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Macbeth GCSE help needed!!

Hi all,
I'm in year 11 and have a Macbeth mock pretty soon. We learnt Macbeth last year but it was just reading the play, not properly analysing it. I really want to get a grade 9 and so far i've been confused on how to revise Macbeth. I watched a few Mr salles youtube vids and made notes, they were a little confusing to me and I didn't feel as if I gained much out of it. Some advice I've been given is to read grade 9 exemplar essays but I feel like there are very limited essays out there and I have had no luck finding any :frown:. Currently practicing a Macbeth essay on guilt so hopefully that goes well. But, if anyone has advice on how to achieve a grade 9 in Macbeth, where to find exemplar essays or any grade 9 analysis, PLEASE reply. It would be really helpful, thanks:smile:
Pop me a message , would be happy to jump on a zoom with you or read your essay and help you out- I got 30/30 on tne final exam in macbeth and I haven’t read the play
Reply 2
Original post by Crystalcreps
Pop me a message , would be happy to jump on a zoom with you or read your essay and help you out- I got 30/30 on tne final exam in macbeth and I haven’t read the play

Thanks!, I'll write here what I've got so far (this is my first time writing a Macbeth essay):
QUESTION: "What Macbeth and Lady Macbeth say in this extract that reveals their attitude to guilt. How Shakespeare explores guilt in the play as a whole."

Throughout the play, Shakespeare explores ideas around guilt. Whilst it may appear that blood is a motif for guilt, Shakespeare also highlights the contrast between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with acknowledging their wrong doings and their different perspectives of guilt (since Lady Macbeth sees guilt as cowardness towards the start of the play).

In the extract, it is immediately apparent that Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as a character who is self-aware and extremely guilty. Shakespeare uses the act of hand-washing as a metaphorical device to portray both Macbeth and his "fiend like Queen" as guilt-ridden. After committing regicide Macbeth questions " will great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?". The verb "wash" demonstrates Macbeth's urge to be cleansed from his sins and "my hands" has a posessive pronoun which shows Macbeth taking responsibility for his actions. The allusion to the 'great' God of the sea consolidates that even the most powerful ocean being could not cleanse him of his crime. Shakespeare likely wanted to forewarn the audience that, by distrupting the 'great chain of being' and murdering his kind: Macbeth would face severe consequences: contrition and ultimately, his death.

More widely in the play, the motif of blood is continuously used as a symbol of Macbeth's guilt due to the amount of lives taken. Macbeth accepts that he is "in blood stepped in so far". Macbeth comes to realise that he can no longer go forward in his life without carrying his guilt and shame and that there is no going back, as Lady Macbeth says: "What's done is done." Macbeth realises what he has left behind and destroyed and he's left with a "fruitless crown" in which this murder comes to no use anymore. Clearly, Macbeth is being consumed with guilt. Furthermore, another motif in the play is Banquo's ghost. Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost and exclaims: "Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold." Macbeth's vision of the ghost reveals his guilt over ordering the murder of Banquo and his young son. His sense of guilt is so powerful that he loses his sense of reality and isn't sure whether he is having a vision or not. He speaks this line in order to reassure himself that Banquo is truly dead. In doing so, Macbeth reveals his tormented consciousness is leading him to start losing his grip on sanity.

So, that is what I've done so far. I was thinking of doing a paragraph on Lady Macbeth aswell. I do feel like I could add to these paragraphs that I've written but I'm not sure what. If anyone has some tips / constructive criticism, that would be appreciated, thanks.
Wnat yku have is good, great even, but your over complicating it .

Your writing isn’t structural enough- at GCSE level ylu just need to bang tne points home. Pop me a message and I’ll email you my structure.
Reply 4
Original post by Crystalcreps
Wnat yku have is good, great even, but your over complicating it .

Your writing isn’t structural enough- at GCSE level ylu just need to bang tne points home. Pop me a message and I’ll email you my structure.

I've joined student room today + it won't allow me to send messages unfortunately, is there a way I can fix that?
Original post by hudxx23
I've joined student room today + it won't allow me to send messages unfortunately, is there a way I can fix that?


Not sure - I’ll send it on here tommorow- let me fish it out
Original post by hudxx23
I've joined student room today + it won't allow me to send messages unfortunately, is there a way I can fix that?


Will sift through my emails and send my advice tommofwo
Original post by hudxx23
Hi all,
I'm in year 11 and have a Macbeth mock pretty soon. We learnt Macbeth last year but it was just reading the play, not properly analysing it. I really want to get a grade 9 and so far i've been confused on how to revise Macbeth. I watched a few Mr salles youtube vids and made notes, they were a little confusing to me and I didn't feel as if I gained much out of it. Some advice I've been given is to read grade 9 exemplar essays but I feel like there are very limited essays out there and I have had no luck finding any :frown:. Currently practicing a Macbeth essay on guilt so hopefully that goes well. But, if anyone has advice on how to achieve a grade 9 in Macbeth, where to find exemplar essays or any grade 9 analysis, PLEASE reply. It would be really helpful, thanks:smile:


Hi! It's great that you're taking the initiative to prepare for your Macbeth mock and aiming for a grade 9. Here are some tips that might help:

Read and annotate the play thoroughly - this will help you develop a deeper understanding of the characters, themes, and language used in Macbeth.

Practice essay writing - it's great that you're already practicing writing an essay on guilt. Keep practicing and seek feedback from your teacher or peers to improve your writing skills.

Use study guides and resources - in addition to watching Mr Salles' videos, you can also use study guides and resources such as SparkNotes or York Notes to help you understand the play.

Read sample essays - you mentioned that you've had trouble finding grade 9 exemplar essays, but there are some resources out there that might be helpful. For example, you can search for sample essays on the websites of exam boards like AQA or Edexcel. Additionally, your teacher might have some sample essays or resources they can share with you.

Understand the assessment objectives - make sure you understand what the examiners are looking for and tailor your essay writing accordingly. The assessment objectives for English literature typically include knowledge and understanding of the text, analysis of language, structure, and form, and evaluation of context, themes, and characters.

Practice time management - make sure you're able to complete your essay within the allotted time, and practice planning and structuring your essays to make the most of your time.

Remember that achieving a grade 9 requires consistent effort and practice. Keep working hard, seek feedback and guidance from your teacher, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Good luck on your mock!
Original post by hudxx23
Hi all,
I'm in year 11 and have a Macbeth mock pretty soon. We learnt Macbeth last year but it was just reading the play, not properly analysing it. I really want to get a grade 9 and so far i've been confused on how to revise Macbeth. I watched a few Mr salles youtube vids and made notes, they were a little confusing to me and I didn't feel as if I gained much out of it. Some advice I've been given is to read grade 9 exemplar essays but I feel like there are very limited essays out there and I have had no luck finding any :frown:. Currently practicing a Macbeth essay on guilt so hopefully that goes well. But, if anyone has advice on how to achieve a grade 9 in Macbeth, where to find exemplar essays or any grade 9 analysis, PLEASE reply. It would be really helpful, thanks:smile:


Firstly, the enthusiasm you've shown on TSR is very much admirable. In order to get better in a subject you need to set targets and be set on progression and you are very much doing so.

Overall, English Literature (and language) GCSE is a game. You are essentially playing against the examiner- trying to pick up different points across the exam. To do this it is very simple- follow a structure.

Macbeth has three different parts.

Before the Death of the King- rising action
The Death of the King-climax
The aftermath of the death of the king. - falling action

And simply put, any effective essay question that you provide a response to should contain three paragraphs all looking at at a different part of the play (P1- rising action ect ect)

What. ifound effective was to look at character journeys, so in this way, I could choose a couple of quotes from macbeth at the start, at the middle, and at the end of the play, and compare and evaluate.



Here is the structure that i used . - and it can be seen in an extract from my 30/30 in the real thing response (p1)

Firstly, when looking at the beginning of the play we are shown Macbeth to be a 'Noble' figure who is much respected by all- yet he has the grave hamartia of ambition that is trying to veer him into making poor decisions (SUBJECT TERMINOLOGY) THIS IS YOUR THESIS STATEMENT FOR THE PARAGRAPH

Macbeth has to choose between 'Light'- which has angelic connotations, and connotations of purity, which suggests the kindhearted and respected leader that he can become or he can choose 'dark'- which connotates pain, suffering and death. Shakespear uses this juxtaposition to present the fact that at this stage of the play, Macbeth can make just decisions and it is upto him to choose between good and bad.

(thIS IS MY FIRST PIECE OF QUOTATION AND ANALYSIS)

In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is also trying to ensure that Macbeth lets his 'vaulting ambition' get to him in. the quest for power, and she does this by trying to question his masculinity by telling him that he is too full of the 'milk' of human kindness. Milk is white which symbolises purity, and kindness, and Lady Macbeth is trying to present this towards her husband in the quest for him to man up and seek power and committ regicide. Maybe this is a sign of desperation for Lady Macbeth, and shows how she is desperate for power and glory- potentially because she couldny provide Macbeth with a surviving heir, so instead she is trying to offer him something that he cannot refuse- Power, and she makes Macbeth fearful of himself in being feminine and gentile- in the quest to instill fear into him, which in essence makes him want to side towards 'dark' rather than 'light' (he makes decisions justly humself at this point in the play

(ALETERNATIVE INTERPRETATION LINKING BACK TO MY ORIGINAL QUOTATIONS)


The Jacobean audience would be anxious for Macbeth, as they will nt want him to succumb to choosing the darkness that his wife wants him to choose, as in the Jacobean era- everyone knew their place in society, and it is a massive shock that Lady Macbeth is trying to make Macbeth dirupt the natural Patriarchy in the quest for power.

(ASSUME THE AUDIENCE REACTION AND TIE IN CONTEXT)

S- subject specific terminology
A-Analysis- bring in connotations in this and the next A.
A-Alternative Interpretation
C-Context
A- Audience response -

You dont need to read the text only look up key quotes

That is all you need to do.

so you only need to remember quotes from characters at each element of the play (btw all teh content is one paragraph)

the extract will be from one of those areas of the play so please just use it as the base for that paragraph.

Im happy to (free of charge) to read some work of yours or tutor you over zoom for a session or two.
Reply 9
Original post by Crystalcreps
Firstly, the enthusiasm you've shown on TSR is very much admirable. In order to get better in a subject you need to set targets and be set on progression and you are very much doing so.

Overall, English Literature (and language) GCSE is a game. You are essentially playing against the examiner- trying to pick up different points across the exam. To do this it is very simple- follow a structure.

Macbeth has three different parts.

Before the Death of the King- rising action
The Death of the King-climax
The aftermath of the death of the king. - falling action

And simply put, any effective essay question that you provide a response to should contain three paragraphs all looking at at a different part of the play (P1- rising action ect ect)

What. ifound effective was to look at character journeys, so in this way, I could choose a couple of quotes from macbeth at the start, at the middle, and at the end of the play, and compare and evaluate.



Here is the structure that i used . - and it can be seen in an extract from my 30/30 in the real thing response (p1)

Firstly, when looking at the beginning of the play we are shown Macbeth to be a 'Noble' figure who is much respected by all- yet he has the grave hamartia of ambition that is trying to veer him into making poor decisions (SUBJECT TERMINOLOGY) THIS IS YOUR THESIS STATEMENT FOR THE PARAGRAPH

Macbeth has to choose between 'Light'- which has angelic connotations, and connotations of purity, which suggests the kindhearted and respected leader that he can become or he can choose 'dark'- which connotates pain, suffering and death. Shakespear uses this juxtaposition to present the fact that at this stage of the play, Macbeth can make just decisions and it is upto him to choose between good and bad.

(thIS IS MY FIRST PIECE OF QUOTATION AND ANALYSIS)

In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is also trying to ensure that Macbeth lets his 'vaulting ambition' get to him in. the quest for power, and she does this by trying to question his masculinity by telling him that he is too full of the 'milk' of human kindness. Milk is white which symbolises purity, and kindness, and Lady Macbeth is trying to present this towards her husband in the quest for him to man up and seek power and committ regicide. Maybe this is a sign of desperation for Lady Macbeth, and shows how she is desperate for power and glory- potentially because she couldny provide Macbeth with a surviving heir, so instead she is trying to offer him something that he cannot refuse- Power, and she makes Macbeth fearful of himself in being feminine and gentile- in the quest to instill fear into him, which in essence makes him want to side towards 'dark' rather than 'light' (he makes decisions justly humself at this point in the play

(ALETERNATIVE INTERPRETATION LINKING BACK TO MY ORIGINAL QUOTATIONS)


The Jacobean audience would be anxious for Macbeth, as they will nt want him to succumb to choosing the darkness that his wife wants him to choose, as in the Jacobean era- everyone knew their place in society, and it is a massive shock that Lady Macbeth is trying to make Macbeth dirupt the natural Patriarchy in the quest for power.

(ASSUME THE AUDIENCE REACTION AND TIE IN CONTEXT)

S- subject specific terminology
A-Analysis- bring in connotations in this and the next A.
A-Alternative Interpretation
C-Context
A- Audience response -

You dont need to read the text only look up key quotes

That is all you need to do.

so you only need to remember quotes from characters at each element of the play (btw all teh content is one paragraph)

the extract will be from one of those areas of the play so please just use it as the base for that paragraph.

Im happy to (free of charge) to read some work of yours or tutor you over zoom for a session or two.


Thank you so much! that was very informative + helpful, I really appreciate it. I'll definitely be implementing this structure next time I write a macbeth essay. 1) What was the question for the essay you did? 2) So, should I just use SAACA for each paragraph I write? 3) Also, for the conclusion, am I just meant to sum up all the points I've discussed?
Reply 10
Original post by Curious_Bilawi
Hi! It's great that you're taking the initiative to prepare for your Macbeth mock and aiming for a grade 9. Here are some tips that might help:

Read and annotate the play thoroughly - this will help you develop a deeper understanding of the characters, themes, and language used in Macbeth.

Practice essay writing - it's great that you're already practicing writing an essay on guilt. Keep practicing and seek feedback from your teacher or peers to improve your writing skills.

Use study guides and resources - in addition to watching Mr Salles' videos, you can also use study guides and resources such as SparkNotes or York Notes to help you understand the play.

Read sample essays - you mentioned that you've had trouble finding grade 9 exemplar essays, but there are some resources out there that might be helpful. For example, you can search for sample essays on the websites of exam boards like AQA or Edexcel. Additionally, your teacher might have some sample essays or resources they can share with you.

Understand the assessment objectives - make sure you understand what the examiners are looking for and tailor your essay writing accordingly. The assessment objectives for English literature typically include knowledge and understanding of the text, analysis of language, structure, and form, and evaluation of context, themes, and characters.

Practice time management - make sure you're able to complete your essay within the allotted time, and practice planning and structuring your essays to make the most of your time.

Remember that achieving a grade 9 requires consistent effort and practice. Keep working hard, seek feedback and guidance from your teacher, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Good luck on your mock!

Thankyou so much for all this advice!! Really appreciate it
I found revising the themes in Macbeth was really helpful- makes it pretty likely that you'll already have some points ready no matter what the question is, since they'll normally always come under/link closely to the main themes.
SparkNotes really helped me with that! https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/themes/
I also found it really helpful to go for a more psychoanalytical approach for the characters- won't work for every question, but if you're lucky enough to have it come up/be relevant enough then I found I got a lot of marks from analysing the characters :smile:
Reply 12
Original post by hudxx23
Hi all,
I'm in year 11 and have a Macbeth mock pretty soon. We learnt Macbeth last year but it was just reading the play, not properly analysing it. I really want to get a grade 9 and so far i've been confused on how to revise Macbeth. I watched a few Mr salles youtube vids and made notes, they were a little confusing to me and I didn't feel as if I gained much out of it. Some advice I've been given is to read grade 9 exemplar essays but I feel like there are very limited essays out there and I have had no luck finding any :frown:. Currently practicing a Macbeth essay on guilt so hopefully that goes well. But, if anyone has advice on how to achieve a grade 9 in Macbeth, where to find exemplar essays or any grade 9 analysis, PLEASE reply. It would be really helpful, thanks:smile:


I think Mytutor has like a forum where there are tutors explaining English lit stuff if that helps, I can search it up for you
Reply 13
Original post by OllieFroggie
I found revising the themes in Macbeth was really helpful- makes it pretty likely that you'll already have some points ready no matter what the question is, since they'll normally always come under/link closely to the main themes.
SparkNotes really helped me with that! https://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/themes/
I also found it really helpful to go for a more psychoanalytical approach for the characters- won't work for every question, but if you're lucky enough to have it come up/be relevant enough then I found I got a lot of marks from analysing the characters :smile:


Thankyou! That was helpful
Original post by hudxx23
Thank you so much! that was very informative + helpful, I really appreciate it. I'll definitely be implementing this structure next time I write a macbeth essay. 1) What was the question for the essay you did? 2) So, should I just use SAACA for each paragraph I write? 3) Also, for the conclusion, am I just meant to sum up all the points I've discussed?


Yes you should for both points- the questjon was on Macbeth’s fear. Sorry for the late response
Original post by Crystalcreps
Yes you should for both points- the questjon was on Macbeth’s fear. Sorry for the late response


Let me know how it goes once you use it - I’ll be happy to look at an essay of yours

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