RICHARD L. W. CLARKE


 

 

 

LITS2200 SERIES: SHAKESPEARE

PAST EXAM PAPERS


2016-2017

LITS2207 INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE
(R. L. W. Clarke and R. Leyshon)

 


2015-2016: Semester II

LITS2203 Shakespeare I: Histories and Comedies
(R. L. W. Clarke)

Answer TWO questions in all, ONE from Section A and ONE from Section B.

In each answer, you should refer closely to the play in question.

Section A: HENRY V

1. Would you agree that this is a “subtly subversive” play? (30 marks)

2. Argue for or against the view that “Shakespeare could not allow the comic elements to get out of hand here as they nearly did in the earlier Histories.” (30 marks)

3. “Still be kind, / And eke out our performance with your mind.” Discuss the role of the Chorus in the light of this quotation. (30 marks)

Section B: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

4. Is it fair to describe The Merchant of Venice as an “anti-Semitic” play? (30 marks)

5. “Yet another play about justice, the law and its dispensation.” Do you agree? (30 marks)

6. Is Portia the “pawn” or the “saviour” of a male-dominated world? (30 marks)


2015-2016: Semester I

LITS2207 Introduction to Shakespeare
(R. Leyshon)

Answer TWO questions.

Of the five plays we have studied you must show sound knowledge of at least FOUR.

Do not use substantially the same material in both answers.

Do not merely recap the plots of the plays you discuss.

Pay attention to Shakespeare’s language and dramatic technique.

1.    Using specific examples from TWO or THREE plays, discuss how effective you find Shakespeare’s representation of what one critic calls “thought in action”?
 

2.    Discuss the strengths and limitations of a filmed adaptation of a play we have studied. Be sure to make close reference to both text and performance. (Note that for the purposes of this question, a film counts as a performance.)

3.    “Regardless of the genre, Shakespeare’s drama is preoccupied with gender conflict.”  Discuss with reference to at least TWO plays.

4.    Examine the dramatic function and significance of the supernatural in any TWO plays.

5.    With detailed reference to TWO or THREE plays, explore how Shakespeare dramatizes the uses and abuses of power.

6.    “Nothing is more tedious than Shakespearean comedy”. Do you agree? Refer to at least TWO plays in your answer.


2014-2015

 


2013-2014

LITS2207 Introduction to Shakespeare
(R. Leyshon)

Answer TWO questions.

You must show knowledge of FOUR plays in total.

Pay close attention both to dramatic form and literary content.

Don’t merely recap the plots of the plays you write about.

Don’t use substantially the same material for both answers.

1.    "So many of Shakespeare’s dramas, no matter the genre, are interested in the workings of power and how the state manages to contain resistance” (Greenblatt).  Discuss with reference to any TWO plays.

2.    Examine some of the ways Shakespeare dramatizes and critiques the theme of honour in TWO plays you have read for this course.

3.

EITHER (a)“Just concentrating on the female characters, or protesting as political feminists at the sexist views expressed by the male characters, will not get us very far” (Jardine).  Discuss this comment with reference to any TWO Shakespeare plays.

OR (b) “Shakespeare’s vision of women transcended the limits of his time and sex” (Evans).  Do you agree? Refer to TWO plays in your answer.

4.    Discuss the dramatic significance of ‘transformation’ in any TWO Shakespeare plays.

5.    Citing specific example from TWO plays, discuss the theatrical purpose of Shakespeare’s use of EITHER verse and prose OR the soliloquy.

6.    To what extent would you agree that Shakespeare has become what one critic calls a “postcolonial battlefield”?  Discuss any TWO plays in your answer.


2012-2013

LITS2207 Introduction to Shakespeare
(R. L. W. Clarke)

Answer TWO questions in all, ONE from Section A and ONE from Section B.

In each answer, you should refer closely to the play in question.

Section A: Hamlet

1. What light, if any, do Hamlet’s soliloquies shed on his character? (30 marks)

2. “By the end of the play, we are nowhere nearer to understanding what really transpired at Elsinore than we were at the beginning.” Do you agree? (30 marks)

3. “Ophelia [to Polonius]: I shall obey, my lord” (1.3.136). Discuss, in the light of Ophelia’s reply, Shakespeare’s treatment of the female characters in the play. (30 marks)

Section B: The Tempest

4. “For a modern audience, Caliban, and not Prospero, is the centre of interest in the play.” Dscuss. (30 marks)

5. Why is The Tempest normally classified as a ‘romance’? (30 marks)

6. Would you agree that The Tempest “practically lends itself to a Postcolonial reading”? (30 marks)


2011-2012

 


2010-2011

 


2009-2010

 


2008-2009

 


2007-2008

 


2006-2007

 


2005-2006

 


2004-2005

 


2003-2004

 


2002-2003

 


2001-2002

 


2000-2001

 


 

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