English literature past exam questions


2012 Summer

  • “In successful poems, it is often difficult to separate ideas from emotions.” Discuss this view.
  • Explore some of the ways poets present change.
  • “Poetry is at its most effective when exploring contradictions.” How far do you agree?
  • “By interesting us in specific moments or events, poets lead us towards a better appreciation of wider issues.” Examine this view.
  • How far is the appeal of a poem governed by the poet’s choice of subject matter?

2012 Winter

  • Examine some of the ways poets present human limitations and/or weaknesses.
  • “Every successful poem reminds us that the whole truth is never to be found on the surface of things.” Discuss this view.
  • “One way or another, poetry always seems to be concerned with love.” How far do you agree with this view?
  • “It is primarily through imagery that poets make clear what cannot easily be expressed.” Consider this view.
  • Explore some of the ways poets make use of irony in their writing.

2013 Summer

  • Examine some of the ways poets have presented the theme of hope.
  • “Powerful poetry so often springs from the most ordinary or even the ugliest of ingredients.” Explore this point of view.
  • How far would you agree with the proposition that…