Art O’Mahony – St Patrick’s Secondary School Castleisland
A chorus of ”ehhh”s filled the exam hall at 2pm as fifteen boys opened up page one of the exam to discover that Horatio and Laertes were being asked for the first time since the mid 90s! At a second glance, the first option was not as bad as had originally seemed, but I had never seen it before. In any event, as I am sure every other leaving cert pupil did, I moved to the back pages to see which poets were in store. John Donne!!! Brilliant -the panic partially disappeared. Tackled that question first to calm my nerves, taking one hour.
I then moved on to do the 70 marker Theme or Issue question, using the word entertaining a hundred million times… That wasn’t awful, but nor was it double-barrel as far as I can remember, so discussion was quite narrow. At 4pm I decided to approach the psychological thriller question for Hamlet, where I hopefully made up for my summary-like answer with a decent number of quotes. I mainly tuned in on the psychological war between Claudius and Hamlet throughout the drama. I hope I didn’t miss the point! The unseen poem was quite lovely, leaving us with a broad selection of items to discuss.
Overall, English paper two wasn’t as difficult as I had anticipated, but not without its challenges. With luck, August will give the same analysis…
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