The History Boys – Coursework titles
1. It has been suggested that in The History Boys “Women in the play are side-lined just as they are in society and education as a whole.” How does Bennett employ comedy devices to present his female characters and their views?
2. “Women’s roles are often stereotypes in dramatic comedy.”
To what extent do you believe this to be the case in relation to The History Boys?
3. To what extent does the opening scene establish the play as a comedy?
4. To what extent does Bennett use comedy to explore the clash of class and culture in The History Boys?
5. Consider the ending of the play. To what extent does it conform to what an audience might expect from a comedy?
6. “Comedy, beginning in turmoil but ending in harmony, celebrates life.” To what extent does The History Boys reflect that view?
7. “The setting of this play is central to its success as a comedy.” To what extent do you agree?
8. “Despite being performed entirely in French, the audience is able to understand the scene due to Bennett’s use of comedy devices.” Explore this statement with reference to comedy devices.
9. To what extent does Bennett use comedy to explore the clash between Irwin and Hector in The History Boys?
10. To what extent does Bennett use comedy to explore the clash between the Headmaster and Hector in The History Boys?
11. Can sexual abuse ever be funny? How does Bennett use humour to tackle this subject?
12. “Tragicomedies tend to fall into two main categories; those in which a potentially tragic series of events is resolved happily and those in which the comedy has dark or bitter overtones.” To what extent can The History Boys be seen as a tragicomedy?
13. "The comedy in The History Boys by Alan Bennett centres around the opposition created between the two teachers Irwin and Hector." What use does Bennett make of this opposition?
14. To what extent can Hector be seen as a Shakespearean fool?...