Gcse English literatureWatch this thread
I done Macbeth for my GCSE’s this year and I would be happy to help. Here are a few tips on how to revise:
Creating the revision resource:
First you need to pick a few memorable quotes from each act. When you are picking out quotes, think about these things:
- Are there any language techniques? (Simile/metaphor/personification/symbolism)
- Are there any structural techniques? (Repetition/hyperbole/ )
- Are there any themes? (Ambition/fate/violence/nature/manhood)
- Are there any motifs? (Blood/predictions of the witches/weather/sleep)
- Can you link any context to the quote?
There are a few A* context points you could reference. I have listed them at the end of the post
- What does the quote show about the character? (Ruthless/disorientated/cunning)
- Any other possible analysis of the quote
With the questions you have thought about above, form a mind map, with the quote in the middle and your answers surrounding the outside.
To remember quotes you could also put a theme as your center idea and put quotes relating to that theme around the outside.
Another great way to remember quotes is using flashcards. Use the app Quizlet to create these. On one side you could have the quote and on the other side the analysis? Or you could do a ‘fill in the blank’ type of thing. For example:
‘Macbeth does ——- sleep’ - In this case the missing word would be ‘murder’
Writing an essay:
Let’s try this with an example question: ‘How is the theme of ambition presented in Macbeth?’
1. Write an introduction that gives an overview of the plot of Macbeth.
2. In this case the question focuses on a theme, so we need to talk about how each character represents this theme. Examples of the characters we could talk about is Macbeth and Lady Macbeth (obviously!). But we also need to focus on other characters. Manipulate the question so it fits in with other characters: Banquo doesn’t show much ambition, he is instead very skeptical of the witches and warns Macbeth, describing them as ‘instruments of darkness’.
3. One paragraph on each of the characters should be enough to write a good essay.
4. Remember to talk about languages and structural devices to support your analysis. If you cannot think of any techniques, comment on singular words.
5. End your essay by summarising everything. Make sure you don’t repeat any points in your introduction, because this may seem like you are waffling.
Here are a few context points to help you:
- Gunpowder plot
- The great chain of being
- Divine right of kings
- King James
I might have an exemplar essay somewhere if you want it? Otherwise, I can quickly type one up for you
Good luck. Let me know if you need more help. Send me a PM if you want me to explain how the context fits in the with the play and the right quotes to use it with.
quotes can be put onto flashcards too.