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OCR English lit Merchant's Tale & Measure for Measure watch

    • Thread Starter


    If anyone is doing these texts, do you have any good ideas for comparing? Because we are meant to refer to contemporary texts in our answers and I have to say I haven't read very many Shakespeare plays with obvious parallels (only Hamlet, R&J, Antony& Cleopatra). And Chaucer's contemporaries? Anyone?

    Thanks for your help! I can definately wait for Wed!!!


    Firstly, comparison to other contemporary works isn't essential - it comes under the blanket of AO5, which can also mean the historical context of the texts. At least, that's what my teacher's been saying all year, and she seems to know what she's talking about! The weighted assessment objective for this paper is AO4, which means alternative interpretations - that doesn't necessarily mean quoting critics, just showing that you're aware of an alternative way of interpreting the text ('it could be argued that...' etc).

    Secondly, I'm currently panicking quietly about Chaucer, so I might not be too much help there, but if you want to include contemporary texts for Shakespeare...well, looking at what you've read, you could compare approaches to death in Hamlet, and use all three as contrasting examples of the tragic genre. For Hamlet, specifically compare Claudio's speech in 3.1 ('Ay, but to die and go we know not where...') with Hamlet's famous 'to be or not to be' speel - there are quite a few similarities. Historical context is Ars Moriendi (or something like that) - the art of dying.

    For wider tragic comparisons, maybe talk about how death looms large in Measure for Measure, but never actually occurs (apart from Ragozine, and who honestly cares about him?!?!?!), diminishing the play's status as a tragedy...and then link out to Romeo and Juliet...that could also be used for comparing lovers facing adversity - Romeo and Juliet/Claudio and Juliet...you could also possibly talk about how the idea of romance presented in R+J is undermined in M4M...

    Just a few ideas - I hope they're remotely helpful!

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