Quick revise

Many of you will have to refer to context in your answers to questions on the examination.

So what is context?

  • When the text was written
  • What the society was like at the time the text was written
  • What or who influenced the writer
  • What political or social influences there would have been
  • What influences there may have been in the genre that may have affected the writer
  • When the text was written and when it was set may also have an important part to play in what is written.
  • The context hinted at by the examination question.


Themes come from experiences that writers have gone through or things that are going on in their lives.

Why did Churchill write Top Girls?

Why did Williams write Streetcar?

One of my favourite examples is Miller's The Crucible. How has the context the play was written in affected the text's meaning?

Context can be seen on three levels:

  • The context of the characters in the play
  • The context of those watching when the play was first produced
  • The context of us today seeing the play for the first time

Whatever the text you are studying, these are key questions to ask.

Average: 5 (2 votes)