AQA · Shakespeare · Teaching Ideas

Macbeth: dealing with AO2

Here are a few tips for dealing with AO2screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-17-31-17

The best way to ensure that you can comment on language is to choose the best quotations. If you can’t say anything about the quotation you’ve selected then it’s probably not the right one. Here’s a quotation from act 3 scene 3. It’s delivered by Ross to Macduff. Remember that Ross has held back this information for a few lines – Macduff had earlier asked Ross how his family were and Ross replied with an enigmatic “they were well at peace” when he left them. A few lines later, he drops this bombshell:



I’ve chosen a simple yet interesting quotation for you to work with here. There are a few standout phrases, a couple of techniques that we can pick up on and there is also a structural point that we can make.



In addition to this crowded slide, we could also look at the word ‘surprised’ and its connotations of being caught unawares; perhaps even hinting at Macduff’s lack of responsibility in being there for his family (something that his wife had criticised him for and which he himself feels guilty about); castle might also be a METONYM for his whole estate, his family – he has lost everything. Some of you might want to pick up on the anaphora ‘your’ which places emphasis on the totality of Macduff’s loss.

The next slide is an analytical paragraph which will be used as an example. I just want to get you to see that the simple things can work – you will come up with better responses.




Finally, here are a few selected quotations from act 4 scene 3 which you will use in class.


This is a focus on AO2 – have we brought in any AO3? Where? How could we develop this?



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