    But it really depends on what your exam is based on - character analysis, theme, context, theory maybe? Your best bet is to look up the specification online and go from there.
 
 
 
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