7) How could Shakespeare have been inspired by Montaigne’s essay “On Cannibals”?

8) List the three major ways that characters are created:

9) Which “interpretation” of Prospero do you most agree with? Why?

10) Ariel’s language often expresses all of the following EXCEPT:

    1. rapid movement
    2. a desire for power
    3. breathless excitement
    4. childlike eagerness

11) How could Ariel be the one who teaches Prospero forgiveness? Explain.

12) How do portrayals of Caliban differ in recent/modern times versus what was typically emphasized in the 18th century?


OIB Essays Examens Blancs Student Samples

General Comments:

–annotate your paper

–make a very specific thesis

–link back to the question

–don’t be afraid to start a new paragraph

–always reference specific examples AND style/techniques/language/what the author is doing

–dig deep

–avoid SUMMARY

–use synonyms

–organize your time.

Essay Questions

OIB Essay rubric NOV 2015 revised (2)

OIB Commentary rubric NOV 2015 revised










TERM: November 2: OIB Oral Practice


Good News/Bad News


Meditation: Tonglen – Discovering the Boundless Space of Compassion (5:53 min.)



Vacation homework (comments on BLOG)

Tomorrow, bring Tempest to class. No essay.

Next essay=next week. Unseen extract practice.



Name of Examiner:                                                                                                                          Name of School:

Name of Candidate:                                                                                                                         Date:

L/L ORAL EXAM NOTES—may continue on back or on separate sheet

Passage given:                                                                                                                                Commentary begins:

Links made by student:                                                                                                                               Ends:


Tick the boxes of works you touch on during the oral:

Tempest Novel Poetry


Works in-depth:

Other works:

Intimate Apparel Play Novel Poetry Interpreter of Maladies World Literature Essay


Topics and themes discussed:





Stylistic devices touched on:








Overall impression:



Grade (if under 11 contact Inspector):


Continue comments on additional sheets.




Questions on The Tempest, Act I and Act II


1) Why is it significant that the play begins with a storm at sea?

2) Why does Miranda have such immediate empathy for the men in the ship? Since she’s lived on a deserted island all her life, how did she learn pity and mercy?

3) Think about how you might tell someone the story of your past. How would you characterize yourself? How does Prospero characterize himself? Does he take any responsibility for what happened to him? Should he?

4) What crime did Antonio commit? What motivated him? How should he be punished?

5) What do you imagine the spirit Ariel looks like?

6) What do you imagine the witch Sycorax looks like?

7) What do you imagine Caliban looks like?

8) What connection does Shakespeare make between outward appearance and inner spirit? Do you think it’s true? Why or why not?

9) What is your reaction to Prospero’s treatment of Caliban? Does Caliban have a right to be angry at Prospero? Should he rule the island?

10) What reason does Prospero give for enslaving Caliban? Do you think Prospero is right in his actions?

11) During Ferdinand & Miranda’s first encounter he says: “O, if a virgin, And your affection not gone forth, I’ll make you Queen of Naples. What is he saying? Why does her virtue matter?


1) What type of person is Gonzalo? What was his role in the plot against Prospero? Does his behavior seem consistent with how he acts now?

2) Sebastian and Antonio ridicule Gonzalo. What does this tell us about their characters?

3) Antonio incites Sebastian to kill his brother Antonio and take the crown of Naples. What does this tell us about Antonio’s nature and motives? How does Sebastian respond? What does it tell us about him?

4) Why do you think Caliban willingly worships Stephano? Why is he willing to give Stephano control of the island?

OIB Essay Practice No°3

A) Regardless of whether a mother is present or absent in his child’s life, she has an impact and influence. Discuss how the influence of mothers is depicted in two of the OIB works you have studied.

B) Transgression, or the violation of laws or social conventions, often plays an important role in literature. How do two authors on the OIB syllabus show an interest in transgressing rules, whether it be on a. thematic or stylistic level?

C) Examine the means employed by two OIB writers to ensure that the reader / audience is able to sympathize with even the most unappealing characters.

D) “Hell is other people.” (Sartre)  How do two texts you have read as part of your OIB
program deal with the breakdown in relationships between people?