Written by practising teachers who have had many years' experience of successfully preparing students for literature examinations. Penguin Study Software gives you the ability to study an 'O' level or CSE text by means previously impossible. You can:
investigate major characters, themes and images and the subtle relationships between them,
research specific essay titles or examination questions,
thoroughly revise a particular character, theme or image of your choosing - at your own pace,
work through the entire play or concentrate your study on a particular act or acts.
If you are studying for an examination as a full time or part-time student, or are reading purely for interest and pleasure, Penguin Study Software will increase your knowledge of the text and help you to enjoy and profit from the study of literature.
Once you have loaded the program you will be able to select, under a number of headings, those areas of interest you wish to explore.
In addition, you may restrict your search to particular parts of the play if you so wish - otherwise it will be assumed that you would like to search it in its entirety.
Start with a simple search for just one item, for example a theme you find interesting.
As the computer comments on what it has found, you will gain a maximum benefit by looking in your copy of the text for the reference given - carefully consider its context by reading a number of lines either side of the exact place indicated.
With experience, you will be able to undertake very sophisticated studies of the text by carefully selecting combinations of characters, themes and images. This type of questioning is likely to reveal important relationships within the play and lead to greater understanding - although highly structured enquiries of this kind require some thought on your part to begin with.
For example, in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', it is well known that Macbeth is involved in the murdering of several people - it might therefore be tempting to assume that Macbeth and the theme of blood would be a fruitful combination to explore. In fact, a far more revealing insight might be gained if blood, as a theme, were to be considered in its relationship to water, for example.
As appropriate, the computer will sugest other profitable lines of enquiry which you might like to follow up, either on their own or in the combinations it suggests.
To help you get the best out of the program you are limited to choosing a maximum of three items at any one time - this is completely independent of any decisions you may wish to make about concentrating your search on particular parts of the text.
Have Your Copy Of The Text Handy!
Act, Scene and Line numbers are referenced to 'The New Penguin Shakespeare' as used and recommended by the Royal Shakespeare company. If you are using other editions of the play you may find that some of these numbers vary slightly, and you should bear this in mind when looking at your text.
The following utilities are also available to allow you to edit the supplied screens of this game:
A digital version of this item can be downloaded right here at Everygamegoing (All our downloads are in .zip format).