L.O: To plan and write a response for LL1 section A
Text C: the poem A Musical Instrument by
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Text D: an entry from the Encyclopaedia
Britannica for children describing the Greek god
Does the genre focus on the author (eg a lyric
poem), or is it more impersonal?
Is it dominated by a single voice, or are their
What is the history of the genre? What
precedents were there for the author?
Are there particular attitudes and values the
genre was used to express?
How does the author use a chosen genre for his
own ends? Are there are biographical reasons
the author may have been drawn to a particular
Can you compare the audiences of the four texts
in terms of
the age that are assumed to be?
the class they are assumed to come from?
the education/information/knowledge they are
assumed to have?
whether they are assumed to be hostile or
sympathetic to what the author says?
Group together texts that seek to inform,
entertain, persuade, advise, criticise, satirise,
celebrate, instruct, describe, explain, narrate or
Poem Unseen text
Poems written to Pan were popular in the
Romantic period which would have influenced
Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
There are strong
undertones of violation and sexual fertility
in the poem often associated with the god
Pan. Browning was the heroine of a real-life
romance, she was rescued from parental
tyranny and poor health by Robert Browning,
with whom she eloped in 1846.
The cutting of the river-bed reeds and the
creation of the pan pipes for
which Pan is famous are explicitly described
in both texts, but the style in which this
information is conveyed differs markedly.
Pan's sexuality is not dealt with explicitly in
either text; however the poem has a strong
undercurrent of sexual violence typical of a
repressed Victorian context, whereas
Text D has a strong factual and
educative purpose, differing
from the poem's emotional,
Text D is written for children
and therefore has a
responsibility to deal with the
2.) DISCOURSE STRUCTURE
For our purposes, discourse structure refers to how
a text is set out in poetry, prose or in spoken
For the exams, you have to be able to compare these
different discourse structures. Discourse structure
means the same as form. It is best to use the term
discourse structure, however, because ‘form’ can
mean different things in different contexts. When
writing about discourse, it is advisable to write about
the poem first, because it’s most likely to be the
most patterned in its use of language, and therefore
the most straightforward to analyse.
You can talk about the technical discipline and structural rigour of the poem if
• it has a regular rhyme scheme (eg the sonnets)
• it has a repeated stanza pattern (eg Byron, Browning)
• it has a regular rhythm (eg Bradstreet’s iambic pentameter)
You can talk about the poet’s flowing rhythm and thought if
• it is written in continuous verse without stanza divisions (eg Coleridge)
• there is enjambment (eg Dickinson)
NB If a poem has both a highly structured stanza pattern and enjambment (eg Wordsworth,
Shelley, Keats), you are perfectly entitled to say that both of the above apply.
You can talk about the poet’s flexibility and use of variation if sprung rhythm is used.
Generally speaking, prose is organised structurally into sentences and paragraphs. This form is
flexible, however, because sentences and paragraphs may be long or short – you might want to
compare with poetic features such as stanzas and iambic pentameter, which are always exactly
the same length.
You may also want to comment on the use of subheadings as a way of grouping related
paragraphs or sentences together in a cohesive way.
Text C: 7 stanzas of sestets,
repetitive structure creates
choral effect echoing musical
subject, unusual rhythm, 9
syllables, rhyme scheme abaccb
with lines 1,2 and 6 ending with
the same word in each verse,
mostly end-stopped to
reinforce repetitive structure,
enjambment used typically in
slightly longer fifth line, third
person address describes myth of
Pan from omniscient viewpoint;
Text D: Four
paragraphs of detailed
factual information, short
final paragraph links Pan
with the devil,
third person address
3.) LIT/LANG FEATURES
Use your terminology table. Make sure you know all
the terms, and can identify them when they occur
in texts. It’s best to get an overview first. In
order to get this, it can be very useful to consider:
• sentence types (simple, compound, complex?)
• register (formal/informal)
After you have got an overview, you can consider
the more specific points.
Poem Unseen text
• Grammar - Text C: Opening interrogative 'What was he
doing...?', exclamatory tone 'O Pan!', declarative mood
describes violent actions 'hacked and hewed', Pan's actual
words conveyed through direct speech 'This is the way',
prepositional phrase 'Down in the reeds', repetition of pre-
modified noun phrase 'great god Pan', asyndetic listing of
adjectives 'poor dry empty';
• Imagery – Text C: Imagery of Pan as half-man, half-beast,
'hoofs of a goat', 'half a beast', violence of Pan's actions
towards nature, 'broken', 'cut', 'fled' and his detrimental
effect of the river scene until he plays his music when
harmony is restored, personification of the reed as 'patient'
and 'sun on the hill forgot to die', 'lilies revived', simile 'like
the heart of a man', Pan cruelly strips the reed of its vitality;
• Lexis – Text C: Violent dynamic verbs 'hacked', 'hewed',
'scattering', third person pronoun 'he' and determiner 'his',
adjectives 'golden', 'deep cool', 'limpid', repetition of
adverb 'turbidly' meaning muddy, repetition of callous verb
'laughed' to reveal Pan's carefree attitude, tripling of
adjective 'sweet' in an asyndetic list with the adverbs
'piercing' and 'blinding', definitive adverb 'nevermore again';
Text C: Alliteration 'reeds by the river' and 'great god'
creates repetitive tone and underlines poem's rhythmical
structure, sibilance 'shores sat' suggests peaceful scene
before the violent act of cutting the reed, aspirants
'hacked and hewed' suggests effort involved in the physical
action, bilabial nasals 'making...man' contentment suggested in
Pan's purpose of going music to humankind;
Text D: Declarative mood used to convey
sentences 'In most tales the god Hermes is
Pan's father.' And final sentence of extract,
dashes used to create parenthesis in third
paragraph, syndetic pairs 'religion and
mythology', 'merriment and revelry', syndetic
list 'legs, horns and ears‘
Text D: Imagery
of Pan as bestial 'Pan's goat parts',
euphemistic sexual references 'progeny',
'courted', 'amorousness', subversive
connection to the devil and the Roman gods
Faunus and Silvanus.
Text D: proper nouns,
'Pan', 'Arcadia', 'Hermes', 'Penelope', third
person pronoun 'he' and determiner 'his',
adjectives 'rural', 'wild', 'fertility',
etymology of 'panic' explored, lexical set of
music', 'dance', 'pursuing'; some surprisingly
complex lexis given audience, 'progeny',
Text D: Guttural sounds
alliteration 'Pan is the
progeny of Penelope', 'Pan was a piper'.
Conclude briefly by saying what is effective
about the two texts, and how well they fulfil
Grade A B C D E U
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