Navigate to resources by choosing units within one of the unit groups shown below.
Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected that best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
Component 02 is entitled The Language of Poetry and Plays. It is assessed by a closed text, two hour written examination which represents 32% of the qualification. The first section deals with poetry, the second with drama. Students divide their time equally between the two sections.
The drama question asks students to analyse the use and impact of dramatic and stylistic techniques, demonstrating how meaning and effects are created in the play they have studied. They are given a short extract from the play which is printed in the exam paper. Learners must draw on their knowledge of dramatic and stylistic techniques to show knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the playwright presents a theme, idea, character or other aspect of the drama in the extract.
Students are expected to:
- Show knowledge and understanding of the play they have studied.
- Use linguistic and stylistic approaches and an understanding of dramatic techniques to develop an analysis of the text.
- Apply relevant methods for text analysis, drawing on linguistic and literary approaches.
- Explore contexts and connections between the scene and the play as a whole, as well as literary and generic contexts.
Tackling the question will involve:
- Exploration of dramatic effect, most significantly the structure of dramatic dialogue but also on-stage and off-stage action, paralinguistic features (gesture, manner of speech, facial expression), soliloquy, asides, dramatic irony.
- Analysis of the structure of the play (opening and closure, use of repetition, pattern making and breaking, parallel and contrasting characters and action, cause and effect narrative vs episodic structure).
- Identification and description of the ways meanings and effects are conveyed through language; here you will very probably be drawing on students’ knowledge of linguistic, literary and stylistic approaches but adding or developing material on spoken language.
- Consideration of the significance of relevant dramatic or other contexts.
Jerusalem is a tremendous play to teach. It has a fantastic dramatic energy, is incredibly funny, and deals with the sort of contemporary issues that A Level students find interesting (outsider figures, sexuality, national identity, drugs, rebellion, authority). There are, though, a couple of things to bear in mind when planning your teaching:
- There is a lot of swearing in the text. If you’re reading this, it must be assumed you’ve made a judgement about the suitability of the play for your students but it’s still worth being careful about how you cover the text in lessons and especially the way roles are allocated if it’s being read aloud. Obviously the taboo language is a central feature of the play’s linguistic make-up and almost certain to feature in the passages set for examination. Just be confident your students can cope.
- The play’s structure makes it quite difficult to break down easily into lesson-sized chunks. The action is continuous and divided only by the two act breaks. One way round this, given the relative simplicity of the plot, is to get the students to read the whole play in advance and then teach it in theme-based lessons - gender, escape, authority, national identity, the outside figure etc.– but paying especial attention to the beginning and the end. Alternatively, you could break it down as follows:
- The opening phase (Phaedra’s song, the party, Fawcett and Parsons’ appearance)
- Johnny, Ginger and the Professor (pages 9-19)
- Discussion of the Flintock Fair (pages 19-29)
- Johnny’s back-story, the new estate, Johnny and Wesley (pages 33-46).
- Protest against the new estate, the story of the giant and the drum (pages 47-62)
- Johnny and Dawn (pages 63-72)
- Lee and Tanya, trivial pursuit, Troy’s first entrance (pages 73-84).
- Lee and Davey, the attempted apology, Davey’s ‘unimprovable’ life (pages 85-91)
- Johnny and Wesley, Fawcett and Parsons’ return (pages 91-98)
- Johnny and the Professor, Johnny and Phaedra, Troy’s revenge (pages 98-104)
- Johnny and Ginger, Johnny and Marky, the finale (pages 105-109).
There are lots of useful things on YouTube – interviews with Jez Butterworth and Mark Rylance, trailers for the West-End production of the play – which you can show to students. Rylance also gave a fascinating interview to Mark Lawson on BBC4 in April 2012 in which he talks about playing Byron. It includes some short extracts from the play and is very well worth getting hold of.
It is likely that the drama text will be one of the last components of the A-Level course to be studied so your students will come to Jerusalem with a confident working knowledge of the analysis of lexico-grammatical features, semantics and pragmatics, denotation and connotation, discourse and genre from their study of the non-fiction anthology, the poetry, and the novel. They will also be aware from the transcripts in the non-fiction anthology of some of the features of spoken language and its differences from the written. However, it may be a good idea to begin their study of Jerusalem with an activity that contrasts the differences between spoken language and dramatic dialogue.
You could start with this observation from Mick Short:
"If dramatic dialogue is both like and unlike ordinary conversation, it is important for us to see where the similarities and dissimilarities lie. We can only apply conversational analysis to drama in relation to those areas where conversation and plays are similar".
Mick Short, Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose (London: Longman, 1995), p.174.
Get the group to discuss in pairs what they think the similarities and differences may be. Give as a stimulus a short transcript and a different example of dramatic dialogue to each pairing (e.g. extracts from Shakespeare, EastEnders, Murder in the Cathedral, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Caretaker, Top Girls all work well). Students may come up with some of the things which Mick Short identifies in chapter 6 of Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose (indispensable reading for material of this kind) – Learner resource 1.
Once the opening sections of Jerusalem have been covered, returning to Short’s scale of realism may be an interesting activity as different scenes offer different degrees of conversational realism.
It is also a good idea to get students thinking about the ways in which studying a drama text is different to studying prose fiction and poetry. There is an excellent activity covering this in the English and Media Centre’s book to accompany this course.
Genre - Jerusalem and hybridity
One of the most interesting things about Jerusalem is its generic hybridity. It’s well worth reading Tony Cavender’s article ‘”Tragedy, Comedy, History, Pastoral…”? Jez Butterworth’s Genre-Bending Drama’ (emagazine, No.66, December 2014) to explore this aspect of the play. To introduce students to the different genres (comedy, tragedy, pastoral)
on which Jerusalem draws, give your students the list of generic characteristics and the diagram in – Learner resource 2 and get them to allocate the features to the appropriate part of the diagram. For reference the correct answers are:
Characteristics of a tragedy:
- A tragic hero – a term treated with suspicion by some critics who prefer the more neutral ‘protagonist’.
- The protagonist is basically good.
- The protagonist is usually highly born or someone of significance in society so that their actions have consequences for the community and not simply for themselves.
- A plot built around a downturn in the protagonist’s fortunes often triggered by a tragic flaw or error of judgement on the protagonist’s part.
- A progression from order to disorder, harmony to chaos.
- The action of a tragedy seems to unfold with a horrible inevitability.
- Unhappy endings.
- An antagonist, a figure who stands out against the protagonist.
- The protagonist often has some moment of self-knowledge near the end of the play.
- The audience feels sorrow and pity at the end but leave the theatre morally enlightened and ennobled by their vicarious experience of tragic suffering.
Characteristics of pastoral:
- Rural setting.
- Nostalgia for a spiritually fulfilling and innocently simple life lived in harmony with nature.
- Idealised promotion of a peaceful existence away from the corruptions and materialism of city life.
- Country characters who are innocent and simple, open and honest.
- Country characters who are unambitious and content, free from material desires.
- Depiction of rural culture as essentially pagan, structured around the seasons and fertility.
- Depiction of rural life as morally superior to that of the city or court.
- Country characters who are instinctively more aware of the deeper mysteries of human life – especially those of sexuality, procreation, birth and death.
Characteristics of comedy:
- Its purpose is to make the audience laugh.
- Narratives often involve characters trapped in difficult situations which the audience is confident are likely to be resolved.
- The plays often end with marriage or a dance; certainly the disorder that threatened social harmony will be overcome.
- Characters make jokes and tell funny stories.
- Nothing truly serious or important is at stake.
- The audience is encouraged to laugh at characters’ stupidity, hypocrisy, greed or ridiculousness.
- Staple aspects of narrative include the elements of surprise, incongruity, conflict, sexual desire and reversal of conventional expectations.
- Usually plots feature ‘ordinary’ people.
- The ruling class is more likely to be the subject of satiric representation and attitudes to authority are likely to be iconoclastic and subversive.
Jerusalem and Intertextuality
An important element of Jerusalem is its references to other texts, especially to Shakespeare (the action of play takes place, after all, on his birthday) but also to Greek tragedy (the names of characters Phaedra and Troy, the way it conforms to Aristotle’s unities of time, place and action), to William Blake, and to contemporary popular culture (Girls Aloud, Points West, Kate Moss, Antiques Roadshow, X-Factor, Men in Black etc.). This intertextuality was much discussed by the play’s first reviewers and in many subsequent critical articles. A good way of exploring the Shakespearean allusions is by giving groups of students plot summaries of the following plays:
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- The Tempest
- As You Like It
- Henry IV Parts I and II
[The best source of plot summaries is Ben Crystal and David Crystal’s Shakespeare’s Words (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2004) or, if you’re strong enough to heave it onto the photocopier, the Macmillan Complete Works edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen.]
Get them to read the summaries carefully and see which elements of Jerusalem they can spot. Some things which they might pick up include:
- Woodland setting in As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In both plays, the woods are a place of escape from authoritarian figures and social conventions. There are liminal settings in Macbeth (the heath) and The Tempest (the island) too, places away from a socio-political mainstream. Indeed, liminality (defined as the unfixed position between any two oppositional terms; the experience of being on a threshold or a boundary; marginal; the point on the boundary, borderline or threshold of two states – neither one thing nor another; the point of uncertainty and fluidity, refusing categorisation) is a really useful concept for Jerusalem.
- Supernatural in The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth. Strictly speaking, there are no supernatural events in Jerusalem but Johnny at least seems to have a strong belief in the magic of the woods.
- Protagonist, abandoned by friends and supporters, is left alone to face his nemesis in Macbeth.
- Carnivalesque behaviour in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry IV (see Thinking Conceptually III below).
- Johnny is a latter-day Falstaff, disreputable, sensual, subversive, attractive, deceitful. Like Falstaff, his ‘band of educationally subnormal outcasts’ betray him for the conventional conservative world of the new estate and the local council; as Michael Billington puts it in his review of the play, ‘there is no more room for him in today's world than there was for Jack Falstaff in Henry V's ascetic realm.’ By contrast, Paul Mason describes him as ‘Falstaff and Henry V in the same body’. A similar Shakespearean dichotomy is detected by Charlotte Higgins who sees ‘a touch of the Prospero about Byron, though a Prospero infused with the spirit of Caliban.’
- Ideas of Englishness and rebellion are key to Henry IV.
- The relationship between Lee and Tanya is ‘an inversion of that of the lovelorn shepherd and the coy shepherdess exemplified by such characters as Silvius and Phebe in As You Like It’, as Tony Cavender points out.
- Several of the character names in Jerusalem refer to A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Pea and Tanya are corruptions/abbreviations of Peaseblossom and Titania, while Lee and Davey share the initial letters of their names with Lysander and Demetrius.
- The spirit, language, and placement in the text of Johnny’s speech ‘I’ve seen lots of strange things in this wood’ is very similar to Prospero’s ‘Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves’ soliloquy.
Jerusalem and Bakhtin’s Carnival
The theory of carnival is a key element in the work of the Russian Formalist critic Mikhail Bakhtin. It’s a very useful way of thinking about Jerusalem and several critical articles (notably Diane Crimp’s ‘Carnival and Comedy: Subversion in Jerusalem’, emagazine, No. 63, February 2013) refer to it. Bakhtin develops his idea of carnival in his book Problems of Dostoyevsky’s Poetics (1929) and, at greater length, in his study of the French medieval writer Rabelais, Rabelais and his World (1965).
Although Bakhtin concentrated on medieval literature and folk culture, he was interested in the nature of popular culture as a whole and his theories have been used extensively in Cultural Studies and literary criticism since his work began to appear in the west.
Carnival is a social practice in which you participate every time you go to the pub or a party. However, its theory can be applied to textual representations of carnival activity (many examples in Jerusalem) and texts themselves can be considered as carnivalesque. For example, parodies often mock the texts they imitate, while the classical realist narrative model of equilibrium, disequilibrium and closure equates to the order-carnival disorder-return to order that Bakhtin describes.
As a round-up activity, you could give the students Jackson’s summary in – Learner resource 3 and the five key features of carnival and ask them to apply the theory to the play. It might provoke an interesting discussion of the ending especially.
Thinking Contextually IV: Jerusalem and ideas of National Identity
A key theme of Jerusalem is national identity and it’s important to get students thinking about ideas of Englishness, perhaps before you begin on the text itself.
You might start by talking about the title and the extract from Blake’s Milton from which it’s taken. Play some different You-Tube versions of the hymn, perhaps footage from the last night of the Proms or the opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympics, alongside the terrific, stirring rendition by Billy Bragg. What does it mean to ‘build Jerusalem’? What meanings does England’s ‘green and pleasant land’ have now?
Give the students some attempts to define what Englishness is. Give students the examples in – Learner resource 4 but also encourage them to find their own examples. What sort of list might students draw up themselves if asked to define what Eliot calls ‘the characteristic activities and interests of a people’?
Follow up these activities by setting the following as out-of-class reading:
Sean McEvoy, ‘The Last of England?’, emagplus 50, December 2010, available to emagazine subscribers. .
Charlotte Higgins, ‘Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem: a vision of Englishness I'll happily sign up to’, Guardian, 12 Feb 2010.
Allocate roles and read out; it’s worth getting someone to read the major stage directions too. Then get students to answer the questions:
1. What is the function of the Prologue? What aspects of the play does it develop? How is it different from the rest of the first section?
2. What is the dramatic effect of the party?
3. What references to English culture are made in the first section in the dialogue, stage directions and the naming of the protagonist?
4. How would you characterise Fawcett’s language? What does this tell us about her?
5. How would you characterise Johnny’s language? What does this tell us about him? How does it contrast with Fawcett’s?
6. The confrontation between Johnny and the council officials is comic. Can you explain exactly what makes it funny?
7. Re-read the long stage direction on pages 9-10. What meanings are created by these actions? What do they tell us about Johnny?
It’s likely that students will have encountered Grice’s maxims (Learner resource 5) in their study of the spoken language texts in the Component I anthology but for a brief reminder.
The cooperative principle is a principle of conversation that was proposed by H.P. Grice, stating that participants expect that each will make a ‘conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange.’ In other words, we abide by certain rules when we have conversations.
Grice’s maxims are a useful concept for looking in detail at Jerusalem’s often digressive dramatic dialogue. An especially good example is the Professor’s first scene. Ask students to read the extract starting at the top of page 16 and ending with the Professor’s exit on page 19. Get them to identify which of Grice’s maxims are flouted or violated in the scene and what dramatic effects are produced. A list of things the students may come up with includes:
- The professor violates the relation maxim almost every time he speaks, thanks to his dementia but it takes a while for the audience to realise this. The effect is nearly always comic. The conversation seem to be progressing conventionally: ‘You remember Ginger. From last time.’ but it’s disrupted when the Professor agrees that he remembers Ginger because he’s ‘in the Maths faculty.’ The humour stems not only from apparent randomness of the remark but also from the incongruity of Ginger, ‘an unemployed plasterer’, being mistaken for an academic.
- Ginger himself flouts the maxim of quality by insisting that he’s a DJ, something he reiterates throughout the rest of the scene. Having ignored the Professor’s question about whether he’s a pure or applied mathematician, he then violates the quantity maxim by giving too much information about his DJing gig.
- Seemingly the conversation gets back on track although Ginger flouts the manner maxim in using language to explain DJing which the Professor cannot hope to understand.
- The Professor uses polite back-channel behaviour (‘Fascinating.’) before once more violating the relation maxim by asking if Ginger is called Maureen.
- The ensuing dialogue is very interesting from the point of view of Grice’s maxims. The conversation proceeds according to Grice’s rules with Ginger engaging appropriately with the Professor’s talk, but, not in fact being a mathematician called Dr Maureen Pringle, he violates the quality maxim in order to preserve the Professor’s delusions.
- Once Johnny intervenes with a framing move (‘You pop in there, make us two bacon rolls’), the slightly surreal exchange ends, and the succeeding dialogue between Johnny and Ginger is cut short by the Professor, for once, engaging in the conversation in a conventional way (‘For God’s sake, man. Say it. “Ginger is a DJ.”’)
- When the Professor responds to Ginger’s ‘You I like’ by inviting him for a drink, Ginger feels he has to break out of his role as Dr Pringle but, initially at least, stays within the more elevated language register (‘That would be delightful.’) before his bathetic references to his lack of GCSE Maths but possession of male genitalia.
- The last exchange between Johnny and the Professor is notable for its formal vocatives and Johnny’s kindly and reassuring attitude to the old man. He flouts the quality maxim when he lies about Fawcett and Parsons, and interestingly, the Professor doesn’t seem to be persuaded (‘Are you sure? […] You’re not in trouble, I hope, Mr Byron?’) This is an interesting moment: Butterworth show us a different, more sympathetic side to Johnny, and few other characters express the same sort of unconditional concern for Johnny as the Professor does here.
A significant feature of Jerusalem is the number of times characters are given the opportunity to tell their life story. One way of approaching this is to use Labov’s theory of oral narratives to explore the structure of these moments.
Give the students the summary of Labov’s ideas in Learner resource 6.
Then allocate to groups of two or three one of the following extracts:
- Johnny’s explanation for not inviting Ginger to the party (p.12)
- The story of Johnny’s conception (pp.48-49)
- The story of Johnny and the giant (pp.57-58)
- Johnny and the Nigerian traffic wardens (p.68).
Ask students to identify as many of Labov’s stages of oral narrative as they can, commenting on which are present, which absent, and what the structure of the story-telling reveals about character.
Here are two comments on Byron from press coverage of the play.
Charlotte Higgins, ‘Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem: a vision of Englishness I'll happily sign up to’, Guardian, 12 Feb 2010.
"a basically benevolent old rogue, as he appears, or something far more sinister?"
Charles Spencer, review of Jerusalem, Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2009.
Using specific evidence from the text, write down as many aspects of Butterworth’s characterisation of Byron as you can think of – good and bad - which might be used to support the critics’ descriptions.
Start with the following proposition:
‘Jerusalem reproduces uncritically dominant ideas about women.’
Spend some time discussing what dominant ideas about women are. Divide students into six groups and allocate the characters and extracts set out in Learner resource 7, getting them to think about whether their passage supports the proposition.
Get students working in groups to look at the questions below with the following prompts:
- Narrative context
- What does this extract tell you about the specified theme?
- Dialogue/features of spoken language/features of literary language/politeness
- Other aspects of theatrical meaning-making: lighting, sound, proxemics, costume.
1. Page 32, from Pea: ‘Why did he stop?’ to Johnny: ‘[…] those houses’ll need painting.’ Explore how Butterworth characterises Johnny in this extract from Jerusalem.
2. Page 58, from Johnny: ‘Then he headed off down the vale’ to Lee: ‘And that, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with this country.’ Explore how Butterworth creates humour in this extract from Jerusalem.
3. Page 66, from Dawn: ‘Hello. Are you still there?’ to SD ‘He kisses her. They kiss. She pulls away.’ Explore how Butterworth presents the relationship between Johnny and Dawn in this extract from Jerusalem.
4. Page 78, from Johnny: ‘Let Mr Whitworth sit down.’ to Ginger: ‘Sorry.’ Explore how Butterworth creates a sense of menace and aggression in this extract from Jerusalem.
5. Page 94, from Fawcett: ‘Mr Byron. Mr John Winston Byron.’ to Johnny: ‘I loves it when you talk dirty, Linda.’ Explore how Butterworth dramatizes conflict with authority in this extract from Jerusalem.
An example commentary for the 5th extract:
Example commentary on extract 5:
- This extract comes near the end of the play; as promised Fawcett and Parsons have returned to issue their eviction notice. Johnny is cutting an increasingly isolated figure: immediately before Fawcett and Parsons’ entrance, Wesley has barred Johnny from The Cooper’s pub, and we know about the humiliation and betrayal of Johnny by his gang.
- The conversation begins politely with all participants using formal vocatives (‘Mrs Fawcett’, ‘Mr Byron’); comment on the various connotations of Johnny’s name (Churchill, Falstaff, Lord Byron, John Lennon (whose middle name was also Winston) would be worth making. Fawcett uses a formal, professional discourse (‘F-99 enforcement notice’, ‘receipt of six subsequent summons’) the low frequency lexis of which contrasts with Johnny’s relaxed, colloquial use of language.
- Johnny’s question ‘Have we met before?’ allows Butterworth to include some exposition about previous encounters with Fawcett and her department, especially with alliteratively named Pat Pickles. Again there’s a comic contrast between Fawcett’s formality of diction (‘You trespassed on Mr Pickles’s property, verbally assaulted him’) and Johnny’s demotic (‘Pickles. Short. Bald. Shifty fat bastard.’) which incorporates characteristic use of expletives.
- Depending on one’s view of Johnny, much of this exposition is comic but there’s much evidence here to demonstrate equivocations in Butterworth’s dramatic presentation. The victims of Johnny’s attacks are all authority figures, and, in a play which interrogates authority as rigorously as Jerusalem, they might be seen to be fair game. However, as Fawcett points out, Pickles ‘was severely dehydrated. He could have died.’ However funny in their retelling, Johnny’s actions have consequences in the real world.
- A more complex example of this sort of ambivalence comes in Johnny’s attempt to destabilise Fawcett by using aspects of her private life against her: ‘What were you doing at the Christmas pantomime with Mr Hands, a married man who’s not your husband?’ Are the audience supposed to enjoy Fawcett’s discomfort or be critical of the way Johnny uses personal information to undermine her professional status, especially as Johnny is hardly a model of sexual propriety himself? Butterworth complicates this by giving Johnny an especially funny line (‘from where I was sat Mr Hands is aptly named. He’s behind you!’) which draws attention away from the malice of his tactics. • Johnny flouts Grice’s maxims of relation (‘that was by far the worst pantomime I’ve ever seen’) and quantity (‘my mate Tonka helped to build the beanstalk’) in an attempt to deflect Fawcett’s catalogue of his misdemeanours.
- The choice of Jack and the Beanstalk is an interesting one: the bringing down of a gargantuan figure by apparently less impressive forces? It connects back to Johnny’s earlier story of the meeting the giant on the A14 and the potential for the giants to rescue him in times of need.
- Fawcett’s authority is reflected firstly in Parsons’ reassurance that he can delete the personal information from the recording, and then her reiteration of the illegality of Johnny’s encampment (again expressed in characteristically bureaucratic terms). Once again, though, Butterworth allows Johnny to undercut her status by using humour, inveigling her into swearing (the word is a stark contrast with her usual mode of speech) and then saying, ‘I loves it when you talk dirty’, once more undermining Fawcett by sexualising her and using an informal vocative (‘Linda’) while she sticks with relentless politeness to ‘Mr Byron’.
OCR’s resources are provided to support the teaching of OCR specifications, but in no way constitute an endorsed teaching method that is required by the Board and the decision to use them lies with the individual teacher. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content, OCR cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions within these resources. We update our resources on a regular basis, so please check the OCR website to ensure you have the most up to date version.
© OCR 2016 - This resource may be freely copied and distributed, as long as the OCR logo and this message remain intact and OCR is acknowledged as the originator of this work.