AQA English Literature B Past Paper Questions

One past paper for each of the new exams is frankly appalling.

So we’ve conjured some up here for your revising pleasure.

Aspects of Tragedy

Section A: KING LEAR EXTRACT

Just select any key moment in the text and try to test yourself

e.g love trial at start of play. lear’s death scene. kent’s stocking. edmund soliloquy in a1.5

Section B: KING LEAR ESSAY

  1. ‘Despite the appalling suffering, the world of the play is not without hope’
    To what extent do you agree? Refer to Shakespeare’s dramatic methods.
  2. ‘There is absolutely no sympathy for King Lear during his fall’
    To what extent do you agree? Refer to Shakespeare’s dramatic methods.
  3. ‘The Fool simply heightens the tragedy’
    To what extent do you agree? Refer to Shakespeare’s dramatic methods.
  4. ‘Shakespeare  oversteps the bounds of human nature in the tragic villainry of Goneril and Regan.’ To what extent do you agree?

Section C: DOAS/RICHARD II ESSAY

  1. “Tragedies often show the breakdown of order into chaos” Explore the significance of chaos and disorder in two texts you’ve studied
    Explore the review that writers writing in the tragic tradition convey a sense of sadness
  2. “Tragedy is derived from a tragic hero’s shortcomings in which their flaw prevents them from any hope of victory.”
    Explore the significance of fatal flaws in two texts
  3. The setting of tragedy is pivotal to creating pathos, for evoking contempt but also reflection
    Explore the significance of setting in tragedy
  4. Tragedies often show how external forces, other than the flawed tragic hero, ultimately bring about their downfall.
    Explore the significance of how downfall in presented by two writers.
  5. Tragedies often portray the marginalisation of women
    Explore the significance of how women are portrayed in 2 texts
  6. Sidney claims that ‘tragedies move tyrants to tears’. How true is this of DOAS and Rich 2?
  7. How do tragedies show the consequences of transgression in a world which was governed by divine justice?
  8. ‘Bearability has been an important asset of the tragic playwright’
    Explore the signicance of lighthearted moments in tragedy
  9. Tragedies portray a secular, negative view of man’s conditions
    Explore the significance of the way the human condition is portrayed.

Elements of Social and Political Protest

Section A: UNSEEN

Section B: HARRISON (or Blake, or Hosseini: Just one) ESSAY

  1. ‘Tony Harrison’s poetry absolutely lambastes the ruling classes and all bourgeois privileges’
    To what extent do you agree with this view? Remember to include exploration of Harrison’s methods.
  2. “My upbringing among so-called ‘inarticulate’ people has given me a passion for language that communicates directly and immediately’. (Tony Harrison)
    To what extent does Harrison show this in his poetry?
  3. ‘Harrison is always critical of elitist education in his poetry’
    To what extent do you agree with this view? Remember to include exploration of Harrison’s methods.
  4. Tony Harrison’s social protest poetry is solely concerned with social class issues.’ To what extent do you agree? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method
  5. ‘Tony Harrison’s protest is crude, blunt and ineffective as a tool of protest.’ To what extent do you agree? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method.
  6. ‘Tony Harrison’s use of the structure of poetry is key in his social protest writing.’ To what extent do you agree? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method.
  7. How does Harrison portray the degradation of society and of culture? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method.
  8. Harrison’s social protest writing is ultimately a beacon of hope for the future To what extent do you agree? Remember to include reference to Harrison’s authorial method.
  9. Harrison exposes criticism of the Thatcherite government yet poses no solution. To what extent do you agree? Remember to comment on Harrison’s authorial method
  10. Harrison is too focused on his own working class issues to care about the rest of society. To what extent do you agree? Remember to comment on Harrison’s authorial method
  11. Harrison seems at odds with his own heritage in his social protest against elitism. To what extent do you agree? Remember to comment on Harrison’s authorial method

Section C: BLAKE/HOSSEINI/HARRISON ESSAY

  1. ‘Social protest writing champions the cause and welfare of children’Explore the significance of children and how they are defended or championed in the 2 set texts
  2. ‘Political and social protest writing often focuses on rebellion against power. ‘Explore the significance of rebellion as it is presented in 2 texts
  3. Social and Political texts usually involve the corruption of both society and politics
    How far do you agree with this view? Remember to include relevant analysis of ________ methods.
  4. ‘Real world settings form the basis of all social-protest writing’
    Explore the significance of settings in 2 texts you study
  5. ‘Social and political protest writing relies on the structuring used by writers.’ Explore the significance of structuring in two texts.
    Social and political protest writing champions the idea of a nation or nationality. Explore the significance of patriotism etc in two texts.
  6. Social and political protest writing have the power to change society by winning hearts and minds. Explore the significance of how the audience is affected in two texts
  7. Social protest novels praise human organisation and the efficiency of government Explore the significance of the human organisation in two texts.
  8. Social protest is best done simply, and with maximum appeal to the masses Explore the significance of simplicity in two texts.
  9. Social protest writing at its best is autobiographical. Explore the significance of the personal context of the writer in two texts.
  10. Political and social protest writing is totally serious, with no room for humour and theatricality to make serious political points. . Explore the significance of the tone of texts

     

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3 thoughts on “AQA English Literature B Past Paper Questions

  1. Hi, I’m also sitting AQA English literature B social and political protest writing on Thursday. I really have found your notes helpful, I was just wondering if you had any more Blake and Hosseini notes? They are so good

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    1. Hiya! I’m glad someone finds use of these notes. I’ll dig out what I have on my PC and upload them in my next post. Good luck for the exam! 🙂

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    2. Alright, uploaded what I have for now.
      Check back later tomorrow for more. I’ll be doing some more past questions and I’ll upload them if that’s any help 🙂

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