Paper 1: Macbeth (Script B) StandardisationOn October 17, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
[GCSE English Literature Standardising – Macbeth – B] [Principal Examiner] We’re now going to
move on to the second Macbeth script, which you’ve got as S2 at the top of the paper.
Again, same AO focus as the previous one, and obviously you’ll notice a distinct difference
in the standard that’s seen in this one. I mean it does start by discussing relationships,
which is what we want to see with the script. What were your, Lynn maybe first, what were
your general feelings on this response? [Chief Examiner] We start with this introduction
to the question, but then I thought it moved into a little bit of narrative. It didn’t
seem there was much focus on the assessment objective for this one. We’ve got quite
a long quotation towards the bottom of this first page here “call them. Let me see them”.
And then there’s a reference relating to the question about the control. There’s
very little focus on the assessment objective at all. It then moves on to the second page
where they actually repeat the use of the quotation given on the first page. Indeed,
it’s just three lines from the extract used. It’s repeated and it is repetitive in nature
in some of the points. There is some valid interpretation, I’ve written in my notes
here. It’s not using the extract enough clearly and there’s not enough close analysis
of language, form and structure, which is the AO.
[Principal Examiner] I’d certainly as a PE on this paper, be expecting to see the
use of word class, can the candidate mention what a particular noun is or verb. Obviously
it’s not driven solely by terminology the whole way through, but maybe mentioning something
about different types of sentences – a short sentence or a rhetorical question. Expecting
a little more closer focus on the language that has been used at the expense of re-telling
what’s going on in the extract, to really justify that mark for language, form and structure.
[Team Leader] Yes, I do think we have to be very careful not to feature spot – this
is a verb, therefore it is useful. Why is it useful? You have to explain why. But I
do agree with Lynn. There is little concrete focus on the text itself, it’s very narrative.
It lacks depth. We only have that one quotation and then that’s repeated. It only looks
actually at Macbeth and the witches, there’s nothing about the apparitions so it doesn’t
focus on the demands of the question itself. The only one word I picked up which is a vaguely
technical term is ‘demanding’. [Principal Examiner] He does say he answer
his questions which I have marked as an attempt at structural focus.
[Chief Examiner] What did you think, Level 2?
[Team Leader] It ticks all the boxes for Level 2. It’s largely descriptive, there’s some
comment on the language and there’s very limited use of relevant terminology. I
might consider Level 3, but it would be pushing it a little bit, it would be being too generous.
[Principal Examiner] The mark scheme does say “relevant subject terminology is used
to support examples” whereas Level 2 is more limited. It was awarded 8, so we did
place it at the top of 2 because we felt there was sufficient there to really justify it.
[Chief Examiner] I think that’s fair. A very fair mark. [Principal Examiner] Okay, let’s have a
look at Part B of this particular question. Again, we are looking for the candidate going
out of the extract and looking at control. The opening straightaway shows an awareness
as it mentions Lady Macbeth taking control over Macbeth and pressurizing him into doing
the murder. Goes on to consider his destiny to be king and Lady Macbeth’s control over
Macbeth. There is an understanding of the extract attempt. There is an attempt at using
quotation, obviously they don’t have to quote exactly, it can be paraphrased for this
part. An awareness of the wiser text is important here. I like the idea that she questions his
manhood. [Chief Examiner] I wonder if that part. Have
you noted that? [Team Leader] Yes, that’s right. [Chief Examiner] Where it says, she also says
to him that she will measure her love for him on whether he goes through with her plan.
Obviously I know that she threatens doesn’t she, that if she were a man she’d do it,
she’d pluck the baby from her breast and dashed its brains out. But I would’ve liked
more there unpicking that a bit. I’m not quite sure what it’s referring to.
[Team Leader] Yes, we’re left to do the work and I’m not quite sure what the candidate
quite meant by measure. [Chief Examiner]There’s only one quotation.
I know its closed book and understandably we can’t expect lots of quotations, but
more referencing would’ve helped this one. Or specific examples is what I mean, it doesn’t
have to be quotes but particular examples or particular areas of the play or the text.
[Principal Examiner] How did you feel about context? We’re looking at how it reflects
a society, how it may be interpreted by a modern day audience as opposed to the Shakespearian
society of the time? What were your feelings on that?
[Team Leader] We’ve got the role of women. There is reference to someone receiving the
play, but again it’s not developed. But then the candidate does carry on to say a
woman’s path to power was only through her husband. If that had been said “within the
16th century” or “within the time of James VI,” something like that just to make it
a little more specific but I think it’s there. So we’ve got that, when the play
was written, and the position of women at the time.
[Chief Examiner] There’s not enough examples is there.
[Principal Examiner] It does highlight how Lady Macbeth was a woman of her time-period
which is what we’re looking for with this. But again there’s that lack of exemplification
and more extended contextual discussion for it really to go… Again it was a Level 2,
I felt it was a really good example of a Level 2. It achieved 8 marks too.
[Team Leader] I’d be 100% behind that. [Chief Examiner] Yeah I was thinking a 7 or
8. [Always learning]