Cassey2002
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Hello, my school have decided to give us exams after all in a weeks time ( we got 2 weeks notice, yay) which means I need to learn some critics. I’ve got a bunch for themes and characters but I was wondering what exactly I need to learn? Should I learn say three or four per theme and character or will a couple do? And should I just learn them by character or theme? Do I need to know the quotes word to word or just the critic and the general idea they’re presenting? Sorry a lot of questions, I have a tendency to panic and try and learn everything which isn’t always the best approach. If any one has experience with memorising critics for English lit exams and has any advice it would be really appreciated. Thanks
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Hyperbolit
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(Original post by Cassey2002)
Hello, my school have decided to give us exams after all in a weeks time ( we got 2 weeks notice, yay) which means I need to learn some critics. I’ve got a bunch for themes and characters but I was wondering what exactly I need to learn? Should I learn say three or four per theme and character or will a couple do? And should I just learn them by character or theme? Do I need to know the quotes word to word or just the critic and the general idea they’re presenting? Sorry a lot of questions, I have a tendency to panic and try and learn everything which isn’t always the best approach. If any one has experience with memorising critics for English lit exams and has any advice it would be really appreciated. Thanks
Hi there, my advice for this would be to look up 2 lit critics / pieces of secondary criticism for each text, and best if they hold different / opposing views. I would also go for the most prominent critics in each area of study, so e.g. Stephen Greenblatt for Shakespeare (check out his 'Will in the World' and look up sections in the book that's relevant to whichever Shax text you're studying, assuming you are doing Shax, of course), Christopher Ricks for Victorian poetry (his 'Tennyson' is comprehensive, or you could check out snippets of his criticism on the poem 'Maud' here: https://hyperbolit.com/2020/05/06/fi...-to-use-which/), Harold Bloom for the Romantics, Terry Eagleton for 'Marxist' criticism, Elaine Showalter for feminist criticism ('Gynocriticism') etc. I would steer clear away from figures such as Derrida, Saussure, Foucault and Judith Butler, all of who tend to confuse more than illuminate (especially at the stage of A-Level study).
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Cassey2002
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(Original post by Hyperbolit)
Hi there, my advice for this would be to look up 2 lit critics / pieces of secondary criticism for each text, and best if they hold different / opposing views. I would also go for the most prominent critics in each area of study, so e.g. Stephen Greenblatt for Shakespeare (check out his 'Will in the World' and look up sections in the book that's relevant to whichever Shax text you're studying, assuming you are doing Shax, of course), Christopher Ricks for Victorian poetry (his 'Tennyson' is comprehensive, or you could check out snippets of his criticism on the poem 'Maud' here: https://hyperbolit.com/2020/05/06/fi...-to-use-which/), Harold Bloom for the Romantics, Terry Eagleton for 'Marxist' criticism, Elaine Showalter for feminist criticism ('Gynocriticism') etc. I would steer clear away from figures such as Derrida, Saussure, Foucault and Judith Butler, all of who tend to confuse more than illuminate (especially at the stage of A-Level study).
Thank you so much, that’s really helpful ! 😊
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Hyperbolit
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To add: Seamus Heaney for Romanticism and Robert Douglas-Fairhurst for anything Victorian Lit are also top-notch.
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Hyperbolit
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Sorry, correction: I meant Seamus PERRY. Lol. Not Seamus Heaney the poet (who’s also very good!)
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