GCSE English Language Revision: How to Analyse a Play

4th April 2017

GCSE English Language Revision


How to analyse a play – for GCSE English Language

If you have been studying a play as a part of your English or Drama GCSE, the notes below will help you to remember the main points when analysing a play in an essay or the exam.



Who wrote the play and do they have strong views?

Was it written in a time of war or of change?

Were there social/political events they wanted to share?

Is the play in its original language or was it translated?

Is it a piece of work on its own, part of a group of plays or work?

Does it belong to a bigger literary style or movement?



Make sure you read the question carefully and then set out your argument or main idea in the first paragraph. In the main body of your essay you will explore the proposed idea, giving evidence and referring back to the play. At the end you will do a paragraph on your conclusions.



Make your point, use an example from the text and then explain how it proves your point.



Chose relevant quotes from the text and go for quality not quantity.

Always back up the quote with an explanation of why you have used it.



Summarise your points and the conclusion they bring.

Make this section concise and convincing.


  • AIM

Your aim in the essay is to convince the reader that you know your stuff.

You will need to persuade them that your point of view is the right one, by backing up your opinions with evidence from the text.




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