“Macbeth, of course, was written long before the notion of “the Gothic” was conceived. It is pointless, therefore, to consider Macbeth as a Gothic”

Past exam question from the AQA Litb3 exam. This was done in timed conditions.

Macbeth, of course, was written long before the notion of “the Gothic” was conceived. It is pointless, therefore, to consider Macbeth as a Gothic.’

Despite being written long before what is considered the ‘first’ Gothic text, The Castle of Otranto, Shakespeare unveils a play that combines the element of fear, the Supernatural and death in a way that can fit in to no other genre than the Gothic.

Macbeth certainly adheres to a dominating aspect of the criteria in being considered ‘Gothic’ with its ability to instil fear. Whilst the modern audience may not agree, Shakespeare was certainly effective in his ability to frighten the live audience of the Jacobean era. Even in the first act, Shakespeare’s introduction of the witches becomes an exploration of Jacobean taboo, as it presents audience with a visual representation of witches in which the audience would have not previously been exposed to. Considering the witch hunts conducted by King James at the time, Shakespeare invites his contemporary audience to the powerful and dire consequence of practising witch craft. Through the opening lines “when shall we three meet again?” Shakespeare forces the audience to consider the powerful ability of witches by even suggesting that they are superior to nature and natural order through being able to choose when and where they shall collide with Macbeth. Therefore, Shakespeare is successful in his attempt to scare readers by not only facing them with three witches, but encouraging the consideration of what the Witches have the power of doing, so powerful that they defy nature. This undoubtedly adheres to the Gothic genre, as Shakespeare’s craft of terror forces viewers to gain an insight to witchcraft, and perhaps, may even terrorise the audience into the frightful thought that they may one day cross paths with a witch that will determine their entire fate. Whilst the witches promote fear within the narrative to Shakespeare’s contemporary audience, it is unlikely to have the same impact on modern readers and therefore the playwright is unsuccessful in his attempts to fear the audience of the 21st century. Likewise, the English Review article “Carter- the Gothic terrorist” explores the idea of Gothic literature being ineffective in creating fear within readers post-WWII due to the sheer brutality the war had caused, due to fact readers have now been exposed to excessive violence in a way that Gothic literature is no longer an exploration of possibilities, but a mere recount of events. Thus, for the modern reader, Shakespeare’s Macbeth can be viewed as a terrifying story, yet among many others, and therefore Shakespeare is no longer impactful in the same way as meeting the key Gothic criteria of instilling fear.

In addition to creating fear, the Gothic genre is also infamous for its excessive exploration of dark and dismal settings. From abbeys to château , Gothic literature explores settings that allow both characters and readers to become engrossed in the other worldly setting. In the same way, Shakespeare utilises similar settings that contribute to the debate of Macbeth as a Gothic text such as castles and “thunder, lightning” and “rain.” The drunken porter describes himself as guarding the “gates of Hell” and therefore automatically associates Macbeth’s castle with death, darkness and evil. Rightly so, Macbeth’s castle becomes the home to Banquo’s ghost, regicide and ironically the place of both Macbeth and his “fiend-like queen’s” death. Here, Shakespeare uses setting to build upon an extended metaphor: the cruelty of the King and Queen ruling the castle, become responsible in reflecting the events that occur inside the castle. In true Gothic fashion, revenants of Banquo’s ghost are then able to haunt Macbeth in a setting that frequently relishes in evil, death and sin. However, Shakespeare’s use of setting in Macbeth does not always appear uninviting and otherworldly like most texts that are widely expressed as ‘Gothic.’ For example, the castle is once described as offering a “pleasant seat” and having a “delicate air,” – it is clear that Duncan does not fee; uncomfortable or uneasy in the setting in the same way characters often express in traditional Gothic texts. Additionally, Shakespeare’s description of the Castle does not conform to a common Gothic characteristic as being away from civilisation. Whilst the first introduction to the Witches appear in an isolated setting, the main action in the play takes place in Macbeth’s castle, that appears welcoming and homely in numerous acts. Through a number of banquets and dinners that are held in the Castle, Shakespeare rebels against the orthodox isolated setting and thus explores another realm outside of the Gothic.

Although Macbeth written long before the genre of the Gothic; the dismal setting and the use of the supernatural to create fear certainly forces readers to identify the Gothic elements within the play. Ultimately, Macbeth is not a Gothic text due to its frequent repellence against Gothic convention, but can evidently be seen to influence Gothic writing today through its exploration of death and consequence.


Theme of Death in Wuthering Heights and The Bloody Chamber.

Death is a very obvious and central theme in Wuthering Heights and The Bloody Chamber. I will be briefly exploring this theme in light of the Gothic genre and the AQA LitB exam.

Death in Wuthering Heights-

Who actually dies in Wuthering Heights? Death is a promiment theme in the text where most characters die at a young age. Including:

- Catherine Earnshaw
- Frances Earnshaw
- Hindley Earnshaw
- Mr Earnshaw
- Mrs Earnshaw
- Linton
- Edgar Linton
- Isabella Linton
- Heathcliff

Instances of Death in Wuthering Heights:

1.) Initially, death is explored when the ghost of Cathy haunts Lockwood at the Heights. To Lockwood, this is a very strange experience that frightens him, causing him to Wake Heathcliff up. It is clear that Lockwood is not used to the strange and supernatural surroundings that he is warned of, and therefore Lockwood symbolises an “outsider” to the dismal and haunted setting that Wuthering Heights has become.

“My fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it”

It becomes clear that Lockwood is not only an outsider to the Heights, but is in absolute oblivion to the intense passion that lied between Cathy and Heathcliff:expressed by reffering to Catherine as a “minx” resulting in a very angry Heathcliff. Shortly after Lockwood discovers that the Heights is “swarming with ghosts and goblins!” Healthcliff directly contrasts, with his own reaction to ghosts. Heathcliff on the other hand welcomes the ghost of Cathy, pleading for it to “Come in! Come in! He sobbed. Cathy, do come. Oh do once more! Oh! My heart’s darling! Hear me this time, Catherine, at last!” This quote then becomes pivitol as showing Healthcliff’s everlasting love for the deceased Cathy. Therefore, even in early chapters, Bronte uses liminality to show how not only Catherine neither falls into the threshold of life and death, but also Heathcliff struggles to find the similar balance, as he is ultimately in love with the dead Catherine too, whilst being alive.

Another quote that I feel expresses death in Wuthering Heights perfectly, is simply when Healthcliff pleads Cathy not to leave him. “…Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I killed you–haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”. This quote emphasies the intense and somewhat poisonous relationship the two shared: a love that goes beyond Death, and therefore a love that is too strong past social convention, that it must transgress beyond life, and continue to death= shown by the pair roaming the moors when they both die.

Thus, death plays the role of shows an insight to Healthcliff’s mind: now, he believes that Cathy dies- he will no longer share a connection with her. Incorrectly though, Cathy goes beyond life to “haunt” Heathcliff.

Death of one person is also used to inflict pain on others. Heathcliff reveals to Nelly: “You know, I was wild after she died; and eternally, from dawn to dawn, praying her to return to me – her spirit – I have a strong faith in ghosts: I have conviction that they can, and do exist among us!” Catherine starves herself, which leads to her eventual death, in order to break the “hearts” of both Heathcliff and Mr.Linton. She believes that if they both see her in this weak and fragile state, she will continue to have the utmost power over the pair. However, shortly after the birth of young Cathy- Catherine dies. Here, Death is used to break the character of Heathcliff, and can almost be seen as the total breaking point in which triggers Heathcliff to his certainly mad obsession and vengence for revenge. Cathy’s death not only mentally hurts Heathcliffe, but phsyically scarrs him and disrupts any form of equilibrium with the Gothic protagonist until he too can rest (die) with her.

Death in The Bloody Chamber

As the title obviously suggests, Death as a theme in bloody chamber can neither be ignored. The eponymous tale of the collection begins with a Marquis obsessed with death and murder. He used his “stranglers fingers” to commit the very gruesome deed of murdering his wives with his very own hands. But what message is Carter really trying to portray? Perhaps it’s consequence. The narrator’s mother “shot [her] husband” in the head with a pistol: here, it could be argued that Carter uses death in order to show consequence: because the Marquis murdered, he will be murdered himself. Here, Death could also be see as a metaphor for murdering patriarchy as the Marquis could be seen as the ultimate epitome of a patriarchal figure. Therefore, when he dies- it could be argued that patriarchy is murdered, proven by the happy ending in which the girl is able to prosper in HIS castle- she is no longer confined into the boundaries that the powerful Marquis one set, and therefore progresses into a world in which feminists prove to be in favour of. Death is then used to portray a feminist idealism of equalility: when the patriarchal Marquis dies, the young girl then marries a blind musician. The characters are both flawed: she has a bloody stain on her forehead, whilst he cannot see it – equilibrium is restored in a fair and equal way.

Additionally, another tale that explores the theme of Death is Lady of the House of Love. First off, it is revealed that her father “Nosefaratu” has been killed by a priest. Here, the death by priest could entail a point about context. The fact that a Vampire is murdered by a priest could certainly suggest how the supernatural would have been tolerated in the time the text was written. Indeed, Carter uses this to reveal how Vampires are viewed in society: unattural and thus will not be tolerated.

Business Studies F297 Ocr ApsL 2014 Strategic Management Revision Question

23.) Should APSL invest in the energy saving device? (Suggested in line 89-96)

In 2013, APSL’s statistical figures show the business spending much of it’s overheads (“almost half) towards overheads. Consequently, Peter and Kate have discovered a device which allows wasted heat from presses to contribute towards a fraction of APSL’s hot water costs. Despite the obvious long term savings that will be derived from this investment, APSL will need to consider how this decision will influence other aspects of their business such as objectives and their corporate social responsibility.

First of all, APSL will need to evaluate how this costly investment of £250,00 will impact the ability of APSL successfully achieving its objectives. Currently, APSL have set two ten year strategic objectives- one of which being to expand their export market to an overall 15%. In order to do this, APSL will need to spend a lot of money marketing and exporting to countries outside the EU and therefore this particular investment in an energy saving machine may mean that APSL have insufficient funds to effectively fulfill this objective to the maximum potential. Therefore, it may not be a good decision in the short term for APSL to invest in a costly energy saving machine when it may hinder APSL’s ability to achieve their goals.

Secondly, APSL will need to evaluate the actual benefits that can be derived from this machine. Despite the device claiming to save 4% per year, Peter believes that the financial return may be to low to cover the cost of the expensive machine. Rightly so, it could be argued that the device does not provide a sufficient return on the investment and thus Peter correctly criticises the machine for taking too long to “repay itself.” Additionally, this investment could also trigger some cash flow issues. If the money taken to pay for the machine will be retained profit – it is a possibility that APSL may experience issues in their forecast. For example, if external influences such as the economy mean that APSL aren’t making their predicted budget, APSL will have less money than thought to cover the costs for the rest of the month. Thus, by investing in this costly piece of machinery, APSL may not have enough retained profit in order to cover contingencies within the business. Furthermore, if APSL decide to take out a loan to buy the machine, they will need to explore the often hefty price tags attached to taking out loans which essentially may leave APSL in a worse place (spending more money paying for the piece of equipment, rather than saving as intended.) APSL will need to evaluate their financial status extensively before pursing the device as it may prove as a catalyst to further problems rather than solutions at APSL.

John is also critical of the decision of the capital expenditure being based on solely quantitive factors. Therefore, it is also important that APSL evaluate the other factors outside of profits and numerical figures in a way that they might benefit. One way APSL may benefit from the device externally is benefitting from their corporate social responsibility. By utilising a machine that is able to use excess heat from presses by converting it into the heat meeting hot water requirements, APSL is able to be more economically sustainable and thus help the environment. Customers may view APSL’s investment as being socially responsible for the environment by playing an active role in their responsibility. Ultimately, if APSL do invest in this device-it means that they gain good word of mouth through positively helping the environment and thus it is likely to benefit the overall customer loyalty to APSL.

It appears that APSL have taken a lot of responsibilities on at once such as trying to move to a new factory, purchasing new machinery and introducing a third time shift. The evidence suggests that due to this, it will be beneficial for APSL to hold off on the investment of buying new machinery, as the financial aspects as well as the current objectives should play a dominant focus currently in the business. It is clear that the machine will provide benefits in the long term; however APSL will not be able to waste time that is required to physically benefit from this capital investment.

Wuthering Heights Timeline : life, death, age and context.

An Extremly useful timeline of life death and external influences in Wuthering Heights.


Year Date Characters Ch External Ages
1757 June Hindley Earnshaw born      
1757 August Ellen Dean born      
1760       George III becomes king  
1762 January Edgar Linton born     Hindley 4
1764 July Heathcliff born     Hindley 7; Ellen 6; Edgar nearly 2
1765 May Catherine Earnshaw born     Hindley nearly 8; Ellen 7; Heathcliff 11 months
1765 October Isabella Linton born     Edgar 3
1771 August Mr Earnshaw brings Heathcliff to Wuthering Heights 4   Hindley 14; Ellen nearly 14; Heathcliff 7; Catherine 6; Joseph 41
1773 May Mrs Earnshaw dies 4   Hindley 15; Ellen 15; Heathcliff 8; Catherine 7
1773 16 Dec.     Boston Tea Party  
1774 October Hindley is sent off to college 5   Hindley 17; Heathcliff 10; Catherine 9
1776       American Declaration of Independence  
1777 October Mr Earnshaw dies 5   Hindley 20; Ellen 20; Heathcliff 13; Catherine 12
1777 October Hindley returns to Wuthering Heights with Frances 6   Frances 17
1777 November Catherine stays at Thrushcross Grange 7   Hindley 20; Ellen 20; Edgar 15; Heathcliff 13; Catherine 12; Isabella 12
1777 Christmas Eve Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights 7    
1778 June Hareton Earnshaw is born 8   Hindley 20; Frances 18; Heathcliff 13; Catherine 13
1778 September Frances dies 8   Hindley 21; Frances 18;
1780 August Heathcliff runs away from Wuthering Heights 9   Hindley 23; Ellen 22; Heathcliff 16; Catherine 15
1780 August Mr and Mrs Linton die 10   Edgar 18; Isabella 14
1783 March Catherine marries Edgar 10   Edgar 21; Catherine 17
1783 August Cathy is conceived     Edgar 21; Catherine 17
1783 September Heathcliff returns 10   Edgar 21; Heathcliff 19; Catherine 18; Isabella almost 18
1784 January Heathcliff clashes with Edgar 11   Edgar 21; Heathcliff 19; Catherine 18
1784 February Heathcliff marries Isabella 12   Heathcliff 19; Isabella 18
1784 March Heathcliff and Isabella return      
1784 20 March Catherine dies giving birth to Cathy 16   Edgar 22; Heathcliff 19; Catherine 18
1784 September Linton Heathcliff is born 17   Isabella 18
1784 September Hindley dies 17   Hindley 27; Joseph 54
1789       Start of French Revolution  
1796       First smallpox inoculations  
1797 July Cathy meets Hareton at Wuthering Heights 18   Hareton 19; Cathy 13
1797 July Isabella dies 17   Heathcliff 32; Isabella 31; Linton 12
1797 July Linton is taken to Thrushcross Grange and then Wuthering Heights 19   Linton 12
1800 20 March Cathy meets Heathcliff and Linton 21   Heathcliff 35; Hareton 21; Cathy 16; Linton 15
1801 August Cathy marries Linton 27   Hareton 23; Cathy 17; Linton 16
1801 August Edgar dies 28   Edgar 39
1801 September Linton dies     Cathy 17; Linton 17
1801 November Mr Lockwood visits Wuthering Heights 1   Heathcliff 37; Hareton 23; Cathy 17; Ellen 44; Joseph 71
1802 January Mr Lockwood returns to London 31    
1802 April Heathcliff dies 34   Heathcliff 37; Hareton 23; Cathy 18
1802 September Mr Lockwood returns to Thrushcross Grange 32   Hareton 24; Cathy 18
1803 1 January Cathy marries Hareton     Hareton 24; Cathy 18
1805       Battle of Trafalgar  
1807       Slave trade abolished  

Business Studies F297 Revision – Apsl case study Ocr

Discuss the appropriateness of APSL’s 10 year strategic objectives.

In order to become a successful business, APSL understands the need of having updated objectives to ensure that they are constantly meeting the demand of the market and gaining the best return on their investments as possible. APSL currently intend on improving their solvency as well as expanding their export market by 15%. However, considering the current financial issues that APSL appear to be experiencing, APSL need to ensure that they carefully consider the implications of their objectives and assess the appropriateness of their aims.

Currently, a large consumer of APSL’s products is the caravan business in the UK. Correctly, APSL have recognised that the majority of caravans produced that source APSL’s products tend to remain in the UK, therefore- the caravan business does not directly help APSL reach their objective of expanding their exports to the external markets by 15%. If APSL are serious about meeting their 2018 objective of increasing their exports, they will need to consider businesses that will help them reach their target. The evidence suggests that APSL should focus on businesses such as car companies to help meet their objectives, as they have correctly realised that car companies that source APSL’s products are more likely to export the final product to outside of the European Union. Therefore, one suggestion could be that APSL no longer supply to the caravan companies, and make a direct focus on the exporting markets. However, with all business decisions- this could derive a number of implications. If APSL decide to stop or limit their dedication to providing to caravan businesses in the UK, it could mean that they experience a significant loss of profits and orders. APSL need to recognise that the UK market has been a major factor for their success and therefore, if APSL begin to neglect them for overseas consumers, it may not be the best decision. Additionally, APSL may find that they are unsuccessful in meeting their targets of expanding their exposure to the international market by 15% and therefore they would have lost a significant customer in the UK market. Although APSL should focus heavily on the international market if it wishes to reach its objective, they will need to assess the impacts of their sacrifices.

Additionally, APSL intend on improving their solvency ratios in their 10 year strategic objectives. APSL will need to consider the cut backs they will need to make to improve their solvency ratios such as on machinery or staff payments. Currently, APSL pay staff a competitive 10% over other manufacturing skilled staff. Inevitably, this is likely to impact the amount of net profit that APSL are left over with in order to make the company less solvent. However, making cutbacks on staff salaries will also cause implications such as unhappy staff. It could be argued that making cutbacks on pay is not the most moral thing to do, as staff may have initially signed up to APSL due to their competitive rates of pay. On the other hand, it may be the wisest thing for APSL to consider doing in order to make cutbacks to widen their profit margins to make the business most solvent. If the staff of APSL are unhappy with the changes, APSL will need to inject more money in to the business finding appropriate staff and recruiting the right people for the job as well as training them. However, APSL may find that through recruiting new staff, they have exposed themselves to people with fresh ideas and people that are likely to be more motivated as they still want to work for APSL despite the average salaries that they are now offering.

Certainly, APSL’s objectives could be said to be ‘too far out of reach.’ Essentially, this means that APSL appear to be taking on too many projects at once. Currently, the evidence suggests that APSL are considering new heat efficient machiney, moving to a location in Hull and introducing a new night shift. It could certainly be said that APSL need to focus on one objective at a time or else the company could be impacted negatively through diseconomies of scale. Often when a business tries to take on too much at once, it derives a number of complications such as poor quality across the board as well as  no clear focus or direction in which way the business is heading. Although allowing 10 years for APSL to meet these objectives might appear fairly realistic, when combined with the other projects that APSL intend on committing to may mean that they will hinder the overall direction of the business.

Indeed, APSL have created objectives that are appropriate in meeting the needs of the business. If APSL make appropriate decisions that have clear focus such as cutting back on spending and committing to directly related business they will then be able to achieve their 10 year strategic objectives.