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Marking any English Past Paper Question!

Not long until the exams now!

As I did last year, I will be active on here if anyone would like to submit any past paper questions they have done. I will offer you as much feedback and areas for improvement as possible, and also give you a mark/grade!

I specialise in English language and literature, however would be able to offer support in other subjects including biology, maths, music (and other). Just let me know!

Good luck to everyone!
(edited 1 month ago)

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Original post by Georgeallen
Not long until the exams now!
As I did last year, I will be active on here if anyone would like to submit any past paper questions they have done. I will offer you as much feedback and areas for improvement as possible, and also give you a mark/grade!
I specialise in English language and literature, however would be able to offer support in other subjects including biology, maths, music (and other). Just let me know!
Good luck to everyone!
Hey, could you pls mark my GCSE AQA English Literature 30 mark answer on Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
could i send it on here if you don't mind, thanks
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by revision52
could i send it on here if you don't mind, thanks

no worries, send it through and i’ll have a look tomorrow
Original post by Georgeallen
no worries, send it through and i’ll have a look tomorrow

How far does Golding present Jack as a character who changes in Lord of the Flies? (34)
Golding uses the character of Jack to show that he changes as he descends into savagery throughout the novel. When we first meet Jack, he rejects his given name; “Why should I be Jack? I’m Merridew”. This marks the beginning of Jack’s strong sense of individuality. At the start, we also see Jack’s interaction with Ralph about the Beast when he states “you can feel as if you’re not hunting but being hunted”. This highlights the fact that Jack is still just an ordinary young British boy who is scared of this fear coating the island without any adult supervision. As the story unfolds, we see anarchy represented and Jack’s deep desires and motives on the island. We see Jack’s anger and growing violent tendencies by exclaiming, “Before I could kill it-next time!”. At this point, it seems Jack is ambivalent as he still shows mercy towards the pig but at the same time, Golding’s use of the exclamation mark foreshadows Jack’s inclination towards savagery and brutality, suggesting he is about to change into something civilisation would deny. Golding also wants the reader to think that mankind is inherently evil as Jack displays this through the killing of animals and putting the whole island on fire, which shows Jack has changed as he has no mercy on mother nature and the island. Linking this with the biblical allegory, the Island serves as a perfect paradise, heaven, and could be interpreted as the Garden of Eden. But then, Jack sets the whole island on fire, commits sins and becomes evil. The island and the boys are a microcosm of society as outside the island, the same thing is happening; savage grown-ups killing each other in barbaric wars. This reveals that Jack has changed entirely by the end of the novel into something that mankind is truly evil. Golding wants to put this idea forward as he uses dramatic irony towards the end which is that Jack’s fire got the boys rescued, but the real intention was to hurt Ralph. Golding wants the reader to think that when babies are born they are inherently evil as they’re born with original sin, they’re mischievous, they know how to lie as that comes natural. But what doesn’t come naturally is to be civilised. And Golding has regressed Jack into a baby as in Chapter 12; “Jack was a little boy”.
The first change in Jack that we see is using taboo language towards Piggy as well as physically assaulting him, breaking his glasses, and consistently using the derogatory term ‘fatty’ to address the character. This signals a shift in power dynamics, foreshadowing Jack’s aggressive totalitarianism and fascist leadership style. Moreover, Jack is victimising the weak and the working class by scapegoating and marginalising Piggy as Jack is absolutist, linking with the context behind the time this novel was written in 1954 where the bourgeoisie (upper class) exploited the proletariat (working class) into ‘false class consciousness’. This also means that the demagogues who exploit populist sentiments, like Jack, can easily gain power with an immature, misinformed electorate. Jack is the political allegory in this novel as he parallels to Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power in the 1930s, as the Nazi Party gained popular support by appealing to the darker emotions in human psychology and fanning popular hatred towards scapegoats like the Jews. Here, Golding may want the reader to think about class divisions and physical appearances, qualities and attributes that can lead to separation between different social groups by using contrasting characters, as Piggy’s asthma, specs, weight and accent puts him into the bottom of dominance ladder even though his ideas may be wise. This shows a change in Jack’s style of leadership as the novel progresses as he becomes more dictatorial and has dominance and authority over the boys on the island as he starts manipulating and controlling them. Golding might have chosen Jack to be dominant as Jack was a slang word for ‘man’ in the middle ages and the fact there are no girls in this novella reflects the patriarchal society of the 1950s.
‘Painted Faces and Long Hair’ serves as a turning point for Jack descending into savagery, as “Jack plans a new face”. The adjective “new” has connotations of good and it shows growth in a person which contradicts what Jack is doing. Here, Jack is painting his face like a barbarian and giving himself over to bloodlust. By masking his face, Jack ultimately becomes more animalistic as animals use camouflage to hunt down their prey, this a step-back because it illustrates the devolution of humans, and a change in Jack’s nature. But, as we establish further on in the novel, the more savage Jack becomes, the more he is able to control the rest of the boys. This is further intensified by Jack’s serious obsession of hunting and thirst for power intensifying as he rejects Ralph’s authority and democratic leadership, which leads him to create a savage tribe that performs rituals, which again portrays a growing division between Jack and some of the other civilised boys as his personality begins to change, which therefore concludes in complete breakdown of order. This builds tension as Jack is in complete antithesis with Ralph who is a democratic leader using the conch, listening to everyone, and Golding using the fire as an extended metaphor for Ralph and the others to escape from the island. As a result of Jack’s leadership, the boys start calling Jack their ‘chief’ which shows complete change in him in order to gain power. Here, Golding might want us to think how far humans could go to gain power over society (the boys), even if it means in deteriorating, regressing behaviour that does not conform to the norms and agreed ways of behaving in society.
‘Shadows and Tall Trees’ gives an interesting insight into the savagery hidden in man’s heart: “a stain in the darkness, a stain that was Jack”. Jack portrays the fatal flaw of humankind that is masked by civilisation and the gradual change in Jack’s attitudes towards others and nature parallels the group’s descent into savagery. The noun ‘stain’ has hard sounds and connotations of something that is unremovable and constant. This links with the fact that all humans have some fault and therefore, Jack is beginning to change into something barbaric which is unremovable and Golding has chosen the character of Jack to represent the side of humans that is truly evil as Jack becomes more savage without laws and norms of society. The use of the indefinite article ‘a’ suggests that Jack isn’t the only cause that has led to the downfall of the boys on the island and presents the idea that Jack was just the spark that was ignited in the boys but they could’ve chosen what to do with it. Also, the imagery in the novel used to describe Jack would be deeply unsettling to English readers - as the dominant ideals that Golding appears to be destroying are attached to Britain’s superior values as a nation. The image of Jack approximates him - a public school student - to the same ‘savages’ that Britain colonised in its empire, which showed what Golding saw as a shared and animalistic humanity that British people shared with other ‘uncivilised’ cultures. This highlights Jack as the main character Golding has chosen to present ideas about change but also all the other boys who join Jack’s tribe have also gone through a change in human nature, implying that Golding wants us to think that without rules and regulations, we all turn into our primitive, animalistic ways.
Another way in which Jack changes is that in the beginning, Jack was first presented as a civilised and an authoritative figure: ‘I am chapter chorister’ and ‘I can sing C sharp’. His innocent, dignified manner and angelic singing is a stark contrast to his later savage-like chanting: “Kill the Beast! Cut his Throat! Spill his Blood!”. The monosyllabic language coupled with the harsh consonant sounds reiterates the lack of emotions Jack has and his merciless intent when he is killing the beast. Jack’s development from saying there was no beast to joining in the chant proves that he has reached the peak of his savagery and has fully changed. Furthermore, the order of the words ‘kill’ then ‘cut’ and ‘spill’ reinforces that Jack wants to do more than what’s necessary and it exacerbates that he has gone beyond the point of barbarity as he enjoyed killing. This highlights a change in Jack’s purpose or aim killing the beast as it was originally based on fear and their need for security. Whereas, now, he does it for the thrill and is sadist. Moving on, the use of the pronoun ‘his’ gives the beast human-like qualities and implies that Jack wants to kill humans which is cannibalistic and sadistic. Alternatively, Jack could have known that it was Simon and he was too caught up in the moment or unwilling to stop because of his stubbornness. Another interpretation is that Jack might’ve known that the Beast was inside them and that the inner conscience was the Beast, which justifies the use of personal pronouns. Perhaps, Jack was trying to remove his past (more civilised) self from existence (as shown earlier when painting his mask) so he can harm others without his guilt stopping him. The repetition of the chant and the use of the power of three are both persuasive techniques which mirror Jack being a temptation to the other boys, and how he has regressed, devolved and changed throughout the novel, especially with the killing of the Beast and the pigs. Golding uses Jack to present the idea that the only thing that stops humans from changing into their primal instincts is the weight of civilization holding us back, and that is what he may want the reader to think when they read this allegorical novel which reflects human nature. This shows a complete change in Jack’s character as has completely devolved from his civilised self.
hi! Would you be able to mark a Jekyll and Hyde essay? Can I send it to you on here or would you prefer if i send it by gmail? Thanks!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by revision52
How far does Golding present Jack as a character who changes in Lord of the Flies? (34)
Golding uses the character of Jack to show that he changes as he descends into savagery throughout the novel. When we first meet Jack, he rejects his given name; “Why should I be Jack? I’m Merridew”. This marks the beginning of Jack’s strong sense of individuality. At the start, we also see Jack’s interaction with Ralph about the Beast when he states “you can feel as if you’re not hunting but being hunted”. This highlights the fact that Jack is still just an ordinary young British boy who is scared of this fear coating the island without any adult supervision. As the story unfolds, we see anarchy represented and Jack’s deep desires and motives on the island. We see Jack’s anger and growing violent tendencies by exclaiming, “Before I could kill it-next time!”. At this point, it seems Jack is ambivalent as he still shows mercy towards the pig but at the same time, Golding’s use of the exclamation mark foreshadows Jack’s inclination towards savagery and brutality, suggesting he is about to change into something civilisation would deny. Golding also wants the reader to think that mankind is inherently evil as Jack displays this through the killing of animals and putting the whole island on fire, which shows Jack has changed as he has no mercy on mother nature and the island. Linking this with the biblical allegory, the Island serves as a perfect paradise, heaven, and could be interpreted as the Garden of Eden. But then, Jack sets the whole island on fire, commits sins and becomes evil. The island and the boys are a microcosm of society as outside the island, the same thing is happening; savage grown-ups killing each other in barbaric wars. This reveals that Jack has changed entirely by the end of the novel into something that mankind is truly evil. Golding wants to put this idea forward as he uses dramatic irony towards the end which is that Jack’s fire got the boys rescued, but the real intention was to hurt Ralph. Golding wants the reader to think that when babies are born they are inherently evil as they’re born with original sin, they’re mischievous, they know how to lie as that comes natural. But what doesn’t come naturally is to be civilised. And Golding has regressed Jack into a baby as in Chapter 12; “Jack was a little boy”.
The first change in Jack that we see is using taboo language towards Piggy as well as physically assaulting him, breaking his glasses, and consistently using the derogatory term ‘fatty’ to address the character. This signals a shift in power dynamics, foreshadowing Jack’s aggressive totalitarianism and fascist leadership style. Moreover, Jack is victimising the weak and the working class by scapegoating and marginalising Piggy as Jack is absolutist, linking with the context behind the time this novel was written in 1954 where the bourgeoisie (upper class) exploited the proletariat (working class) into ‘false class consciousness’. This also means that the demagogues who exploit populist sentiments, like Jack, can easily gain power with an immature, misinformed electorate. Jack is the political allegory in this novel as he parallels to Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power in the 1930s, as the Nazi Party gained popular support by appealing to the darker emotions in human psychology and fanning popular hatred towards scapegoats like the Jews. Here, Golding may want the reader to think about class divisions and physical appearances, qualities and attributes that can lead to separation between different social groups by using contrasting characters, as Piggy’s asthma, specs, weight and accent puts him into the bottom of dominance ladder even though his ideas may be wise. This shows a change in Jack’s style of leadership as the novel progresses as he becomes more dictatorial and has dominance and authority over the boys on the island as he starts manipulating and controlling them. Golding might have chosen Jack to be dominant as Jack was a slang word for ‘man’ in the middle ages and the fact there are no girls in this novella reflects the patriarchal society of the 1950s.
‘Painted Faces and Long Hair’ serves as a turning point for Jack descending into savagery, as “Jack plans a new face”. The adjective “new” has connotations of good and it shows growth in a person which contradicts what Jack is doing. Here, Jack is painting his face like a barbarian and giving himself over to bloodlust. By masking his face, Jack ultimately becomes more animalistic as animals use camouflage to hunt down their prey, this a step-back because it illustrates the devolution of humans, and a change in Jack’s nature. But, as we establish further on in the novel, the more savage Jack becomes, the more he is able to control the rest of the boys. This is further intensified by Jack’s serious obsession of hunting and thirst for power intensifying as he rejects Ralph’s authority and democratic leadership, which leads him to create a savage tribe that performs rituals, which again portrays a growing division between Jack and some of the other civilised boys as his personality begins to change, which therefore concludes in complete breakdown of order. This builds tension as Jack is in complete antithesis with Ralph who is a democratic leader using the conch, listening to everyone, and Golding using the fire as an extended metaphor for Ralph and the others to escape from the island. As a result of Jack’s leadership, the boys start calling Jack their ‘chief’ which shows complete change in him in order to gain power. Here, Golding might want us to think how far humans could go to gain power over society (the boys), even if it means in deteriorating, regressing behaviour that does not conform to the norms and agreed ways of behaving in society.
‘Shadows and Tall Trees’ gives an interesting insight into the savagery hidden in man’s heart: “a stain in the darkness, a stain that was Jack”. Jack portrays the fatal flaw of humankind that is masked by civilisation and the gradual change in Jack’s attitudes towards others and nature parallels the group’s descent into savagery. The noun ‘stain’ has hard sounds and connotations of something that is unremovable and constant. This links with the fact that all humans have some fault and therefore, Jack is beginning to change into something barbaric which is unremovable and Golding has chosen the character of Jack to represent the side of humans that is truly evil as Jack becomes more savage without laws and norms of society. The use of the indefinite article ‘a’ suggests that Jack isn’t the only cause that has led to the downfall of the boys on the island and presents the idea that Jack was just the spark that was ignited in the boys but they could’ve chosen what to do with it. Also, the imagery in the novel used to describe Jack would be deeply unsettling to English readers - as the dominant ideals that Golding appears to be destroying are attached to Britain’s superior values as a nation. The image of Jack approximates him - a public school student - to the same ‘savages’ that Britain colonised in its empire, which showed what Golding saw as a shared and animalistic humanity that British people shared with other ‘uncivilised’ cultures. This highlights Jack as the main character Golding has chosen to present ideas about change but also all the other boys who join Jack’s tribe have also gone through a change in human nature, implying that Golding wants us to think that without rules and regulations, we all turn into our primitive, animalistic ways.
Another way in which Jack changes is that in the beginning, Jack was first presented as a civilised and an authoritative figure: ‘I am chapter chorister’ and ‘I can sing C sharp’. His innocent, dignified manner and angelic singing is a stark contrast to his later savage-like chanting: “Kill the Beast! Cut his Throat! Spill his Blood!”. The monosyllabic language coupled with the harsh consonant sounds reiterates the lack of emotions Jack has and his merciless intent when he is killing the beast. Jack’s development from saying there was no beast to joining in the chant proves that he has reached the peak of his savagery and has fully changed. Furthermore, the order of the words ‘kill’ then ‘cut’ and ‘spill’ reinforces that Jack wants to do more than what’s necessary and it exacerbates that he has gone beyond the point of barbarity as he enjoyed killing. This highlights a change in Jack’s purpose or aim killing the beast as it was originally based on fear and their need for security. Whereas, now, he does it for the thrill and is sadist. Moving on, the use of the pronoun ‘his’ gives the beast human-like qualities and implies that Jack wants to kill humans which is cannibalistic and sadistic. Alternatively, Jack could have known that it was Simon and he was too caught up in the moment or unwilling to stop because of his stubbornness. Another interpretation is that Jack might’ve known that the Beast was inside them and that the inner conscience was the Beast, which justifies the use of personal pronouns. Perhaps, Jack was trying to remove his past (more civilised) self from existence (as shown earlier when painting his mask) so he can harm others without his guilt stopping him. The repetition of the chant and the use of the power of three are both persuasive techniques which mirror Jack being a temptation to the other boys, and how he has regressed, devolved and changed throughout the novel, especially with the killing of the Beast and the pigs. Golding uses Jack to present the idea that the only thing that stops humans from changing into their primal instincts is the weight of civilization holding us back, and that is what he may want the reader to think when they read this allegorical novel which reflects human nature. This shows a complete change in Jack’s character as has completely devolved from his civilised self.

Hi, a very good response! You haven't given the exam board, so I am going to mark from the edexcel board (although they are all reasonably similar).

You have shown a well-developed personal response within this piece, offering several interpretations of what quotes could mean which are original and relevant to the context of the quote. Your quotes were also well selected and relevant to the point you were making. However, in some instances I think more analysis could be included. There were several times where the analysis wasn't quite up to the same standard as other parts of your essay. Try to focus on the impact and emotions it brings the reader. You have put a significant emphasis on the historical and social context of the time period into this essay, which works well in some occasions but in others felt like you was putting it in there just for the sake of it. Ensure that your context is kept relevant to your point and always make sure it links directly back to the question.

The opening paragraph was a little confusing in terms of how you were going to go about showing the evolution of the character. To avoid this, an introduction is needed. This way, when you go into the first paragraph we know whether you are talking about the changes in chronological order (one per paragraph) or comparing as you go through. Personally, I favoured the way you did it towards the end where you compared them directly next to eachother. For example you said about how Jack's behaviour has changed as he said "I can sing a C sharp" and then something more savage later on. This worked very well and clearly showed his changed, rather than having to read in between the lines as to what you were saying.

In terms of spelling and grammar, there is nothing much more to say, you have certainly shown your linguistic capability in this essay.
This is me being incredibly picky, because this was a very successful essay. If I were marking this, I would give you the following mark. I always like to mark as low as possible in order to avoid disappointment! So, you are definitely doing well!

MARK: 32/40

Good luck with your exams!
Original post by Georgeallen
Hi, a very good response! You haven't given the exam board, so I am going to mark from the edexcel board (although they are all reasonably similar).
You have shown a well-developed personal response within this piece, offering several interpretations of what quotes could mean which are original and relevant to the context of the quote. Your quotes were also well selected and relevant to the point you were making. However, in some instances I think more analysis could be included. There were several times where the analysis wasn't quite up to the same standard as other parts of your essay. Try to focus on the impact and emotions it brings the reader. You have put a significant emphasis on the historical and social context of the time period into this essay, which works well in some occasions but in others felt like you was putting it in there just for the sake of it. Ensure that your context is kept relevant to your point and always make sure it links directly back to the question.
The opening paragraph was a little confusing in terms of how you were going to go about showing the evolution of the character. To avoid this, an introduction is needed. This way, when you go into the first paragraph we know whether you are talking about the changes in chronological order (one per paragraph) or comparing as you go through. Personally, I favoured the way you did it towards the end where you compared them directly next to eachother. For example you said about how Jack's behaviour has changed as he said "I can sing a C sharp" and then something more savage later on. This worked very well and clearly showed his changed, rather than having to read in between the lines as to what you were saying.
In terms of spelling and grammar, there is nothing much more to say, you have certainly shown your linguistic capability in this essay.
This is me being incredibly picky, because this was a very successful essay. If I were marking this, I would give you the following mark. I always like to mark as low as possible in order to avoid disappointment! So, you are definitely doing well!
MARK: 32/40
Good luck with your exams!

Thanks, what mark would my answer be in terms of AQA exam board which are marked out of 30?
Original post by revision52
Thanks, what mark would my answer be in terms of AQA exam board which are marked out of 30?

32/40 would be equivalent to 24/30 (both 80%). It might be higher though, as he did state that he marked as low as possible.
Original post by Georgeallen
Not long until the exams now!
As I did last year, I will be active on here if anyone would like to submit any past paper questions they have done. I will offer you as much feedback and areas for improvement as possible, and also give you a mark/grade!
I specialise in English language and literature, however would be able to offer support in other subjects including biology, maths, music (and other). Just let me know!
Good luck to everyone!

I did some essays from past paper AQA questions in my notebook - is it possible to scan them (for clear images) and send them to you on email?
Original post by Georgeallen
Not long until the exams now!
As I did last year, I will be active on here if anyone would like to submit any past paper questions they have done. I will offer you as much feedback and areas for improvement as possible, and also give you a mark/grade!
I specialise in English language and literature, however would be able to offer support in other subjects including biology, maths, music (and other). Just let me know!
Good luck to everyone!

Hi could you mark the romeo and juliet essay i did? im not sure if i structured it well so there is a chance of very low marks 😭 i just hope if you could tell me if my ideas are good (for aqa)
Original post by Georgeallen
Hey, no problem. I would prefer it if you could send it by email as then I will be able to have a look at it tomorrow afternoon for you. If you let me know on your email whether you have access to google docs or not that will be great (google docs means I can highlight sections of your work and comment on it directly.) If not, that's fine I will respond via email.
My email is as follows: [email protected]
ARTICLE C2.jpg Good evening, I was wondering wether you could mark this article for the C2 English exam. It is an article of 280-320 words, the heading is attached here. Should I send it to you by e-mail? It would be much appreciated. The thing is I haven't got any other source to mark my writings and get tips but this one.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Georgeallen
Of course, no worries.
If you just send me an email with the essay I will take a look at that for you tomorrow. If you aren’t able or would prefer not to email, you could send it here too. On email it is just easier to give you more clear feedback!
[email protected]
I look forward to hearing from you

sorry i cant email it to you, my parents wouldnt want me emailing strangers, so im really sorry but ill have to type it up and send it on here (sorry, but thank you so much!)
Original post by Georgeallen
Hi,
If you could send me this in an email I will give it some feedback. Could you also include the exam board within the email, aswell as the question you have attached into this comment. Thanks!
Email - [email protected]

This is the article, from the English C2 Proficiency Exam, so the examboard would be just C2 Proficiency Exam, however, here is the "Writing guide" or official "mark scheme": https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/600977-teacher-guide-for-writing-c2-proficiency.pdf
It is in page 24 of that document or the section: "How to assess writing for C2". The mark scheme gives marks for: content, communicative achievement, organisation and language. It gives up to five marks for each one. You may or may not use the mark scheme, this is just a way of receiving feedback on things I could change or ameliorate, or even things that are out of order or maybe other introductory sentences.
I have sent you the document with the article, it is "Writing Article 2". This is the article.

Upon arousing to the melodious chimes of the birdsong, I was committed to endure the numerous ventures we had planned for the following two days in the beloved Alps. We were staying at a cliffside dwelling along a tree-lined tortuous path to the sumptuous town of Focaccia in Italy. Two guides were awaiting us to commence our revitalising journey through the innocuous routes that diffused throughout the valley.
We set off early in the morning and made our way through the giddy and crocked trails saturated with pitted and pocked-marked rocks. After a few hours, we were all wilting, yet still trudged up the excruciatingly sheer track that opened onto a prominent view of the Focaccia mountain range. On our way down, we dashed through the thick jungle-like undergrowth that unfolded in all directions.
Nonetheless, we were far from safe. One of our guides backtracked effortlessly, whilst the other stayed behind with the stragglers. We were undoubtedly lost. Yet, despite being left aground amidst nature in its utmost scale, I felt grateful for spending time surrounded by wildlife. It was an invaluable stint, as it made me realize just how paramount it is to interact with the environment. At that moment, an echoing sound permeated the atmosphere. It was our tour guide, the one which had lingered. Yet, it was this unique way of engaging with the natural environment that made me have a good run for my money.
Seldom would anyone with a confined personality argue that becoming disoriented surrounded by forest is in any way a strengthening manner of unwinding from a hectic lifestyle, however, spending time occasionally beside the wilderness proves soothing. Yet, whilst I am aware of the perilousness involved, I do feel it is substantially favourable for one’s mind as it does have an impact on something that allows humans to create- the ability to ponder.
Original post by studyfor9s
32/40 would be equivalent to 24/30 (both 80%). It might be higher though, as he did state that he marked as low as possible.

I got my teacher to mark the same answer today and she gave me 21/30 for my lord of the flies answer
Original post by revision52
I got my teacher to mark the same answer today and she gave me 21/30 for my lord of the flies answer


Thanks for letting me know. AQA mark scheme will of course be different as it’s out of less marks. Or I was feeling overly generous!!

Well done
Original post by revision52
I got my teacher to mark the same answer today and she gave me 21/30 for my lord of the flies answer

That's a shame! Teachers can often be very severe... (sometimes I wonder if that tactic does more harm than good). I'm an English tutor and I liked your essay! For a GCSE student I think you did rather well. As George Allen said, work could be done to refine the first half of the essay as it lacks analysis/ explanation. I thought the second half was absolutely brilliant. Very good context, analysis, explanation, and flow. Lovely writing style as well. In the future, keep this in mind as high confidence is just as essential to gaining top marks as skill (though I doubt a teacher would tell you that). Remember that when you are writing an idea, to focus on explaining your point before moving onto the next one. How does the use of this technique show what you think, or specifically, why do you think that? Good luck!
Original post by Georgeallen
Thanks for letting me know. AQA mark scheme will of course be different as it’s out of less marks. Or I was feeling overly generous!!
Well done

okay so the extract was act 5 scene 3 when romeos about to die and hes talking about how juliet looks so beautiful as dead ah, dear juliet, why art thou so fair?.....thus with a kiss i die

starting with this extract, explore how shakespeare presents ideas about death

heres my essay, its long but i did it in 50 mins

Death is used throughout romeo and juliet to constantly remind the audience of what lied in store for the couple, the fears it created being used effectively by Shakespeare and interlinked death with a range of other themes like fate, masculinity and love in order to portray the consequences of their forbidden love.

Shakespeare presents the idea of death as being connected to the theme of masculinity, and the way each character dies reflecting on their levels of masculinity. In this extract, Romeo drinks a poison drink with the words "oh true apothecary! thy drugs are quick". The mourning 'o' sound is used to portray Romeo's true feelings, which is unlike a masculine man during the time of the patriarchal elizabethan society, as men were not meant to show their true feelings of sadness. The poison here is used as a symbol, as the more 'manlier' way to die would be to stab himself with a sword/dagger. Shakespear makes this clear in act 3 scene 1 when Mercutio tells tybalt to pluck his sword by 'his' ears (his referring to the sword) . The personification of the sword as a male emphasises the masculine connotations that comes with the sword, as at the time duels were very common and a masculine thing to do. Despite this, Romeo uses poison, a quick, painless and almost cowardly way to die. This emphasises the femininity of romeo, illustrated further when he uses the adjective 'quick' to describe the drugs, as if Romeo intentionally chose the easy option: both the choice to die and escape his troubles and to do so drinking poison instead of being a 'man' and using a dagger. The unbalanced femininity of Romeo is emphasised by the juxtaposition of him to juliet, who is the one who uses the dagger. This mirrors the true power play in the relationship. BEcause of Shakespear personifying the dagger as 'he; in a3s1, when we see Juliet use the 'o happy dagger' in act 5 scene 3, the audience is able to really see that she is the more masculine one in the relationship, despite being a woman, which was very unconventional in the elizabethan patriarchal society. Therefore, Shakespeare uses death as a method to portray how Juliet really did 'make (romeo) effeminate'. Alternatively, Shakespeare could be using the dagger used for her suicide as a symbol of masculinity, but how it was really the thing that killed her, as the oppression of men is what drove her to commit the plan in the first place, as Juliet did not want to marry Paris. This, however, does not take away from overexaggurated femininity of romeo.

Death is also presented by Shakespeare as being intertwined with the theme of love. We are introduced to this strong connection from the prologue, where romeo and juliet are said to have "death-marked love". The oxymoron of death and love reflects on ROmeo and juliets relationship, and how the two of them both juxtapose eachother, just like death and love do, yet they go hand in hand. the dramatic irony of death is used to taint the image of Romeo and Juliet's love throighout the play , so the audience cannot see the two together without thinking of their untimely death. Shakespeare does this so that the moment where their death arrives, the audience are even more impacted and horrified by it, as they were haunted throughout, and therefore makes the climax more significant to the audience. The prologue is also a device to intertwine death and love because it is a sonnet, a structure often used for love poems, which is used again when romeo and juliet first meet. This is done by Shakespeare to remind the audience how death and love are interlinked and, like the oxymoron, the two cannot go without eachother. A cyclical structure of their relationship is seen in this extract, as Romeos life ends " with a kiss". The fact that his last action was a kiss for Juliet, and Juliets last action for Romeo was the same, proves how related the two are. This is reinforced by how in a1s5 when the two first meet, the first thing they do is kiss, and the last thing they do is kiss aswell. Shakespeare does this not only to highlight the death-love relationship, but to also evoke sympathy in the audience about how this young love was 'death-marked; to begin with.

Shakespeare also uses death to present the consequences of each character's actions, as they all die in different ways. Romeo's hamartia was his fickleness, shown in this extract when he asks Juliet " why art thou so fair?". This dramatic irony that the audience knows that Juliet is alive is used to portray Romeos hamartia, as if he was not so fickle and dramatic, Romeo would not have made such an impulsive decision so quickly and committed suicide. Therefore, the fact that he uses a rhetorical question to ask why juliet is so beautiful desoite being dead is used by Shakespeare to make the audience even more of Romeo's ongoing hubris (death). For juliet, her hamartia was the defiance of her parents. At the time, women were not usually expected to get married as early as 13 or 14, but Juliet's parents wanted her to because they would be able to profit off of selling her virginity as a young girl. Shakespeare did not agree with this idea of young marraige based on the age of his wife. However, he has made her so young, even younger juliet was in the poem he had based this off of, to show that Juliet is immature, even if she believes she is mature. Clearly she was immature as her desperation to avoid her parents orders resulted in the plan of her faking her death, which therefore led to her actual hubris (death). Even though Romeo and Juliet did die, they still died based on their own choice. This would have been seen as sacreligious as those who commit suicide go to hell, especially since an elizabethan audience would have been very religious, so they would have viewed suicide as a terrible way to die. Despite this, characters like Mercutio and Tybalt's death was not out of their will, as they did not commit suicide, so some could argue that their hubris was worse than Romeo and Juliets. Mercutio's hamartia was being too unserious in general, about love or events that happened, even death, leading to his impulsivity. This can be seen where he took Romeo's place because of romeo's "vile submission" in a3s1, and was therefore murdered by tybalt. This idea of toxic masculinity was not supported by Shakespeare, clearly seen as he gave mercutio and tybalt an even worse hubris of an unwilling death than Romeo and Juliet. as they both have excessive masculine honour and pride. The use of death as a hubris for all these characters portrays the power of death , as it was the downfall of characters for many reasons in many ways varying on the character.

Lastly, death is used by Shakespeare to portray the follow through of fate, and how despite how much romeo tried to defy fate, his actions always lead to his death. Fate was a popular idea at the time, as many of the audience would have believed in destiny. Therefore, when romeo says that he shook "the inauspicious stars", the audience knows already that the adjective 'inauspicious' is used to describe what they knew for the entire play: that Romeo was going to die. Alternaitively, the noun 'stars' could be used by Shakespeare to suggest that Romeo brought this fate upon himself, and it was not completely unlucky. This could be argued because the noun 'stars' reminds us of act 1 scene 4, when Romeo talks about " some consequence yet hanging in the stars", and had a dream about his fate. This is ironic because ROmeo had the chance to try and change something once he was warned, like he could have skipped out on the ball. Despite this, he ignored it and went to the ball, where he fell in love with Juliet. He even says later in act 5 "i defy you stars" which is even more ironic because in reality, he brought his fate upon himself, and then 'defies' fate by killing himself, which through dramatic irony the audience knows was his fate all along, so in the end all of his actions to defy fate led to his hubris of death. This so called inevitable death could have been prevented, but Romeo did not and instead fell in love, which in turn suggests that he deserved his death, and brought his loved ones down with him. #

In conclusion, death is a powerful tool used by Shakespeare to hint at many themes, but mainly used as a fated consequence for the character's flaws and actions
Original post by Georgeallen
Thanks for letting me know. AQA mark scheme will of course be different as it’s out of less marks. Or I was feeling overly generous!!
Well done

I sent you an email yesterday with scanned photos of my work, I'm AQA by the way.
Original post by Georgeallen
Not long until the exams now!
As I did last year, I will be active on here if anyone would like to submit any past paper questions they have done. I will offer you as much feedback and areas for improvement as possible, and also give you a mark/grade!
I specialise in English language and literature, however would be able to offer support in other subjects including biology, maths, music (and other). Just let me know!
Good luck to everyone!

Hi,

Thanks for your kind offer! Could I send you my English Language Descriptive piece? I plan to adapt it to picture we're given, but if i definitely can't it was good practice anyway. Should I email it to you? I do AQA btw!

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