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 New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Rose 01/02/2012

Hi everyone

Next year the "aspects of genre" is changing in AS Lit coursework to comedy from tragedy. The Shakespeare section seems easy to cover - particularly as at the standardisation meeting I was told that a play with aspects of comedy - eg The Winter's Tale or Measure for Measure - would be fine. My difficulty is with the second text. I don't want to do a restoration comedy as students usually respond better to a modern play after Shakespeare. But I'm struggling to think of an option! So far I've considered

  • A Chekov (The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / The Cherry Orchard)
  • Arcadia (but I think this is too hard for AS students)
  • Waiting for Godot (I'm reluctant...)

Does anyone have any other bright ideas??

 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Julie 02/02/2012

 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Julie 02/02/2012

 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Julie 02/02/2012

 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Colin 30/05/2012

We're going for Educating Rita. Lots of brilliant reasons:

  • It's funny
  • It gets the students to think about their own aspirations and frustrations
  • It encourages reflection on teaching and learning
  • You can get a reading club going with all the texts referred to (Ibsen, Howards End etc)
  • It fits it well with comic theory (university as a green world, transformation, choice and freedom)

Just a thought!

 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Jillian 10/06/2012

Can I suggest the AQA Eng Lit B-2nd Ed (Nelson Thornes). There is a section, with suggestions, on the 'Dramatic Comedy' genre.

Our centre is also considering 'Educating Rita'


 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Paul 15/06/2012
I'm thinking of an easier comedy for Shakespeare - "Twelfth Night" or "Midsummer Night's Dream". I'd like to do Oscar Wilde (Earnest) for the modern one, or maybe even Alan Bennett - History Boys is pretty good! The new book suggests Ayckbourn as well. Do get hold of a copy, it's invaluable. It can be a little daunting as there is so much in it but you need to be selective. It also suggests good ideas for coursework titles.

 Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Holly 21/06/2012

I went on a training course with the EMC and they recommended against Shakespeare problem plays and encouraged choosing a comedy that would allow students opportunities to explore the genre without having to also teach aspects of tragedy.

Ideas they suggested for non-Shakespeare were:

Abigail's Party


The Importance of Being Earnest

The History Boys

The Real Inspector Hound

We are definitely doing Twelfth Night but then different teachers are selecting a range for the other text.

 Re:Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Godfrey 24/06/2012
We are currently planning to teach Midsummer Night's and School for Scandal.

 Re:Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - user1 24/01/2013

I agree, Educating Rita will be a superb text to cover...however-thinking of appropriate coursework  titles is something we are really struggling with.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks!

 Re:Re:Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Jill 02/03/2013
We've also decided to use 'Educating Rita' and are stuck for suitable tasks........any suggesstions?

 Re:Re:Re:Re:New AQA B AS Lit coursework: comedy - Karoline 11/03/2013
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These were my ideas.



 Resources / Examples / Advice - Natalie 16/06/2013

Hiya all,

I'm going to be teaching this from next year (have previously been working with the Edexcel spec) and likely to be doing either Midsummer or Much Ado.  I'm also struggling to find much advice / any resources online... can anyone answer my questions?

1) Do you have to do a question which focuses on how far the play fits comedy genre?

2) Anyone got any thoughts as to which of these two Shakespeare plays would be better?  I know AMND and am more confident with it, but will rethink if necessary?

3) AQA seem to direct that comedy (happy ending) is different from comic (intended to cause laughter) am I right and does anyone have any more 'meaty' definitions / resources for this?

4) Is anyone able to direct me to / send me any useful resources for teaching this? I'd be most grateful and willing to share anything useful back?

Thanks so much :-)


  Lady Macbeth 18/06/2013
A Shakespearean comedy has very specific rules and you need to address those for the course work. 

 Waiting for Godot - Gemma 24/07/2014

thanks for the resources for different types of questions - these are really useful!


I am looking at doing Waiting for Godot - although I know it is a difficult text I feel it has a lot to offer in terms of comedy/comedic elements. It does define itself as a 'tragicomedy'

Lady Macbeth - you mentioned that Shakespeare's comedy's has specific rules. Do you know if this will apply to the second text or can comedy/comic be interpreted more openly?

  Carla 23/08/2014

The Nelson Thornes student book is very useful.  If you can afford it, the EMC do a resource pack (about £100) that provides more or less everything you need to teach the coursework in terms of the different aspects of the comedy genre and these can then be applied to your specific texts.  

After much deliberation, we've decided to go with Twelfth Night (we use Much Ado at GCSE, otherwise would have gone with that) and The Importance of Being Earnest.  

Natalie - AQA prefer students to choose a question, so it's best to give them a selection of questions for each text.  Also, you are right about the difference between comedy as a dramatic genre and comic - again the Nelson Thornes book is very useful here.  However, comedy is more than just a happy ending - they mean more on comedic devices such as the fool, carnival, mistaken identities, etc.  

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