R. U. A. E. – Cillian Murphy

taken from http://clothesonfilm.com/dress-like-a-peaky-blinder/33093/

Have a look at the following newspaper article – http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/sep/24/cillian-murphy-interview-peaky-blinders-ballyturk

Now have a look at the questions below with their accompanying answers.

1a) What impression are we given of Cillian Murphy in the first paragraph?
• We are to see Murphy as a typical run of the mill man who lives a regular life with his family
• He is keen to remain out of the public eye

b) With close reference to the text, analyse how this impression is created.
• ‘seems keen to pass anonymously’
• ‘keen’ tells us this is something he really wants to do and anonymous tells us that he likes to keep a low profile.
• ‘a dad of two young sons, with his partner of almost 20 years’
• This is a typical description of a family man and shows us stability and security in his home life. He has been with his partner for two decades and they have two children together.
• ‘lives in the unglitzy borough of Kilburn’
• Again suggests a normalness to his life and a step away from celebrity with the word ‘unglitzy’
• ‘his only vices are tabasco and Dragon’s Den’
• There is a hint here that these are normal vices – a favourite food and tv programme – again they make Murphy seem average.

2. Analyse how the writer uses language to emphasise his admiration for Cillian Murphy in paragraph 2.
• ‘hardly been quiet supporting turns’
• Nothing Murphy has done has been under the radar, in fact he has usually played a major part in the films he has appeared in.
• ‘still underrated’
• He feels that one of Murphy’s roles should be given more critical thought and recognition that it currently receives as the film and murphy’s part in it were so good.

3. Explain, using your own words as far as possible, what Cillian Murphy found appealing about the role of Tommy Shelby in paragraph 3 and 4.
• Murphy liked the idea of playing someone who was the opposite of how he saw himself. He describes himself as a’wimp’ someone who is quite weak and he saw playing a tough guy as a bit of a challenge for himself.
• He also admits that he has played the bad guy before – the Scarecrow and a stalker – but that the bad side to these characters was a mental one whereas Shelby offered him a more physical part.

4. Explain the meaning of the writer’s image in paragraph 5 and analyse its effect.
• A metaphor is used to describe Murphy’s eyes as ‘huge, blue marbles’
• You get a sense that Murphy’s eyes are the main feature of his face and that they draw your attention immediately with their intense gaze.
• You get a sense from this that Murphy’s eyes are a clear and stony blue. There could be a rich or otherworldly feeling associated with seeing his eyes.

5. In your own words, explain what the writer means at the end of paragraph 6.
• Cillian Murphy is someone we would recognise as being a famous actor yet he does not involve himself in a celebrity lifestyle of being at all the events or endorsing products.
• A lot of people want to work with him and he is an easy-going person to work with

6a)summarise in your own words what Cillian Murphy dislikes about the world of celebrity in paragraph 7.
• Murphy dislikes the pressure to appear at events and the scrutiny the media places celebrities appearances under.

b) identify and explain how Cillian Murphy enjoys his anonymity in paragraph 8.
• Murphy’s anonymity allows him to behave like a normal person in day-to-day life
• He states “I get the bus, I get the tube, I go to the shop and get the milk” which shows us he is not being stalked by the media like some celebrities are and this allows him to just get on with things.
• He also feels his anonymity allows him to play real people better
• As he says if your “supposed to be playing a reall person it seems essential to live like a normal person”. This allows him to incorporate his life experiences into his acting pieces.

7. Analyse how the writer uses language to suggest that Ballyturk is an appealing work of theatre in paragraph 11.
• ‘but burrow under your skin’
• Suggests that the play will take a hold on you and you will want to watch it
• ‘plenty of manic, funny clowning’
• Suggests it is humorous and a bit mad-cap with lots of silliness in it that will appeal to most people. The tone of this phrase is also positive and light-hearted again engaging with the reader and convincing them that this is a play worth seeing.

8. Identify a purpose of this text. Explain your answer with close reference to the text.
• The purpose of this text is to inform us about Cillian Murphy.
• It is mostly a promotional piece on his two works – the TV show that is currently airing called Peaky Blinders and the National Theatre production he is starring in called Ballyturk.

9. A text may have many audiences. Identify a possible audience for this text, and explain your answer with close reference to the text.
• A possible audience for this text could be people interested in film/ in TV drama/ people interested in the theatre/ fans of Cillian Murphy/ those interested in celebrity life. (these are all possible audiences for this piece of work, you need to identify only one of these and show how you arrived at that conclusion for the next part of your answer).
• There is a focus on Christopher Nolan and his role as the Scarecrow in the first two Batman films OR There is an emphasis on his role as Tommy Shelby and his ‘return to screen’ in the second series of Peaky Blinders OR it mentions the Ballyturk which is ‘currently receiving rave reviews at the National Theatre’ OR the focus on different aspects of Murphy’s life as it tells us about his family life and certain bits of his childhood aswell as his likes and dislikes and the trajectory his career has taken.

Another sample answer for the 10 marker

taken from http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-sample-stamp-image29407314

Some of you are still struggling to get to grips with the ten marker in the Scotish Set Text section so I have copied up another example below for you to take a look at:

Waking with Russell is a poem by Don Paterson which clearly deals with the nature of life. In this poem Paterson looks at his four day old son and the happiness this has brought him. Here the nature of life is that having a child has brought meaning into Paterson’s meandering life. In The Thread we are again faced with a poem about Paterson’s children, however this time it deals with the difficulties surrounding Jamie’s birth and then his vitality at the age of two. Here the nature of life is both its fragility (as the child almost dies) but also its robustness (he survives).

This idea of meaning being brought to Paterson’s life is brought in during the second half of the poem. He says that the “true path was as lost to him as ever” reflecting that his life had little meaning and that he felt like he was merely filling space and time for the sake of it. The fact that Russell gives his life meaning is given in the next line “when you cut in front and lit it as you ran”. Russell appears with speed and Paterson seems surprised at his arrival suggesting that perhaps he was not prepared for fatherhood. Russell now lights the path ‘of life’ for his father, meaning he has given him a reason to live. The father must follow his son in order to protect him.

In The Thread we get a hint that Jamie’s birth didn’t go so well as early as line 2. We are told he arrived so fast that he almost “ploughed straight back into the earth”. Here there is a sense of life and death with the use of the word ‘ploughed’ as this suggests harvest cycles. There is also a nod towards Christian funeral rights with the idea of Jamie being put in the earth for burial.

The idea that Jamie has come incredibly close to death and that life is fragile but also robust is also suggested in the following lines where we are told Jamie was sustained by the “thread of his one breath”. The singleness of “one” in this line shows that this was a game-changing breath for Jamie, this one breath and the life it supplied him with would mean he survived. The tenuousness of that breath is suggested in the thinness of thread. But there is a sense it is also strong here as thread can hold things together if it is of a tough enough tensile.

Later the thread is used to suggest the strength of life. The thread has expanded to “hold all of us” together: the entire family. Here it is described as the thing that glues the father, his wife and the two sons together and makes sure they are happy. The sense and scale of life is suggested in the ‘all’.

Practice 10 markers

taken from https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130822115448-32175171-why-everyone-should-mark-themselves-out-of-10-every-working-day

Here are some ten markers for you to practice. You will need to think about what poem they best suit first of all, before chosing your comparison poem or poems.

1. This poem examines the theme of death. Discuss the way in which Don Paterson uses language to explore this theme, with reference to one or more other poems you have studied.

2. With reference to this, and one or more other poems, discuss the importance of contrasts and/or dualities in Don Paterson’s poetry.

3. This poem explores ideas about death and diminution. Show how the ideas/and or language of the poem are similar or different to another poem or poems by Paterson that you have read.

4. This poem deals with the passing of time and the effects that passing time can have. With reference to one or more poems by the same poet, and with close reference to each, show how Paterson uses language to explore the idea of time.

5. This poem explores themes of time and place. Examine, with reference to one or more other poems, the importance of either time or place in Don Paterson’s poetry.

6. This poem is structured around a journey. Discuss the importance of ‘journeys’, real or imaginary, in Don Paterson’s poetry. In your answer you should refer to this poem and one or more other poems that you have studied.

7. This poem deals with a family relationship. With close textual reference, show how Don Paterson explores similar relationships in another poem (or poems) that you have read.

8. The speaker in this poem reflects on the nature of life. With close textual reference, show how Paterson examines the nature of life or existence in another poem (or poems) that you have read.

9. With close textual reference, show how the ideas and/or language of this poem are similar or different to another poem or poems by Paterson that you have read.

10. This poem explores childhood. How is this idea developed in another poem or poems by Paterson that you have read?

11. In this poem, Jamie’s birth is contrasted with his life at two. Show how contrast is used to illuminate and explore a central theme or idea in another poem or poems by Paterson.

12. This poem explores the idea of closeness and separation. Discuss how one or both of these themes are explored with detailed reference to one or more other poems by Paterson.

13. The final lines of this poem are ambiguous. With detailed reference to one or more other poems, examine the role ambiguity plays in Paterson’s poetry.

Sample Questions The Ferryman’s Arms

taken from httptamowicz.deviantart.comartThe-Ferryman-Charon-393146852

1. The main themes of the poem are introduced in the title and first six lines
Identify one main theme and show how poetic technique is used to introduce this theme. (3)

2. By referring closely to lines 6—20, analyse the use of poetic technique to achieve a change of mood from alienation and uncertainty to one of confidence. (4)

3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the second stanza as a conclusion to the poem. (3)

4. In this poem, Paterson uses an apparently ordinary experience to explore a deeper truth about humanity. By referring to this and another poem or poems by Don Paterson you have studied discuss how he uses poetry to explore the deeper truths behind ordinary experience. (10)

The Thread notes

taken from taken from http://www.123rf.com/photo_11718494_ecg-ekg-monitor-pulse-rate-medical-symbol-of-health-and-healthy-lifestyle-green.html

The thread is a very appropriate title for this poem. The poem talks about Jamie’s birth and the aftermath which saw him fighting for his life. In this sense the thread is a metaphor for the thing that kept him alive. In the second half of the poem there is an image of Paterson, Jamie and Russell all running down a hill together in a line. Here the thread is the family as they stretch out across the grass.

The split in the poem creates a clear division between the past and the present. The past was a tense time as they thought that Jamie might not make it, however now Jamie is very much alive and filled with energy.

The flying metaphor in this poem helps us understand both Jamie’s birth and the life he is living aged 2. In line 2-3 it tells us that Jamie “made his landing in the world so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth”. The use of “landing” makes it seem like Jamie is some otherworldly being who has arrived on our plane. This suggests he is a gift to his parents. It also suggests the speed and panic surrounding his difficult birth, especially with the follow up of “so hard he ploughed straight back into earth” which suggests he almost died.
The metaphor of flying is again used to describe Jamie, aged 2. This time it suggests family and a vibrant energy about Jamie. We are told that Paterson and his two boys make a “great twin-engined swaying wingspan” as they run down the hill. Here the word choice creates a sense of a family unit and vitality. The word ‘great’ suggests that this family is powerful and mighty in some way. “twin-engined” shows us that it is the boys who give their father his energy and drive and swaying wingspan” again suggests the size of this family, they feel invincible in this moment as they run down the hill. Jamie in particular stands out as we are told his lungs “somehow out-rev every engine in the universe”. There is a suggestion here that Jamie is far more powerful and alive than anything that has been made by man.

The language in lines 2 and 3 creates a sense of wonder at Jamie’s survival. His landing is so hard that he went “straight back into the earth”. Although this is a metaphor for the landing plane it has other connotations of a body being laid to rest hinting that Jamie came very close to death. We are told the doctors “caught” him, which suggests he was falling in some way. We already know he was almost dead from the previous line. The seriousness of the issue is put across in the “one breath”. It suggests that Jamie only had one shot at living and that this was it.

In the final three lines Paterson uses structure to create a sense of the thread holding the family together. First of all line 12 talks about the “long week” of Jamie’s hospitalisation at birth. This creates a sense of worry. Paterson then quickly moves on the thread giving us a time shift with the word “now” that comes after the caesura, this lets us know that he is going to be focusing on the present. He then places the words “the thread” at the end of line 12, which emphasises its importance as a key idea in the poem. He then goes on to say that the thread is “holding all of us” which lets us know he is talking about the whole family unit. This time he expands the family unit further to include his wife. There is a colon which goes on to introduce the mother “look at our tiny house,/ son, the white dot of your mother waving” which gives us the full image of the family – father and sons at the top of the hill with their mother at the other end of the thread at the bottom of the hill.

Line 7 is very effective at creating an image of the family strength by focusing on the male members of the family. Paterson uses a metaphor to compare himself and his two boys to a plane with a “great twin-engined swaying wingspan”. Paterson clearly feels that his energy is derived from his boys and that they drive him in some way. They are clearly one unit, as together they form the plane and there is a sense of immensity here with the word choice “great” and the implication of size through “wingspan”.

Waking with Russell notes

The difference Russell makes to his father’s life is to give a new purpose and sense of direction. Before Russell was born the speaker felt he was simply drifting through life, but now he has a child to raise and look after.

Language is used to create a contrast between the child’s smile and the speakers ‘grin’ – the former is a true smile whereas the latters is forced. Paterson’s old smile is made to sound false and difficult. He calls it ‘hard-pressed’ suggesting he was once intensely cynical and had become world-weary. He was often just going through the motions of appearing happy. On the other hand, Russell’s smile is one filled with genuine joy. It is described as something that ‘dawned on him’ suggesting it was something that got bigger and wider the longer it went on. There is also this idea that it completely takes over Russell as we are told his grin “possessed him”. It is an unbreakable smile, with nothing unable to break it – “it would not fall or waver”. Russell has not encountered anything to make him unhappy yet.

The sestet comes first in the poem and is addressed to an unknown listener. The octave which forms the final 8 lines of the poem is addressed directly to Russell.

In lines 8-9 Paterson is using an allusion to the path of life from Dante’s Inferno to get across the idea that his life now has meaning. In line 8 he talks about the “true path” being lost to him, which means that he felt his life had no definition or point to it. He was lost in some way,

The poet’s use of language is revelatory. Everything about Russell has changed the poet’s perception of life. This revelation hits the day he wakes up next to Russell – “it all began” showing us that this is the beginning of something new for Paterson. He talks about finding “the true path” suggesting that now he knows the purpose of his life whereas before he was simply going through the motions of living.

This image is very effective in conveying the point that Russell is a huge natural force that has taken over his life. First of all Paterson mimics the noise of a river by having lots of ‘r’ sounds in these lines. This creates an impression of the rushing noise of a river. Paterson also talks about the smile being “poured”. The word choice here is again suggestive of a great force which is unstoppable, just like a river.

The first light imagery is in the first few lines when he talks about Russell’s smile “dawning” on him. This suggests that the smile will grow and brings light and therefore happiness with it. There is also an idea of light connected with Russell when he interrupts his father on the path of life, and acts as a guide to his father, showing him what the meaning of his life now is. We are told in very simple terms that Russell “lit it as you ran”. Really Paterson should be guiding Russell as his father, but here it is the other way round as Russell shows his father the true meaning of life.

Two Trees notes

taken from http://www.starkbros.com/tags/multi-grafted-fruit-trees

The whole of the poem is in rhyming couplets which makes it sound like a nursery rhyme as this gives it a lyrical feel. There is also a clearly identified protagonist in the first line – Don Miguel – who is clearly on some form of mission which makes this seem like a fairytale.

The poem is about two trees that are first of all tied together by Don Miguel and then separated by an unnamed owner. There are themes here of new life and separation or death. The poem is clearly split into two stanzas, each of these could be said to represent a tree as the stanzas are of equal length just the trees are equal to each other. The trees also form a pair, and throughout the whole poem there are rhyming couplets again highlighting for us the two trees. The storyline also deals with the joining of the trees by Don, this is clearly focused on in the first stanza. This leaves the second stanza free to deal with a later section of time and the separation of the trees – which they manage to survive.

The word choice in lines 4-5 makes clear to us the difficulty of joining the trees. First of all the speaker talks about how “it took him the whole day” suggesting it was strenuous and lengthy work to put the trees together. It also speaks about having to “work” them free from their original spots which again hints at a great effort being put into this task. The difficulty is also suggested in the words to do with pain in lines 5. “lay open their sides” suggests that the trees are in some way exposed, and “lash them tight” suggests that they are having to be held together in a violent way. The “lash” has connotations of being hit with rope or pulled tight.

The kids think the tree is magic because for them it appears as one tree that is somehow able to produce the fruits from two trees. The fact that this is an illusion is given in the expression “looked like”, as the tree is still two separate ones each putting forth their own fruits. The fact that there is a double harvest is given in “double crop” which tells us it provides both lemons and oranges.

Don Miguel is cast as the hero and the man is cast as a villain. This is reinforced through word-choice. At the start of the poem the words are short and have an upbeat effect. We also get a sense that Don Miguel is excessively hard working and enthusiastic about his idea – “Don Miguel got out of bed/ with one idea rooted in his head”. Although it doesn’t say whether this is a good idea or not the lyrical effect of these two lines creates a happy tone and we automatically think that the splicing of the two trees is a good idea.

The man is made to seem like a villain as he remains nameless, he is a shadowy figure in the poem. We are told that he “had no dream” which makes him seem aimless in comparison to Don Miguel. We are then told that his decision to separate the trees is a “dark malicious whim”. The word choice here is very effective at creating a sinister personality for the man as opposed to Don Miguel’s happy persona. His thoughts are “dark” and therefore unwanted and evil. He is called “malicious” suggesting that he aims to cause hurt and finally his actions are perceived as just a “whim” – this is something he hasn’t even bothered to plan out, he is acting spontaneously without thinking about the effect almost as if he is a small child doing whatever he feels like.

The effect of the parallel structure in lines 17-19 is to reinforce that the two trees were not harmed in any way by their separation. This is done with the repeated “no”s at the start of each line and then the unbearable experiences they did not go through – suffering severe loneliness, becoming infertile, suffering from wounds that are incapable of healing properly.

The tone in these lines is didactic and a little sad, the speaker is trying to teach us that despite separation things can survive. The language is quite formal, almost archaic with the use of “nor”, and verging on flowery to create these grand poetic images. This creates an image of a wise person feeding us important information. The language begins with “they did not die from solitude” suggesting that they were not feeling too alone, it continues with the lack of “sterile fruit” again suggesting that they were still able to bear offspring or continue to make produce. There is also the word “flanks” used to describe their open scars from the separation which makes them sound like beasts. It ends on the rather desolate image of “empty, intricate embrace” to describe the trees survival without each other which has left them saddened – their lifes’ are now a little devoid of something, and what they had before was complex, and they provided a comfort to each other.

The final lines of this poem are effective as they challenge the reader to think. It talks about how trees are passive living things – they do not “ache or weep or shout”. This comes after the speaker has suggested that the trees do have human emotions and we would expect the trees to be aching or weeping or shouting. In the final line Paterson’s meaning is ambiguous as he states “trees are all this poem is about”. If this is the case then it is a very simple poem. However, the fairytale structure would suggests that Paterson does actually want us to read a deeper meaning into this story and that there is a moral point here about surviving traumatic separations.

Sample Questions ‘Two Trees’

taken from http://www.starkbros.com/tags/multi-grafted-fruit-trees

1. How does Paterson bring a fairytale like element to this poem? (4)

2. How is the splicing and separation of the trees made to sound difficult and then easy? (4)

3. What tone is created in lines 17-22 and how is it effective? (2)

4. The final lines of this poem are ambiguous. With detailed reference to one or more other poems, examine the role ambiguity plays in Paterson’s poetry. (10)

Sample Questions ‘The Thread’

taken from http://www.123rf.com/photo_11718494_ecg-ekg-monitor-pulse-rate-medical-symbol-of-health-and-healthy-lifestyle-green.html

1. Explain how the thread is used as a theme throughout the poem. (4)

2. How is a sense of energy created through language and/or sentence structure in lines 7-10. (6)

3. This poem explores childhood. How is this idea developed in another poem or poems by Paterson that you have read?

4. This poem explores childhood. How is this idea developed in another poem or poems by Paterson that you have read?

Sample Questions Waking with Russell

1. What is the difference between the two types of smiles in this poem? (2)

2. How is a contrast created between the poet’s life before Russell was born and now he has arrived? (4)

3. How does Paterson use the traditional love sonnet style to shape this poem? (4)

4. The speaker in this poem reflects on the nature of life. With close textual reference, show how Paterson examines the nature of life or existence in another poem (or poems) that you have read. (10)