English Literature A2 Mock Revision Cards

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English Mock Exam

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What will the exam be about?

There are 2 questions in the paper, the extracts will all be related to love and linked through a theme such as 'loss'.

  • The first asks you to compare the two texts in detail, whilst referencing wider reading- only of the same genre, however only where appropriate.
  • The second requires a comparison too, but with more of an emphasis on wider reading across the literature of love.
















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Ovid Echo and Narcissus


Echo and Narcissus is an episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses, a Latin mythological epic from the Augustan period. The introduction of the myth of the mountain nymph Echo into the story of Narcissus, the beautiful youth who rejected sexuality and falls in love with his own reflection, appears to have been Ovid's invention. Ovid's version influenced the presentation of the myth in later Western art and literature. (Wikipedia).

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Ovid Orpheus and Eurydice


Metamorphoses= 20 March 43 BC- AD 17/18     Orpheus (/ˈɔrfəs/ or /ˈɔrfjuːs/; Ancient Greek: Ὀρφεύς) was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music, his attempt to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld, and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music. As an archetype of the inspired singer, Orpheus is one of the most significant figures in the reception of classical mythology in Western culture, portrayed or alluded to in countless forms of art and popular culture including poetry, opera, and painting.[1] (wikipedia)

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Plato Context

1- Plato's Symposium= The search for physical completeness.

2- The Ascent of Love-> love of one person, love of two people, love of all physical beauty, love of beauty in human behaviour, love of beauty in subjects of study, divine love.

3- Phaedrus, The Tripartite Soul, the Charioteer falls in love and the horses react in completely different ways.

4- World of forms- wings of desire may grow as man is reminded and revealed to true beauty beyond the physical realm, suffers from a 'madness'- the Platonic lover worships the beauty of his love in order to adore her soul.

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Courtly Love

  • It goes hand in hand with chivalry, acted out by knights.
  • The Knight had to buy presents and gifts for the lady, however he would get nothing in return.
  • It was love for love's sake- an ideal relationship for this would be adulterous, as only an unattainable woman can be loved for love's sake.
  • An ideal lover was lovesick all the time (Absalom).
  • France, Italy and England it became a central theme of lyric and epic poetry.
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Dante and Petrarch

Dante uses imagery of the incarnation to show the Christ-like effect Beatrice has on him, he sees love as transformative, La Vita Nuova  centres on ****** love as the road to salvation. He fell in love with Beatrice at first sight when he was 9. Poem to know 'Ladies who have.'

Petrarch's love for Laura represents his struggle between the divine and earthly attachments, his love is idoltrous.He was regarded as the father of 'Humanism.

Leitmotif= recurring event, image, object or character in a story, poem, film or play. It becomes significant thematically to the overall work.

Mise-en-scene= the arrangement of actors and scenery on stage- like setting.

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Petrarchan Sonnets

The first and most common sonnet is the Petrarchan, or Italian. Named after one of its greatest practitioners, the Italian poet Petrarch, the Petrarchan sonnet is divided into two stanzas, the octave (the first eight lines) followed by the answering sestet (the final six lines). The tightly woven rhyme scheme, abba, abba, cdecde or cdcdcd, is suited for the rhyme-rich Italian language, though there are many fine examples in English. Since the Petrarchan presents an argument, observation, question, or some other answerable charge in the octave, a turn, or volta, occurs between the eighth and ninth lines. This turn marks a shift in the direction of the foregoing argument or narrative, turning the sestet into the vehicle for the counterargument, clarification, or whatever answer the octave demands. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5791


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The Millers Tale Absalom as Courtly Lover

  • Key character in the development of the fabliau.
  • Parody of a Courtly Lover.
  • Resembles a Troubadour.
  • Presented as effeminate.
  • In love with an unattainable woman, who is married.
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Shakespearean Sonnets

There are fourteen lines in a Shakespearean sonnet. The first twelve lines are divided into three quatrains with four lines each. In the three quatrains the poet establishes a theme or problem and then resolves it in the final two lines, called the couplet. The rhyme scheme of the quatrains is abab cdcd efef. The couplet has the rhyme scheme gg. This sonnet structure is commonly called the English sonnet or the Shakespearean sonnet, to distinguish it from the Italian Petrarchan sonnet form which has two parts: a rhyming octave (abbaabba) and a rhyming sestet (cdcdcd). The Petrarchan sonnet style was extremely popular with Elizabethan sonneteers, much to Shakespeare's disdain (he mocks the conventional and excessive Petrarchan style in Sonnet 130).

Only three of Shakespeare's 154 sonnets do not conform to this structure: Sonnet 99, which has 15 lines; Sonnet 126, which has 12 lines; and Sonnet 145, which is written in iambic tetrameter. http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/sonnetstyle.html

Sonnets to study, as revision= Love sonnet between Romeo and Juliet, 116, 129, 147, 29

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Metaphysicals 1st half of the 1600s

They are known for their use of conceits about religion or love.

Poems to note: Holy Sonnet 14, A Valediction:Forbidding Mourning, Negative Love, The Flea, The Ecstacy, To The Virgins, To his Coy Mistress, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, To his Mistress going to Bed.

Poets to note: John Donne, Robert Herrick, Andrew Marvell.

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The Romantics 1789-1840

Characteristics of romanticism:

  • Individuality.
  • Nature.
  • Poetry and Politics.
  • Symbolism.


  • Poems to study= Ozymandias and To a Skylark.
  • Also John Keats 'Bright Star'.
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Lolita 1955

Control is a central theme, also deceptiveness and insanity, also the use of foreshadowing- there is a lack of sexual scenes in the novel which perhaps shows that control is more important to their relationship. The voice in the novel yearns for the reader to understand him, this at times can be very difficult and so links back to the question of insanity. Not every child in the novel is a 'nymphet' , which sections of society. He lives for her. Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris and 1958 in New York. It was later translated by its Russian-native author into Russian. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle-aged literature professor and hebephile Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores.The book is also notable for its writing style. The narrative is highly subjective as Humbert draws on his fragmented memories, employing a sophisticated prose style, while attempting to gain the reader's sympathy through his sincerity and melancholy, although near the end of the story Humbert refers to himself as a "maniac" who "deprived" Dolores "of her childhood", and he shortly thereafter states "the most miserable of family lives was better than the parody of incest" in which they were involved. (wikipedia)

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Rosa Guy My love, my love of The Peasant Girl 1985

An interesting portrayal of love as a physical force pulling you away from your home.

Extended metaphors or themes and notable ideas:

Use of the Gods as orchestrating their lives.

A rag to riches story.

Their love does not overcome the need to marry for love and not status.

Though, it is empowering as she refuses to live as second best to his wife.

Her hunger and suffering is nothing in comparison to the power of love.She forgets their divisions, he does not.


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My love, my love or The Peasant Girl Quotes

‘She swore to him in her heart, ‘I’ll protect you. I’ll do battle if battle need be done- with the gods to keep you alive.’

‘The first two drops of rain that fell, fell on the closed eyes of the little peasant girl. They resembled tears.’

‘She lay beside him, cradling his head to her chest. He fell asleep. She kept holding him, holding, holding him…’

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Jeannette Winterson Sexing the Cherry 1989

The novel portrays unusual perspectives on the World and has a very feminist slant. I enjoyed it.

Extended metaphors or themes and notable ideas:

The Twelve dancing Princesses portray all different types of women.

The main character is very interested in the idea of love being a drug, which can kill.

The idea of gender is challenged by the Protagonists appearance and attitude.

The idea that one can love a child without giving birth to the child.




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Sexing the Cherry Quotes

love… must be kept tame by marriage vows and family ties so that its fiery heat warms the hearth but does not burn down the house.’

‘The man I had married was a woman.’

‘He called me Jess because that is the name of the hood which restrains the falcon.’

‘He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life.’

‘In one city I visited, the entire population had been wiped out by love three times in a row.’

‘the plague of love had overtaken the city’

‘They all want to be heroes and all we want is for them to stay at home and help with the housework and the kids.’




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E.M.Forster Maurice Published 1971. Written 1913-1

Clive is very judgemental of Scudder because of his class. Greece seems to change Clive as Italy did with Lucy in ‘A Room With A View’.

Maurice and Alec’s love seems more honest, whereas with Clive it was too intense and complicated. Clive quickly dismisses any mention of his former self, almost denying their love. Maurice is happy to live as an outlaw so long as he is with Alec. Clive would never do this- it was a momentary love with him.

Their position in society as Cambridge lads restricts their freedom, yet Clive is more aware of this than Maurice, who goes against it.

Maurice wants to be cured, but recognises that platonic love is acceptable, he wants to discard lustful emotion.

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Maurice Quotes

‘A slow nature such as Maurice’s appears insensitive, for it needs time even to feel.’

‘He loved men and always had loved them. He longed to embrace them and mingle his being with theirs. Now that the man who returned his love had been lost, he admitted this.’

‘Something of exquisite beauty arose in the mind of each at last, something unforgettable and eternal, but built of the humblest scraps of speech and from the simplest emotions.’

‘Maurice, you wouldn’t believe how servants get spoken to.’

‘’Scudder missed his boat?...’These people are impossible.’’- Clive

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