Monthly Archives for April 2012


Images of physical suffering and pain in ‘Hamlet’

Images of sickness and disease abound. The ghastly visible effects which the poison had on Old Hamlet: ‘And a most instant tetter bark’d about, Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, All my smooth body.’ (1.5.71-73) References to sickness and disease apply sometimes to individuals and sometimes to humankind in general, and somtimes to the […]


Boland – forging a personal understanding

Themes that arise in Boland’s poetry: Ireland’s troubled and violent past The significance of myth The experience of being a woman – mother, housewife, lover . . . Truth Love and Relationships Suburbia Public and private worlds History Marriage Style and Technique Detached observation Rhyme Imagery – vivid and striking Metaphor and simile Repetition Contrast […]


Wordplay Wednesday – oxymoron

This refers to a figure of speech in which contradictory and opposite ideas are linked. It is similar to a paradox, but the oxymoron is contained within a phrase whereas the paradox is contained in a statement. Examples of oxymorons: cruel kindness thunderous silence deliberate mistake known secret friendly fire constant change Oxymorons in literature: […]


Past exam questions on Boland

2011 ‘Boland’s reflective insights are expressed through her precise use of language.’ Write your response to this statement, supporting your answer with suitable reference to the poetry on your course. 2005 ‘The appeal of Eavan Boland’s poetry.’ Using the above title, write an essay outlining what you consider to be the appeal of Boland’s poetry. […]



Wordplay Wednesday – pangrams

Anybody who has learned how to type will probably know what a pangram is. It is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet. Here are some well know examples: The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog. Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. How quickly daft jumping zebras vex. None […]


Past exam questions on Kavanagh

2010 In your opinion, is Kavanagh successful in achieving his desire to transform the ordinary world into something extraordinary? Support your answer with suitable reference to the poems on your course.   2004 Imagine you were asked to select one or more of Patrick Kavanagh’s poems from your course for inclusion in a short anthology […]



Bruce Ismay ‘After the Titanic’

One of the people who will forever be associated with Titanic is Bruce Ismay, owner of the White Star Line that made the ship. He was on the maiden voyage and, of course, survived the tragedy. His fate his sympathetically described by Derek Mahon in the poem ‘After the Titanic’: They said I got away […]