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A2 Hamlet- people who have done it and are doing it- tips? watch

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    hey everybody im doing A2 eng lit
    and im doing hamlet this year
    just wanted to ask people who are studying it or who have already done it if they have any tips on studying for it?

    thank you
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    Yay, I'm doing Hamlet this year as well.

    Basically read it and read around it. York Notes and stuff aren't bad. Don't rely on your teachers, Lit lessons should be for discussion not spoonfeeding. Do your work outside the class. Write every essay. Go through the play with sticky notes and make annotations throughout, find ways to learn as many quotes as possible. Read critical stuff, examiners' reports, AOs, book introductions etc. And read it about three times. And no, I haven't got around to doing it yet. :p:
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    Also, rather than going off and getting summaries of Sparknotes and stuff, make your own. You won't learn anything if all you're doing is reading something written by some bloke on the Internet.
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    (Original post by necessarily benevolent)
    Yay, I'm doing Hamlet this year as well.

    Basically read it and read around it. York Notes and stuff aren't bad. Don't rely on your teachers, Lit lessons should be for discussion not spoonfeeding. Do your work outside the class. Write every essay. Go through the play with sticky notes and make annotations throughout, find ways to learn as many quotes as possible. Read critical stuff, examiners' reports, AOs, book introductions etc. And read it about three times. And no, I haven't got around to doing it yet. :p:
    yeah ive read it but we still havent finished reading it as a class and i wanna get a move on, ive read yorknotes done annotations but i havent done any essays yet so im gonna do that
    im thinking about getting an audio book as well
    probably make me fall asleep though :rolleyes:
    but thanks
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    Yeah, I've done that. Get an mp3 version, its an easy way to find quotes, and remember large chunks of the text (dependent on how you learn I guess).
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    Read it, did the exam and got a B. The most important thing is to remember **** loads of quotations. Seriously start now, I didnt start soon and had to rush things!
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    Yeah, I did Hamlet at A2, and got an A. My only tip, apart from really thoroughly reading the play/going over the themes/checking out words you don't recognise in the glossary (assuming your version has one) is this: watch as many different versions of the play as you can. I watched the Kenneth Branagh, the BBC one with Derek Jacobi, the Mel Gibson, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (not that that'll help you much but it's good for a laugh) and after my exam I saw David Tennant playing Hamlet in Stratford. What this is good for is seeing how actors actually speak the lines- they'll show you whether it's meant in jest, or in anger, or whatever. It gives great insight into the play.
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    (Original post by Cooro)
    Yeah, I did Hamlet at A2, and got an A. My only tip, apart from really thoroughly reading the play/going over the themes/checking out words you don't recognise in the glossary (assuming your version has one) is this: watch as many different versions of the play as you can. I watched the Kenneth Branagh, the BBC one with Derek Jacobi, the Mel Gibson, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (not that that'll help you much but it's good for a laugh) and after my exam I saw David Tennant playing Hamlet in Stratford. What this is good for is seeing how actors actually speak the lines- they'll show you whether it's meant in jest, or in anger, or whatever. It gives great insight into the play.
    oh thanks yeah the sckool tried to get tickets for tennant and failed heh
    and well done on your A
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    (Original post by diorbaby1687)
    oh thanks yeah the sckool tried to get tickets for tennant and failed heh
    and well done on your A
    Thank you That show was amazing. I went with my family as I'd finished college by then but yeah, it was really good. I highly recommend the Kenneth Branagh film, too.
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    Yeah I'm doing this exam in January. I've got the york notes which is pretty good. apparently it's the hardest exam I will face in my life
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    (Original post by 02mik_e)
    Yeah I'm doing this exam in January. I've got the york notes which is pretty good. apparently it's the hardest exam I will face in my life
    I can live under the assurance that it won't be harder than the HAT. :p:
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    (Original post by 02mik_e)
    Yeah I'm doing this exam in January. I've got the york notes which is pretty good. apparently it's the hardest exam I will face in my life
    oh your doing it in jan? eek good luck
    were going to do a war module in jan i dont mind that ^^
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    I'm going to see Hamlet on wedsnesday...with David Tennant!! Going to be amazing! Currently reading in class, we read it, annotate the bit we read then watch it, Kenneth B version, tbh best version. Anyone else doing the AQA paper? Its only one question on one of the papers! All this great knowledge for half of one exam! We jsut did a practise paper and i found that i wrote loads about the characters the contexts etc, different theories but not an awful lot about language, do lit lang btw.
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    (Original post by tomtom:))
    I'm going to see Hamlet on wedsnesday...with David Tennant!! Going to be amazing! Currently reading in class, we read it, annotate the bit we read then watch it, Kenneth B version, tbh best version. Anyone else doing the AQA paper? Its only one question on one of the papers! All this great knowledge for half of one exam! We jsut did a practise paper and i found that i wrote loads about the characters the contexts etc, different theories but not an awful lot about language, do lit lang btw.
    arghh i envy you! lol i lovee D.tennant!

    hey guys! urm yh i do hamlet know, i think it might be interesting to discuss him here!

    so what do you all make of the play and who are your fav characters?
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    mike-o
    i am doing it in jan to
    are you doing it in conjunction with poetry?
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    I did it for A2 and got an A.
    It really isn't the hardest exam you wil do in your life lol!!

    The best tip I can give is to make a list of all the themes in the book and then write around 6-10 quotes for each of them. This gives you plenty to refer to in the exam. Also make a list of characters who best fit that theme or emotion and in an exam you could give an example of how they differ in dealing with it.
    Come up with ideas that challenge themes, e.g if a question asks you about the theme of the supernatural you could argue that it wasn't this at all but a product of ill mental health etc etc

    Exam questions change every year, I know, but there is always something to do with themes in there somewhere. Read around the book aswell to discover the SCH background at the time and what may have contributed to Shakespeare putting those themes into the play.

    It's a fun play to study! Also, as others have said, it might be good for you to get an audio book or see the play as you can learn a little bit more about the intention behind the lines. Keep in mind though that every adaptation is viewed differently so take it with a pinch of salt and form your own conclusions form the text.
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    (Original post by Pspri)
    mike-o
    i am doing it in jan to
    are you doing it in conjunction with poetry?
    yeah I'm doing the poetry one as well in Jan. I enjoy the poetry a lot more, but Hamlet is also quite fun. It's a lot better than Henry V last year at least . Have you got any lyrical ballad guides?
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    I don't think I even read the whole play before the exam (a lot of it but not all of it). But mine had two parts, one on the themes (which I chose the crucible for, my teacher focused on hamlet which most of my class chose and a theme they hadn't even studied came up, you could see everyone's face drop when they had read the question) and then another on how you would set the play which is fairly easy to do without reading the play.

    Got an A.

    BUT, there are loads of books out in the library which will have all kinds of useful information about Hamlet. Get them out and generally pick and choose chapters depending on what you need to know (thats what I do for my drama degree lol). Spark notes etc is alright but try to read the play and pick out things you see first and then turn to things like that and books.
    Themes, characters, message behind the story, what shakespeare uses to emphasise messages/how he wants the audience to react, setting the play. As people mentioned actually watching the play (there are various different versions, watching a few is good) to see how the actors speak the lines. Oh and key quotes... very important.
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    (Original post by necessarily benevolent)
    Also, rather than going off and getting summaries of Sparknotes and stuff, make your own. You won't learn anything if all you're doing is reading something written by some bloke on the Internet.

    Probably shouldn't try and advise yourself, then :eek:
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    (Original post by amy.dd)
    I don't think I even read the whole play before the exam (a lot of it but not all of it). But mine had two parts, one on the themes (which I chose the crucible for, my teacher focused on hamlet which most of my class chose and a theme they hadn't even studied came up, you could see everyone's face drop when they had read the question) and then another on how you would set the play which is fairly easy to do without reading the play.

    Got an A.

    BUT, there are loads of books out in the library which will have all kinds of useful information about Hamlet. Get them out and generally pick and choose chapters depending on what you need to know (thats what I do for my drama degree lol). Spark notes etc is alright but try to read the play and pick out things you see first and then turn to things like that and books.
    Themes, characters, message behind the story, what shakespeare uses to emphasise messages/how he wants the audience to react, setting the play. As people mentioned actually watching the play (there are various different versions, watching a few is good) to see how the actors speak the lines. Oh and key quotes... very important.
    haha ive always wanted to know what its like to do the question not on your schools syllabus etc high five to you :yep:
 
 
 
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