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English Literature

Sample Question


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How does the relationship between Eddie and Catherine change during the first act of the play? Give reasons for your answer.

Para 1: Introduction

  • Explain the background to the relationship and show what the relationship is like at the start of the play.

Para 2 - The relationship at the start of the play

  • Discuss Eddie's reaction to Catherine's new skirt and her new job, and what this shows about his feelings for her.
  • You could also mention Beatrice's view of the relationship at his point - she gives us the first hints that Eddie is over-protective.

Para 3 - Impact of Rodolpho's arrival

  • Discuss how the arrival of Rodolpho immediately changes the state of Eddie's feelings for Catherine. As she becomes more attracted to Rodolpho, Eddie becomes more desperate to prevent his rival taking Catherine away from him.

Para 4 - Contrast Eddie's and Catherine's feelings for each other

  • Comment on the difference between Catherine's innocent fondness for Eddie and his shameful love for her. Give examples to show how we know what each of them is feeling.
  • You could also mention Alfieri's view of Eddie's love and how Alfieri understands it was impossible for Eddie to control.

Para 5 - Fight at end of Act I

  • Examine the fight at the end of Act I when Catherine makes it clear that she loves Rodolpho more than Eddie. How does this prepare us for Act II?

Para 6 - Conclusion

  • Look forward to what will happen in Act II. Briefly summarise how what we have learnt about the relationship so far prepares us for the fatal ending.

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