Practice Essay 2013

2013:
– Describe a key relationship between two or more characters or individuals in the written text(s).
Explain how the relationship helped you to understand these characters / individuals.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth .
– Husband and wife
– Lady Macbeth wants to be the man because she feels like Macbeth can’t be. 

In the play Macbeth written by Shakespeare a key relationship presented is between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth who are husband and wife. Lady Macbeth has a big influence in the actions that Macbeth takes, this influence is toxic as it makes him do things he wouldn’t usually consider doing, including the decision to kill King Duncan in order to be able to control the prophecy of their future. Their relationship helps us understand them and the idea of ambition, specifically that in having ambition you can do good but in having to much you lose your mind and make bad decisions which have consequences. 

Lady Macbeth helps us understand Macbeth, particularly to convey the idea that Macbeth lacks the ambition required to kill king Duncan. Lady Macbeth wants macbeth – talk about who she wants him to be but who he is. Macbeth’s wife predominantly portray this as she knows or is shown to know Macbeth, she knows whether he has the ambition to kill King Duncan or not. Metaphors are used to do this: “It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” It’s a metaphor stated by Lady Macbeth that is comparing Macbeth to milk. Qualities of milk are that it’s white, pale, smooth, soft and it is something that provides nutrition to babies. These qualities are portrayed to be Macbeth’s as well, showing that he’s soft – he can’t hurt a fly, smooth and of baby nature not able to do much without the help of those stronger. These are qualities which are the complete opposite to what Macbeth would need to have enough ambition to kill the King. “Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” This also aids the idea that Macbeth lacks ambition, this quote states that Macbeth does have ambition but he doesn’t have the mean streak to be able to have enough to do this deed of killing the King. Using the word “illness” as a symbol of having a mean streak where he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, where he would easily kill the king without a second thought about the consequences of his actions. These things show how Lady Macbeth believes that Macbeth has ambition but he doesn’t have the personality that goes with doing bad things because of ambition, he’s too kind and thinks about others. 

 “Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty.” Lady Macbeth doesn’t believe that Macbeth has the ability to do what needs to be done to kill the king so she wishes traits of someone who will on herself. “Come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk for gal.” She wants her lady traits like her breasts and the milk that is there to nurture young ones to be replaced with bold and impudent behavior like what is needed to kill King Duncan. She wants the traits of a warrior. She wants to have as much cruelness inside of her possible, “crown to the toe”, crown being the top of her head where her brain is and her thoughts, she needs all thoughts and decisions to be cruel. To toe is everything in between like her muscles and body, she wants all movements of her body to be cruel but not only that she wants her heart to be cruel since it is the one part of her body that would be the last to be filled with ambition and the cruel senses since its the emotional, moral driven part of the body. When someone we love has the ability to have or be something great but doesn’t have the mind and drive to do so because they lack ambition, we gain that ambition and feeling the urge to change ourselves to do so. This occurs because that relationship we have with the particular person is so strong, their lack of ambition becomes our ambition and that helps us strive to do everything we can to help that person succeed. In doing so that ambition takes us over and all we think about is that goal. Instead of going with our morals which we’ve been brought up with, doing the right thing for the right reasons, we do the wrong thing for the wrong reason and their are consequences. 

 

Previous Essay Character Questions

Previous Essay Character Questions

2012: 
– Describe at least ONE character or individual who changed in the written text(s).
Explain how the change helped you to better understand the character or individual.

Macbeth – being a noble serving soldier to his king
– Having to chose a path, the right or wrong ( decision to kill king Duncan                          and become king).
– Being over powered by ambition that he loses his mind and ability to see                      right from wrong.
Helped me understand:
– That he was hugely driven by ambition because without it that changed wouldn’t have happened and the actions he took because of these 

2013:
– Describe a key relationship between two or more characters or individuals in the written text(s).
Explain how the relationship helped you to understand these characters / individuals.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
– Husband and wife
– Lady Macbeth wants to be the man because she feels like Macbeth can’t be.
– 

Understand:
– That the ambition they were both driven by to have the best life possible made them take actions which weren’t good and these had consequences, like the loss of both their minds.

2014:
– Describe at least ONE character or individual you could relate to in the written text(s).
Explain why being able to relate to the character or individual was important to the text(s) as a whole.

2015:
– Describe at least one important character in the written text(s).
Explain how the character changes throughout the text(s)

Macbeth
Changes – due to ambition, from model citizen to someone with no mind. 

– Describe at least one important relationship in the written text(s).
Explain how this relationship positively or negatively influenced one or more characters.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
Negatively influenced Banquo – Banquo became his ghost who haunted Macbeth.

2016:
– Describe an important conflict in the written text.
Explain how the conflict helped you to understand an important message.

Conflict: Macbeth’s decision to choose to kill/not kill king Duncan
Idea: Ambitions drives you to do unworthy things, other people have a huge influence on your choices. 

Describe at least one important character in the written text.
Explain how this character is revealed to you throughout the text.

Macbeth – revealed through the idea of ambition and that it makes you do bad things and these have consequences. 

Revision – Exam Essay Developing

Added pieces that add to the second part of the question – Aspects of the real world.

But before his morals can convince him otherwise his ambition takes over and he does the deed anyway. This happens lots, when someone wants something so much that they overlook their morals because of the ambition driving them. Students strive to get good grades in school, they have ambition to do so,  if they don’t, society frowns upon them acting as though something is wrong with them. They have pressure to do well and that pressure is put on them by others and themselves so what do they do? There’s a big test coming up that will determine their grade and ranking in the class, they don’t feel prepared and confident to do well so they take matters into their own hands in a bad way. They decide to cheat, this is going against their morals though. Their parents look down on people who cheat, they have grown up learning to be honest, being true to themselves, doing things the right way and earning what they get, earning their grades. It would hurt their parents to know that they cheated, they want to get that grade the proper way but the pressure is too much, the ambition takes over and everything they have been taught all their morals, which even though they are still thinking about them, they become obsolete and they cheat just as Macbeth’s ambition takes over and he kills king Duncan anyway.

 

But as he killed more and his ambition grew those were not seen. In the real this happens as well, when someone does something once it makes them do it again, in doing it multiple time without getting caught people begin to feeling invisible as their ambition persists and grows and the thing they’ve done also develops and most of the time grows into something worse. Like in Macbeth how he murders one person, and then he continues too it’s the same as murderers in today’s world, they kill one person and it gives them energy, they get a buzz from it, a feeling they’ve never had before which is their ambition growing, they want to feel that more and more so they murder someone else and then someone else not wanting it to end. This just leads them in a vicious cycle like Macbeth gets into where they can’t stop, their ambition and want for that ambition overpowers their mind.

Introduction:

Throughout the play of Macbeth, the author Shakespeare used the character of Macbeth to reveal aspects of our real world. Macbeth was a character who had ambition that grew throughout the play, in doing so he could do good things but the greater it got the more he lost his morals and his good actions were replaced with bad ones and with these came consequences. In the real world this is seen too, people thrive off of ambition, while most use it for good, some use it for bad because it over takes their brain functions and their morals and beliefs, with this also comes consequences. . 

Macbeth Close Reading Excercise

Macbeth Close Reading Exercise – Act 1 Scene 5

Task:
Identify two features of Language and explain how Shakespeare used these to convey his idea that Macbeth lacks the ambition required to kill King Duncan.

Shakespeare used languages features to convey his idea that Macbeth lacks the ambition required to kill king Duncan. He used the character of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife to predominantly portray this, she knows or is shown to know Macbeth, she knows whether he has the ambition to kill King Duncan. “It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” It’s a metaphor stated by Lady Macbeth that is comparing Macbeth to milk. Qualities of milk are that it’s white, pale, smooth, soft and it is something that provides nutrition to babies. These qualities are portrayed to be Macbeth’s as well, showing that he’s soft – he can’t hurt a fly, smooth and of baby nature not able to do much without the help of those stronger. These are qualities which are the complete opposite to what Macbeth would need to have enough ambition to kill the King. “Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” This also aids the idea that Macbeth lacks ambition, this quote states that Macbeth does have ambition but he doesn’t have the mean streak to be able to have enough to do this dead of killing the King. Using the word “illness” as a symbol of having a mean streak where he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, where he would easily kill the king without a second thought about the consequences of his actions. These things show how Macbeth has ambition but he doesn’t have the personality that goes with doing bad things because of ambition, he’s too kind and thinks about others.

 

EXAMPLE IN CLASS:

META – ANSWER

  • Identify a language feature – Metaphor
  • Quote – “Milk of human kindness.”
  • Explain how feature communicates the idea – compares Macbeth conferring qualities of milk : pure, soft, nurturing, sustenance.
  • 2nd Quote – Metaphor – “That i may pour my spirits in thine ear.”

Quote Weaving

Quote Weaving – Use a quotation in a sentence to express your own ideas.

Example:

  • “The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream”
  • fear cant hurt you
  • the thing you fear can
  • people act on fear
  • it is all in your head.

The boys try to tell themselves “fear can’t hurt” them, but….

Mine:

  • ” What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?”

The boys get to the point where they don’t even recognize themselves, they start thinking “what are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages,” they have been through things that are way out of their comfort zones and they are unable to comprehend what is going on anymore, who they are.

  • “The greatest ideas are the simplest”

The boys begin to learn that “the greatest ideas are the simplest,” they thought that since the adults normally make all the decisions and come up with ideas, that they are big like them and too hard to be comprehended by them but after making a few decisions and coming up with a few ideas for themselves they realise that they can be simple.

  • “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all we are not savages. We are English, and English are best at everything.”

The boys are taught that they have “got to have rules and obey them,” in order to be the “best at everything.”

Practice Exam Essay – Lord of the Flies.

Exam Question: 

  • Describe at least one important technique used in the written text.
    Explain how the technique created an emotional response in you.
    Note: Techniques could include figures of speech, syntax, word-choice, style, symbolism, structure,
    or narrative point-of-view.
  • Describe at least one important object in the written text.
    Explain why that object was important.

Plan:

  •  Over all idea: There are lots of ideas within humanity that don’t always come to light until you are pushed to your limits – violence, darkness, leadership, conflict, weakness, fears.
  • Pigs head – violence, darkness
  • Conch –  leadership, law and order.
  • Beast- fear, even Ralph was fearful in the end.

Actual piece:
Key:

Black = actual piece
Grey = piece i don’t want to delete about a different idea 

Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding, within this many important techniques are used to assist in telling the story, symbolism is one of them. This novel is a story about a group of English students who become stranded on an island, we follow them along their journey to try escape and be rescued but conflict between them leads them to unnecessary problems. Symbolism is used many times throughout this novel to convey alternative ideas about aspects of humanity that aren’t always seen but in particular time are seen. In the text objects can be used to symbolise an idea – like the pigs head on the stick and the conch.

An example of symbolism being used is when the ‘hunters’ kill the sow and leave the head on a stick for the beast as a peace-offering. Within the story, this pigs head, who refers to itself as the Lord of the Flies, is seen as the devil. ” The Lord of the Flies spoke in the voice of a schoolmaster.” A schoolmaster is one usually feared by students as they are the big scary adult who is mean and keeps everyone in line. By saying that he spoke in the voice of the schoolmaster, the author is saying that he spoke as a bad person, someone with authority who uses and abuses it just like the devil. The pigs head haunts the character Simon aswell. “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.” This is a quote describing what the ‘head on the stick’ looked like.  This blackness is apart of that, this quote is written from Simon’s perspective so it’s symbolizing the darkness within Simon’s head at this time because of the conflict between the two main characters that is effecting him and also the darkness that is at the back of his mind, just like everyone’s. Blackness also symbolises violence, violence is within everyone, it is something that is either hidden or seen in a person. When people are faced with challenges, much like those in the story, this violence awakens and is shown, like when you are having a bad day at school, someone just does one thing that angers you and you burst, all that anger and violence inside of you explodes and you turn violent and punch them in the face. You didn’t intend for that violence to occur but when you are under pressure little things can turn into big things because your mind is preoccupied, the things at the back of your mind that don’t usually rise do, one of them is violence.

 The object of the conch brought the group of English boys together at the start of the novel when they were all scattered across the island.“We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us—” this marked the time when the conch became the signal for every meeting, when the conch sound was heard anywhere on the island, it gave a signal to everyone that they needed to gather.
The conch symbolises law and order as the conch brung everyone together, it was the call for every meeting and it was used as a speaking tool to allow order – whoever had the conch was allowed to speak,
“I got the conch-, I got the right to speak.”
The boys no longer had parents and authoritative figures to govern, “Aren’t there any grownups?” “No.” “Then we’ll have to look after ourselves.” This left them all feeling helpless and scared about what could happen, people had to step up and take the lead; this was Ralph and Jack, the conch showed them the way and gave them the chance to come together and whoever had the conch was seen as the leader as well. The conch gave them a sense of power, power they wouldn’t have had, to do what was necessary to keep going if they had never found the conch. The conch was mainly in Ralph’s possession, he was voted chief by the boys at the start for this very reason. They knew that the conch brung them together and since Ralph was the first person seen with it he was immediately the one seen with the power. “The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart.””Him with the shell.”  From their Ralph had to learn to lead, he had to bring that idea of leadership from inside him out so he could look after everyone and get rescued. Jack always got in the way of this by contradicting him, this created conflict between the two as Jack always saw himself as the leader – he was the leader of the choir back home but they were no longer at home and he struggled to remember that and know when to let others lead. In life they say that there can only be one top dog, like wolves – one alpha, these are the ones who their leadership is seen and sometimes these people are the ones who were never expected to lead others but when fate is tempted they surprise you and their leadership just come naturally from within – another hidden feature from inside of them arising. 

“In color the shell was deep cream, touched here and there with fading pink. Between the point, worn away into a little hole, and the pink lips of the mouth, lay eighteen inches of shell with a slight spiral twist and covered with a delicate, embossed pattern.”

The conch was another object used as symbol to symbolise an idea, the conch signified leadership, it allowed leadership to occur, things to be shared and brought people together, symbolising law and order between the boys all over the island.

“We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us—” It was the starting point for the boys on the island, it is what brought them together, the character Ralph – a twelve year old English boy and Piggy were the first two to meet, they found the conch. Piggy recalled his auntie once telling him that you “blew from down here” putting his hands on his abdomen, he thought that they could use this to signal the other English boys who were scattered around the island. Ralph blew the conch, “I bet you can hear that for miles” Piggy said, soon after that the other boys heard it and came just like they would if a teacher asked them to come inside back at school,  this  marked the time of their first meeting. In this part of the text the conch is an important object as it is what brings all the English boys together, its the powerful figure that . In the world there is always something that brings people or things together, whether it is a common interest, a class they have a school together or a bus they both take to work everyday there is always something …

Symbolism – Lord of the Flies

Elements in the text that represent something greater.

When thinking about symbolism:

1.How is it described/introduced in the text?
2. How is it ‘used’?
3. Find quotes where it is mentioned
4. What ideas does it convey?

Examples:

  • Conch

1.
2. The conch is used as a tool, whoever has it is allowed to speak and those who don’t aren’t but this isn’t allows the case.
3.
4. It conveys ideas about law and order, being the thing that is seen as important. It is fragile because it is a shell so it conveys ideas about the boys actually being fragile because of the events that are occurring.

  • Piggy’s Glasses

1.
2.
3.
4.

  • Smoke
  • Pigs head “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.” Page 159.
    The ‘blackness’ being the symbolism of death, darkness, violence etc.

In the novel of Lord of the Flies the author William Golding uses symbolism as a technique to convey alternative ideas about the world. The novel is a story about a group of English students who become stranded on an island, we follow them along their journey to try escape and be rescued but conflict between the students leads them to unnecessary problems. Symbolism is used many times, an example of this is when the ‘hunters’ kill the sow and leave the head on a stick for the beast as a peace-offering. This haunts the character Simon. “Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.” This is a quote describing what the ‘head on the stick’ looked like. Within the story this pigs head is seen as the devil. This blackness is apart of that, this quote is written from Simon’s perspective so it’s symbolizing the darkness within Simon’s head at this time because of the conflict between the two main characters that is effecting him and also the darkness that is at the back of his mind, just like everyone’s. Blackness also symbolises violence, violence is within everyone, it is something that is either hidden or seen in a person. When people are faced with challenges, much like those in the story, this violence awakens and is shown 

Add about the violence in the wider world, about how its a part of our humanity, think of an event in the outer world or personal that shows the violence.
Talk about what the book actually says the pigs head symbolizes – the devil, find a quote to assist this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blackness is also symbolizing the violence everywhere on the island; violence is a key part in humanity but more often than not it isn’t present, though when times get tough it becomes present like at this time for these English boys where they are out of their comfort zone and just trying to survive something that they never knew they would ever have to go through.