Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Y12: Past paper questions on Donne and some general advice about LTB2

Practice Questions For LTB2: Genre Study: Poetry and Drama (John Donne)

Although the Drama question has more marks than the Poetry, you should still aim to split your time 50/50. The exam is 1 hour 45 mins., so about 50 minutes per question.
This advice comes direct from the chief examiner: ‘The most important thing in the exam room is to think and plan. If candidates have studied and revised carefully, they are full of knowledge, but it’s too easy to misuse this knowledge or present it ineffectively. They must remember to deconstruct the question and not believe they ‘recognise’ it, and plan their answers carefully: too many candidates don’t actually start delivering until halfway through their answer.’

1. The Flea
a) What arguments does the speaker use to persuade his listener to “learn how false, fears be”?
b) How does the language of the poem convey a sense of the speaker’s personality?
c) Discuss the ways in which Donne uses persuasive speakers in one or two other poems.

2. The Good Morrow
a) What do you think is the significance of the poem’s title?
b) How do the references to exploration and discovery contribute to the poem’s effect?
c) Comment on the way in which Donne employs similar references in other poems.

3. Elegy XVI- On His Mistress
a) What attitudes to ‘the Mistress’ does the speaker reveal in the poem?
b) The poem features a number of ‘lists’. Discuss what these add to the poem’s effect.
c) Compare the attitude to ‘the Mistress’ in this and one or two other poems.

4. Song II
a) How does the speaker persuade the listener that, “Thou art the best of me.”?
b) What is the purpose and effect of the references to the sun?
c) Compare this poem with others where the mistress is directly addressed.

5. The Canonization
a) Comment on the use of sacred and secular imagery in this poem.
b) What attitude does the speaker of the poem have to those he addresses the poem to?
c) Discuss how Donne uses religious references in one or two other poems.

6. Love’s Growth
a) What do the references to alchemy and cosmology add to the poem’s effect?
b) How does the structure of the poem contribute to its argument?
c) Comment on the way in which Donne structures an argumentative line in one or two other poems.

7. The Ecstasy
a) What is the speaker’s attitude towards the idea of love as a spiritual union?
b) Comment on Donne’s use of metaphor and simile in the poem.
c) Comment on the ways in which Donne use metaphor and simile in other poems.


Blogger Chrissy said...

I am a little stuck on how to start off the first question on "song 2", I think i will be ok with the other two, would it be possible for some advice?

11:07 AM  
Anonymous carl said...

Hi Sir,
I'm kinda stuck doing the Elegy 16 questions, i hav got my head round the other two questions apart from A. Because as i was reading through the questions i came to a point which i remember clearly in lesson but i cant remember exactly. So to get straight to the point, my thoughts were that as an attitude to 'the mistress' the speaker is trying to make her faithful while he isnt. Can you tell me which line that is in the poem.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Mr.D said...

Are you okay with this Carl since our conversation in class? It's not a specific line, it's the subtext or implication of the whole poem.

8:12 AM  

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