A challenging, but not unfair paper, with the exception of the prescribed poetry section.
Questions excellently phrased. The expected aspects of the play were examined; character of Hamlet and the theme of corruption. No complaints, no shocks.
In both questions the phrasing of the questions was stimulating, allowing candidates to precisely evaluate the play.
The range of questions on the Comparative study section of the paper was narrow but manageable.
The examiner focussed on a narrow range of questions in the Comparative study, largely the treatment of texts in both modes, to characters and setting.
A poor example of verse
The poem was neither stimulating nor interesting.
The related questions were standard. A disappointing and uninspiring section
The absence of both Plath and Heaney reinforces the message that to assume is folly….
The accusation of cynicism in the quotation offered on the poetry of Larkin betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of his poetry. Larkin is not cynical. If the question misunderstands the poetry, how can candidates be expected to reveal an understanding of the poets work.
The Larkin quotation also referred to “moments of sensitivity”. A poem does not consist of moments, a poem is either sensitive or not, in its entirety.
The unfairness of this question is that it presents candidates with an inaccurate evaluation of a poets work.
The Question on the poetry of Kinsella was mediocre. The questions on both Rich and Kavanagh were very good.