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hi, Ive got my aqa gcse english literature paper 1 on monday and i have done a past paper.
The extract was on samson, gregory and abram in act 1 scene 1.
please give me a mark out of 30 or an estimate grade.
There will be some typos.
Q: Explore how shakespeare presents agressive male behaviour in r+j.

A: Shakespeare presents male aggression largely throughout the play through the use of the semantic field of pride and status. shakespeare expresses this motif as a way of expanding the plot to foreshadow later events, to warn the audience of the consequences of male aggression religiously, and to display the gender roles which help to understand the long term feud's nature.

Shakespeare utilises sexual imagery in act 1 scene 1 to convey hegemonic masculinityShakespeare utilises sexual imagery in Act 1 Scene 1 to convey hegemonic masculinity in the play which is ultimately Romeos tybalts and mercutios hamartia. Samson is a tool by Shakespeare to express traditional beliefs of masculinity and their dominance over women. There is sexual imagery of phallus' in the extract as Samson states that his "naked Weapon is out". Explicitly this presents the taking out of a sword from its sheath showing male aggression in the play as even the servants of the two houses are prepared to fight whenever just to try to prove some status or strength over one another. . However implicitly the connotations of the adjective naked unveils sense of hypermasculinity when trying to assert dominance a Samsung tries to make sexual jokes. This is furthered later in the scene when Samson talks about how women are the "weaker vessels" and how he will 'thrust' them 'to the wall'. The verb thrust has very sensitive but also violent imagery as it expands the idea of male sexual dominance. It also juxtaposes the idea of love and intimacy and predominantly child creation which is meant to be a beautiful thing, but Samson introduces the idea of rape to fulfill his sexual desires in an aggressive manner.

Shakespeare interestingly alludes to the Bible here as sexuall immorality is one of the worst sins. This may have been done to one audience of what their actions lead to especially in such a christian-based society. As well as this the reference to weaker vessel's alludes to one Peter 3:7, however Shakespeare alters its true meaning to portray aggressive male behaviour in the play. In Christianity the reference of women being weaker vessels is to ensure the protection of these women from evil however Shakespeare flips it to match the reoccurring motive that men will take advantage when they can. Evidently Shakespeare criticizes such actions as he wants to bring about a more morally correct Society and the equality.

As the play progresses Shakespeare continues this theme of male aggression in almost every scene however overall it is dominant in the reason for the tragedy, the feud. Shakespeare informs the audience in the Prologue that this ancient grudge has an unknown reason of beginning and so no one really knows why they are against each other. However the reason why it is continuing could be from the ideas of male pride and continuing their fathers Legacy and the patriarchal idea of proving the family name. This sense of machismo is the main reason for this opposition and violence and it later proves to be a factor contributing to their downfall.

In Act 3 scene 5 launch capulet is presented as aggressive through his lexical field of dead flesh in his language. After Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Lord capulet is infuriated and has a sudden shift in attitude (rather than his gentle tone in which we see in Act 1 Scene 2) and he caused Juliet a variety of things, all with the same ill, plague-like meaning, "green sickness carrion" and "tallow face". The ideas of sickness and death is repeated in this scene which suggests that Lord's capulet thinks of Juliet as a 'living corpse' because she is useless / worthless to him now, and she makes his 'fingers itch' which in place that he wants to slap her. Such intense and hateful emotion does not just come from her unwillingness to marry. It is evident that in an Elizabethan Society, marriages were not mainly based on love, but rather it was like a transaction. Women were largely objectified by men, and when a father gave consent for his daughter to marry someone, then the daughter would become the new man's property. From this the audience knew that lord capulet only wanted Juliet to marry Paris for the status which he would gain from it putting himself slightly higher than Lord Montague.

Moreover due to High infant mortality rates in the 16th century, Juliet was Lord capulet's only child this meant that she had to get married, so that her husband could inherit the family fortune or else it would go to a cousin like tybalt. Lord capulets aggressiveness due to her refusal is highlighted by how he is willing to disown his only child out of anger "out you...out you baggage!" the repetition of out gives connotations of quick emotions which are derived from his initial desire to hit Juliet, however he refrains from this violence. The fact that he calls Juliet 'baggage' links to the common objectification of women in the Elizabethan era, however it also suggests that he thinks of her as a burden who is not contributing to the family name decreasing his hyper masculine ego and pride.

The peak of male aggression is portrayed in Act 3 Scene 1, where the big tradegy Begins. Tybalt and mercutio are presented as to the embodiments of aggressive male behavior as instigators of violence. in particular, tybalt went to benvolio, mercutio, and Romeo just to challenge Romeo in a duel depicting tybalt as the epitome of an antagonist, being the archetypal young man in Verona defending his name.

When Romeo refuses the duel, mercutio steps in. This may have been because of his loyalty, however it is also prominent that makes you show was an instigator, and wanted to have a fight, showing his aggressive nature. Tybalt and mercutios quarrelsome behaviour begins calm and boasty as tybalt sees Romeo and says "peace be with you" to mercutio, clearly stating that he is there to fight Romeo. This juxtaposes in Act 1 Scene 1 where he says he "hates the word, as (he) hate(s) hell." Shakespeare may have done this to emphasize tibots change in character who goes from a big Macho Man, to a man of hatred, who desires Romeo's death so bad that he "hold it not a sin" to kill him. However this would obviously be very sinful which makes the audience dislike tybalt for his blasphemy. The audience is faced with irony through this idea of Peace as shortly after, a long line of Tragedy begins and mercutio gets himself killed by tybalt ironically in the fault of Romeo who stood in the way.

I finished here after 50 minutes on the dot.
Original post by tsilc08
hi, Ive got my aqa gcse english literature paper 1 on monday and i have done a past paper.
The extract was on samson, gregory and abram in act 1 scene 1.
please give me a mark out of 30 or an estimate grade.
There will be some typos.
Q: Explore how shakespeare presents agressive male behaviour in r+j.
A: Shakespeare presents male aggression largely throughout the play through the use of the semantic field of pride and status. shakespeare expresses this motif as a way of expanding the plot to foreshadow later events, to warn the audience of the consequences of male aggression religiously, and to display the gender roles which help to understand the long term feud's nature.
Shakespeare utilises sexual imagery in act 1 scene 1 to convey hegemonic masculinityShakespeare utilises sexual imagery in Act 1 Scene 1 to convey hegemonic masculinity in the play which is ultimately Romeos tybalts and mercutios hamartia. Samson is a tool by Shakespeare to express traditional beliefs of masculinity and their dominance over women. There is sexual imagery of phallus' in the extract as Samson states that his "naked Weapon is out". Explicitly this presents the taking out of a sword from its sheath showing male aggression in the play as even the servants of the two houses are prepared to fight whenever just to try to prove some status or strength over one another. . However implicitly the connotations of the adjective naked unveils sense of hypermasculinity when trying to assert dominance a Samsung tries to make sexual jokes. This is furthered later in the scene when Samson talks about how women are the "weaker vessels" and how he will 'thrust' them 'to the wall'. The verb thrust has very sensitive but also violent imagery as it expands the idea of male sexual dominance. It also juxtaposes the idea of love and intimacy and predominantly child creation which is meant to be a beautiful thing, but Samson introduces the idea of rape to fulfill his sexual desires in an aggressive manner.
Shakespeare interestingly alludes to the Bible here as sexuall immorality is one of the worst sins. This may have been done to one audience of what their actions lead to especially in such a christian-based society. As well as this the reference to weaker vessel's alludes to one Peter 3:7, however Shakespeare alters its true meaning to portray aggressive male behaviour in the play. In Christianity the reference of women being weaker vessels is to ensure the protection of these women from evil however Shakespeare flips it to match the reoccurring motive that men will take advantage when they can. Evidently Shakespeare criticizes such actions as he wants to bring about a more morally correct Society and the equality.
As the play progresses Shakespeare continues this theme of male aggression in almost every scene however overall it is dominant in the reason for the tragedy, the feud. Shakespeare informs the audience in the Prologue that this ancient grudge has an unknown reason of beginning and so no one really knows why they are against each other. However the reason why it is continuing could be from the ideas of male pride and continuing their fathers Legacy and the patriarchal idea of proving the family name. This sense of machismo is the main reason for this opposition and violence and it later proves to be a factor contributing to their downfall.
In Act 3 scene 5 launch capulet is presented as aggressive through his lexical field of dead flesh in his language. After Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Lord capulet is infuriated and has a sudden shift in attitude (rather than his gentle tone in which we see in Act 1 Scene 2) and he caused Juliet a variety of things, all with the same ill, plague-like meaning, "green sickness carrion" and "tallow face". The ideas of sickness and death is repeated in this scene which suggests that Lord's capulet thinks of Juliet as a 'living corpse' because she is useless / worthless to him now, and she makes his 'fingers itch' which in place that he wants to slap her. Such intense and hateful emotion does not just come from her unwillingness to marry. It is evident that in an Elizabethan Society, marriages were not mainly based on love, but rather it was like a transaction. Women were largely objectified by men, and when a father gave consent for his daughter to marry someone, then the daughter would become the new man's property. From this the audience knew that lord capulet only wanted Juliet to marry Paris for the status which he would gain from it putting himself slightly higher than Lord Montague.
Moreover due to High infant mortality rates in the 16th century, Juliet was Lord capulet's only child this meant that she had to get married, so that her husband could inherit the family fortune or else it would go to a cousin like tybalt. Lord capulets aggressiveness due to her refusal is highlighted by how he is willing to disown his only child out of anger "out you...out you baggage!" the repetition of out gives connotations of quick emotions which are derived from his initial desire to hit Juliet, however he refrains from this violence. The fact that he calls Juliet 'baggage' links to the common objectification of women in the Elizabethan era, however it also suggests that he thinks of her as a burden who is not contributing to the family name decreasing his hyper masculine ego and pride.
The peak of male aggression is portrayed in Act 3 Scene 1, where the big tradegy Begins. Tybalt and mercutio are presented as to the embodiments of aggressive male behavior as instigators of violence. in particular, tybalt went to benvolio, mercutio, and Romeo just to challenge Romeo in a duel depicting tybalt as the epitome of an antagonist, being the archetypal young man in Verona defending his name.
When Romeo refuses the duel, mercutio steps in. This may have been because of his loyalty, however it is also prominent that makes you show was an instigator, and wanted to have a fight, showing his aggressive nature. Tybalt and mercutios quarrelsome behaviour begins calm and boasty as tybalt sees Romeo and says "peace be with you" to mercutio, clearly stating that he is there to fight Romeo. This juxtaposes in Act 1 Scene 1 where he says he "hates the word, as (he) hate(s) hell." Shakespeare may have done this to emphasize tibots change in character who goes from a big Macho Man, to a man of hatred, who desires Romeo's death so bad that he "hold it not a sin" to kill him. However this would obviously be very sinful which makes the audience dislike tybalt for his blasphemy. The audience is faced with irony through this idea of Peace as shortly after, a long line of Tragedy begins and mercutio gets himself killed by tybalt ironically in the fault of Romeo who stood in the way.
I finished here after 50 minutes on the dot.

First off, well done for actually doing a past paper question! A lot of the time, it can be difficult to commit. As a predicted grade 9 student, I hope I can provide a bit of insight although I won't be able to provide a solid mark, since I'm not an examiner and wouldn't feel 100 percent confident. I will say though, this essay comes across to me as around a 7 level.

I know you said that there will be some typos but please remember that for this question, you get 4 marks for good SPAG. Consequently, it is not something to put aside and it's pretty clear that you have missed out commas in a few places. E.G. "As the play progresses Shakespeare continues" should have a comma after progresses. This isn't too major though and would likely only drop you one mark or so.

There are some really good ideas in here, like the crude presentation of masculinity, aligning violence and love in the same breath. But some of your ideas come across as a bit jumbled to be honest and some things are out of place. For example, in your first main point, you begin to discuss the downfall of Romeo, Tybalt as well as Mercutio, but then go on to discuss Sampson and his sexual innuendos. A tip would be not to force fancy vocab into your essay; I'm not trying to accuse you of anything but "hegemonic masculinity" or "hamartia" didn't really seem to fit the writing around it. As well as this, semantic fields and lexical fields can be really great tools but you haven't properly identified them. Your use of these two appears interchangeably with recurring motifs but they're actually subtly different. A motif is about the repetition of an idea while semantic fields are much more focused on words that are linked. The use of complex vocab without complex ideas to back them up comes across as much more basic, comparatively to someone who can find complex ideas within something as simple as a verb.

As well as this, in the last paragraph, you talk about Tybalt's progression as a character, which is interesting because I have never really considered it before. But the problem is that you say he changes into an aggressive person, implying that he wasn't before. And you use the "to strike him dead I hold it not a sin" quote to show how he has become violent. The issue comes in that Tybalt has always been very violent and in fact that quote comes from act 1, the very first time he is introduced.

I am being quite critical though; the issue with my perspective is that I'm taking all of your undoubtedly deep understanding of the play completely for granted, and nit-picking at the bits you can still improve. A really solid response though for sure
(edited 1 month ago)

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