Vinny123
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#1
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#1
Hi all, I have been getting average grades in English and would like to bring them up. It would be great if someone can upload an example of an A grade essay. Any topic is fine, I just want a reference to structure my own essay

Thanks!
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hayzc
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Vinny123)
Hi all, I have been getting average grades in English and would like to bring them up. It would be great if someone can upload an example of an A grade essay. Any topic is fine, I just want a reference to structure my own essay

Thanks!
Hi! I do AQA A-Level English Lit, and have done CIE IGCSE English Lit. Which would you like?
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Vinny123
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#3
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#3
Hey, is it possible for both? If not A level lit sounds good
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hayzc
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#4
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This is an A-Level English essay I did in response to a past paper question. I think that the main problem with this essay was probably not enough AO3 and AO4 (just to keep that in mind).

Selected Poems— George Crabbe, Robert Browning and Oscar Wilde
‘In these poems, the motives are more interesting than the murders.’
To what extent do you think that the poems in this selection support the view?

Remember to include in your answer relevant detailed exploration of the poets’ authorial methods
You should refer to the work of at least two authors in your answer.


Entailing various forms of crimes— whether it be legal, political, or social violations— the motives within the Crabbe, Browning and Wilde poetry selection are indeed more interesting than the murders themselves to a certain extent.

As readers, it is the characterisation of the people within these poems that formulates the intrigue into motives in comparison to the murder itself. Within Wilde’s ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’, he incorporates realistic human qualities that ignite the sympathy of the reader through the juxtaposition of a man who appears to be gentle and reflective with an apparent passion-fuelled murderer as exemplified by the repetend “I never saw a man who looked/ With such a wistful eye” in comparison to the lines “The poor dead woman whom he loved,/ And murdered in her bed.” This sharp contrast within the personality of this man insinuates a sense of human duality, echoing tones of Victorian texts such as ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ that explored the complicated psyche. Wilde draws attention to the fact that he “loved” this woman through ending the line on this monosyllabic adjective during the usage of enjambment, wherein the reader would have to pause briefly before moving on to the next line. Continuing the concept of contrasts, this apparent love is then contradicted by the violent verb “murdered”, contradicting the previous lexical field of vulnerability and tenderness with brutality and force, amplified by the last line being shorter, adding to the sense of abruptness and shock through the shortening of the pace. Mystery is thereby created, as Wilde then exposes a completely different side to this character in this poem. Whilst Wilde draws on the sympathy of the readers in making the motives more interesting than the murder itself, Browning adds layers to the characters through the psychopathic tendencies they possess. Explicitly alluding to the desire for death throughout ‘The Laboratory’, Browning utilises the plosive consonant ‘b’ within his use of alliteration “Brand, burn up, bite into its grace— / He is sure to remember her dying face!”, which draws the reader’s attention to the horrifying planned murder. The delusional mindset that this character portrays is evident through Browning’s use of the exclamation mark continuously punctuating her lines to connote her excited tone, which is rather strange when considering the topic at hand is regarding murder. Additionally, with this portrayal of the perpetrator, Browning defies the conventions of crime through the murderer’s status as a female; the archetypal female was primarily that of either the damsel in distress or the ethereal self-sacrificing angel. This character assumes great power and control within this poem, which modern readers may understand to be empowerment. This therefore generates some intrigue as a result of the narrative lens in relation to this character; due to this character being interesting and multi-layered, the motives for the murder are therefore more interesting than the murder itself, since characters drive the action, and readers may learn more about the character through implicit allusions. It is this intrigue that makes the motives more interesting than the murders within this poem to a large extent.

Neglecting the murders themselves within the poems of Browning and Wilde, this makes the motives more interesting than the murders to a certain extent. Browning’s poem ‘The Laboratory’ occurs prior to the murder whilst ‘My Last Duchess’ discusses the aftermath, the latter shifting the focus from the murder to materialistic objects such as the sculpture of Neptune “Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!” Browning’s usage of the dramatic monologue form provides a personal insight into the character of the Duke’s mind, and through the lack of stanzas in conjunction to the use of enjambment, Browning generates a sense of a stream-of-consciousness where the narrative voice rambles, revealing some instability within this perpetrator. Browning’s primary focus within this poem is that of the construction of the characters, in comparison to Wilde, who focuses on the unjust justice system within his poem ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’. His poem reduces the significance of the original crime of murder, and instead focuses on the murder of this criminal in the form of punishment (as an attempt to restore order and harmony within society). Although the latter is still a murder, the reader cannot help but wonder at the specific motives that the poet does not elaborate on, the motives behind the reason for why the criminal entered the prison system that Wilde condemns within this poem. Wilde’s neglect of the murder itself in favour of the condemnation of the prison system appears to arise out of his own experiences: as an inmate arrested for the crime of homosexuality— not as regarded as a crime by modern readers— during Victorian England where he was mistreated within the system. This negatively coloured perception of the prison system therefore diverts the attention from the crime of the murder that occurs within the poem onto the injustice faced by the prisoner. As the prisoner is thereby murdered by the guards (a representation and extension of the system itself), readers then question the motives of the guards. Although the guards appear to be flat characters when viewed from the narrative lens (wherein they are demonised and are singularly motivated by the desire to inflict pain on the inmates), readers are left to wonder about their individual desires since one has to remember that regardless of how brutally or immorally they treat their prisoners, they are nevertheless human. Hence, motives are nevertheless more interesting than the murders within these poems to a certain extent.

However, some may argue that this statement is relatively untrue, as the murders are more fascinating to the reader as a result of the omission of various details, causing mystery. Both Browning and Wilde’s poems utilise unreliable narrators, the former from the perspective of the perpetrator, the latter from a sympathetic bystander. As exemplified by Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’, the speaker is untrustworthy, and does not detail the exact circumstances surrounding the murder of his Duchess. Although Browning alludes to this character’s death through the lines “[...] I gave commands;/ Then all smiles stopped together. [...]”, the reader is not privy to the murder weapon or the details of the murder. Readers are only aware of the fact of her death. This omission is also prominent within ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’, where Wilde’s speaker is biased in terms of being supportive of the criminal, and instead focuses on his portrayal of the faults of the justice system to create a dichotomy of right versus wrong. Wilde only mentions this horrendous murder briefly in the first stanza, where Wilde details the discovery of “When they found him with the dead… murdered in her bed.” Readers are aware of the violence of this murder through the line “And blood and wine were on his hands”, suggesting that there was pain and brutality involved in the death of his loved one. As Wilde dedicated ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’ to Woodridge, readers may assume that this man is the murderer, the speaker within the poem. With this knowledge, readers may be more aware that the actual murder was a more intense affair than the one portrayed within the poem, so it may increase the interest of the reader as a result. The repetition of “blood and wine” within this stanza links these two nouns interchangeably, where the latter connotes hedonism and excess, yet some may link it to the Biblical nature of wine and bread, the blood of Jesus Christ. However, with these contradictory connotations of this phrase, Wilde culminates the readers’ interest towards the murder, as this blurs the lines between perpetrator, criminal, and victim, piquing the readers’ interest towards the motives instead of the murders themselves. Hence, although some may argue that this statement is relatively untrue, others would argue that the motives are more interesting than the murders overall to a certain extent.

In conclusion, the motives of the murder are inevitably more interesting than the murder itself within this poem selection, for the motives reflect the psychological exploration that these poets attempted to embark on through the creation of their round multifaceted characters, reflecting the questioning brought on by the onset of the Enlightenment during the time of their writing. This overwhelming curiosity surrounding personality and the question of what spurs the commitment of a crime therefore spreads to the reader, making the motives infinitely more interesting than the murders overall.
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hayzc
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#5
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#5
You don't have to follow the essay above, it's only an example. Different people have different writing styles, and it's not necessary to mention everything that I mentioned (my friend got similar marks and her answers weren't as convoluted lmao. She was more straightforward in her method of answering. You just have to make sure to fulfil the AOs).

Additionally, what I don't like about my essay above is the introduction, and my shoehorning 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The latter is not necessary, and I was able to achieve an A at AS without mentioning the wider reading. What helped me a lot was to look at the elements of crime/tragedy within the syllabus to help me inform my argument/views regarding the text and what to mention within the essays. Read the examiner reports and markschemes as well, they're extremely helpful.

Hope that helps! x
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Vinny123
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#6
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by hayzc)
You don't have to follow the essay above, it's only an example. Different people have different writing styles, and it's not necessary to mention everything that I mentioned (my friend got similar marks and her answers weren't as convoluted lmao. She was more straightforward in her method of answering. You just have to make sure to fulfil the AOs).

Additionally, what I don't like about my essay above is the introduction, and my shoehorning 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The latter is not necessary, and I was able to achieve an A at AS without mentioning the wider reading. What helped me a lot was to look at the elements of crime/tragedy within the syllabus to help me inform my argument/views regarding the text and what to mention within the essays. Read the examiner reports and markschemes as well, they're extremely helpful.

Hope that helps! x
Thank you so much for sharing this! This will honestly help a lot
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hayzc
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Vinny123)
Thank you so much for sharing this! This will honestly help a lot
You're welcome
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