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Contemporary Scottish Theatre Essay Writing Created by L McCarry.

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1 Contemporary Scottish Theatre Essay Writing Created by L McCarry

2 Contemporary Scottish Theatre As part of your written exam you will complete a CST essay. This is different from the SET TEXT as you have a choice of many more questions. You have a choice of eight questions, two questions are under each of the headings: Social, Political and Religious Dimensions, Use of History Nostalgia and Popular Tradition, Issues of Gender and Current Productions and Issues. Created by L McCarry

3 Contemporary Scottish Theatre You must choose ONE question to answer from the eight given. You must consider which question will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge of the plays and answer the question fully. You must always mention at LEAST two plays that you have studied or seen. The most popular questions chosen by our candidates are in the Social and Issues of Gender headings. Created by L McCarry

4 SQA Guidelines The essay will seek a response from the candidate in respect of their knowledge of two or more plays and their views on themes which the texts address. These responses should not be a retelling of the plot but should demonstrate that the candidate is able to show how issues and themes are dealt with in the texts selected. Once selection of the question has been made, careful reading of that question is essential to understand its full demands. When marking, an holistic approach should be taken. However, all elements of the question must be addressed when awarding maximum marks. One additional mark may we awarded for good use of quotes. One additional mark may be awarded for a well structured essay with a good introduction and conclusion. The total mark for the essay is 20 marks. Created by L McCarry

5 Social Questions When starting any CST essay ANSWER the question in the introduction and state what plays you plan to discuss to enable you to answer the question. The common mistake with the social essays is to list the social conditions you have learned about e.g. ‘…another social issue is…’ which quite often means that the question is not being answered. Prepare and find quotes under the following: The Depression and the poverty caused by this, Housing/living conditions, Health, Work (including roles of women/men and unemployment) and Community. This should give you enough to discuss in a social essay. Try to find a few quotes under each of the above, from TWO plays. Created by L McCarry

6 Social Questions You have a good structure in place for answering a social question as you have The Depression, poverty, living conditions etc. already prepared as examples of social issues within the plays you have read. However, what’s really important is to take the quotes that you have that illustrate the social issue and use these to answer the question appropriately: See an example of the next slide Created by L McCarry

7 Social Question Q: (2009) “Contemporary Scottish plays highlight the need for political and/or social change.’ With reference to two or more plays you have studied or seen, discuss the political and/or social changes that Scottish playwrights want us to consider. A: I believe that Ena Lamont Stewart’s play ‘Men Should Weep’ highlights the need for social change as the characters housing and living conditions are poor, cramped, overcrowded and poorly built. They all seek a change and a better way of life. In particular, the character of Bertie is unable to return home due to the damp and crowded living conditions, which would hinder his recovery from TB. A moment in the play that conveys this is when Jenny says: ‘Daddy, if Bertie comes back here, he’ll – he’ll never get better…It’s rotten, this hoose. Rotten. Damp…’ These quotes give us an insight into just how bad the living conditions must have been at the time. Jenny offers the family a change in their social situation when she returns at the end of the play: ‘I can get ye a four room an kitchen, rare an open, near a park. An…I’ll can help ye wi the rent.’ This quote further shows the life the family could have if they accepted Jenny’s offer. She has changed her social situation and wants to do the same for her family. Created by L McCarry

8 Social Questions What is important is that you are mentioning the social issue but ONLY IN RELEVANCE TO THE QUESTION. Remember an important point is not to quote without saying afterwards ‘this quote shows…’ as you will not receive a mark without justifying the relevance of your point. Created by L McCarry

9 Issues of Gender Questions Gender questions can be very interesting to answer. However, you must have many quotes prepared to enable you to pick up as many marks as possible, as you don’t have the structure of the social issues to help you in these essays. Gender questions can ask for your opinion on a statement and often want you to discuss this with relevance to the plays you have read. The vocabulary can also be tricky in gender questions, they like to throw you a long word just to confuse you!! Created by L McCarry

10 Issues of Gender Questions Generation differences Families Unconventional roles The more powerful/ domineering or submissive sex The relationships between women and men The roles of women or men They tend to fall into similar categories of question based on: Created by L McCarry

11 Issues of Gender Questions Look at your past paper questions to get an idea of the style of questions. It is important to prepare quotes and examples from the text that could be adapted to fit any question asked. Past Papers Created by L McCarry

12 Issues of Gender Questions On the next couple of slides you will see ONE example of an Issue of Gender question, initial introduction and start of an essay. Created by L McCarry

13 Issues of Gender Questions Q: (2007) Describe and analyse the portrayal of submissive and/or domineering women in at least two plays you have either seen or read. A: In this essay, I am going to discuss the portrayal of submissive and domineering women, as I believe these can be found in the plays I have read which are: Ena Lamont Stewart’s ‘Men Should Weep,’ Tony Roper’s ‘The Steamie’ and Ann Marie Di Mambro’s ‘Tally’s Blood.’ I believe that a submissive character is one that is controlled by others and gives into them, someone who is stuck in the drudgery of life and struggles to change it, this can be seen initially in the character of Maggie in ‘MSW.’ However, in most of the plays I have read the women can be seen as domineering, in terms of being strong willed and vocal such as Magrit in ‘The Steamie,’ prepared to do whatever it takes to get what they want and can manipulate and control others, such as Isa and even Jenny at times in ‘MSW’ and Rosinella in ‘Tally’s Blood.’ Each have their reasons for being this way and I will now analyse and describe the way these women are portrayed in the texts. Created by L McCarry

14 Issues of Gender Questions The character of Isa is a very domineering character, we understand this as she is a woman who uses her sexuality to manipulate Alec and to also flirt with John to annoy Maggie. She puts Alec in his place and believes that he is not good enough for her. She threatens to leave him because he can’t provide for her and she even further insults him by claiming she will leave him for a local man who can give her what she wants. She eventually escapes the drudgery of her life. Isa’s domineering side is shown when she says: ‘If you want tae keep me, it’s time ye wis makin a bit o dough again. I canna live on air…I’m sick fed up wi you. I’f I’d went wi Peter Robb I’d hae a fur coat…fancy me mairryin a rat like you.’ These quotes help to show how Isa uses insults to dominate Alec, she is pushing him to get what she wants. She knows he loves her and uses this to manipulate him to give her the life she wants. This is unusual for the time period as she is unafraid of him and not afraid to leave him, which she eventually does. Created by L McCarry

15 Issues of Gender Questions In this type of essay you would continue to describe the character and then analyse their portrayal as either submissive or domineering. What is important is to keep linking back to the question being asked and justifying your reasons as to why you think they are portrayed in this way. Created by L McCarry

16 Contemporary Scottish Theatre Popular Tradition essays will be covered later in the course. This presentation is designed to give you a ‘starter’ to writing essays and structuring these. The first thing you must do is prepare quotes as advised in the previous slides, then you are ready to work on past paper questions. Created by L McCarry

17 Well Done! You have now completed revision on: Contemporary Scottish Theatre Essay Writing Created by L McCarry

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