Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education


Paper 2 (PLAYS)






1. Discuss the role of female characters in the
play King Lear?


Candidates are expected to identify the female characters and discuss their contribution to the development of the plot, themes, character and other aspects.


  • The female characters in the play King Lear are Goneril, Regan and Cordelia who are the daughters of King Lear. They are powerful figures who influence the trend of events and disastrous end of their male counterparts.
  • Cordelia who is the youngest and at first her father’s favourite is pure, unselfish and unflinchingly loyal to her father. Goneril and Regan on the other hand are brutal, hypocritical and conspiratorial.
  • These characters enhance our understanding of the play in various ways i.e:-
  • Plot development i.e.

    King Lear an old widower with no male heir decides to divide his kingdom among his daughters but intends to give the largest share to one who can say that she loves him most. Goneril and Regan who are greedy and selfish flatter him but the honest Cordelia does not. This is the genesis of the events in the entire play. In great anger, Lear disowns Cordelia, banishes her, and distributes her land between Goneril and Regan. When Kent tries to argue with the king he is also banished. The king of France decides to marry Cordelia even without her land. Goneril and Regan begin to undermine Lear and mistreat him. He bursts into a storm.

  • Meanwhile, Gloucester who is loyal to Lear has family problems. When he is discovered by Goneril and Regan showing sympathy and concern to Lear they accuse him of treason and blind him. It is Edgar who leads him to Dover.
  • In Dover, a French army led by Cordelia is in action struggling to save Lear, but they are defeated and Cordelia together with Lear are captured.

    When Cardelia is killed, Lear dies of grief.

    Therefore, the female characters propel the plot of the play.

  • The female characters greatly contribute to the development of other characters through interaction, contrast or juxtaposition e.g. Lear’s rashness, gullibility, short temperedness; Edmund’s cunning, selfish nature etc. are revealed.
  • Thematic development e.g. filial ingratitude, betrayal, justice, suffering, materialism.
  • They are symbolic e.g. Cordelia symbolic of purity, innocence and scrupulousness, Regan and Goneril symbolic of betrayal, filial ingratitude etc.
  • The heighten the tragedy i.e. make it more serious, arousing fear and sympathy.
  • Lessons learnt e.g. not all that glitters is gold.


    (Mark as a whole)………………….. 33 Marks


2. Discuss Shakespeare’s use of symbolism in the play King Lear?

Candidates are expected to identify the symbols and discuss their effectiveness in the play.

  • The storm is a symbol of the mental torture, suffering and transformation Lear and Gloucester go through. Before the storm, both men are unable to reason and distinguish between reality and appearance. They cannot use their sanity until after they have been exposed to the storm.
  • Interwoven with the storm symbol are the health, wood, hovel, all of which are symbols of suffering and destruction.
  • Most of Shakespeare’s characters are symbolic. The Food is a symbol of common sense, sanity and wisdom. He speaks ironically, giving mock advice which in actual sense is a description of the world as it is. Cordelia is symbolic of purity, innocence and scrupulousness. Kent is symbolic of loyalty and endurance. Edgar a major link between main and sub-plots together with Kent in the stocks symbolize the downfall of the old world of traditional values.
  • The Coronet is a symbol of the kingship which Lear divides foolishly hence tampering with the natural order. The rod, crown, horns also show kingship.
  • The coxcomb is symbolic of Lear’s foolishness. He is singled out as the fool.
  • The stocks symbolize humiliation. Kent is humiliated showing the human injustice which the loyal ones face.
  • The eclipse is symbolic of the destruction of the natural order/chaos which results from the destruction of the natural order.
  • There is mention of numerous animal traits which symbolize the brutality, unscrupulousness and ingratitude typical of Lear’s and Gloucester’s children.
  • The wheel is symbolic of nature.
  • Nature is symbolic of the natural order. The natural order has been interfered with and so there is chaos.
  • Dover is symbolic of destruction and hope. Gloucester tries to commit suicide to redress his grievance. Lear becomes sane again when at Dover and meets Cordelia. Gloucester is saved by Edgar at the same place when he attempts suicide. France is defeated by Britain and Cordelia is murdered.
  • Etc.


WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE:     Romeo and Juliet.

3. Do you find the ending of the play Romeo and Juliet dramatically satisfying? Give reasons for your answer.


Candidates are expected to show how the play ends and then explain why it is satisfying. According to playwright’s intention, candidates should justify the ending.

  • While still in Mantua serving his punishment, the banishment from Verona, Romeo hears that his dear wife Juliet is dead.
  • He goes to an apothecary, buys poison and stealthily returns to Verona, goes straight to the Capulet’s family vault.
  • On seeing Paris, his rival, he fights and kills him. Then he poisons himself and dies.
  • Juliet recovers from the feigned death only to discover Romeo’s death. She stabs herself and dies.
  • It is Friar Lawrence who explains to the two feuding families the circumstances that lead to the deaths of their children. The families eventually reconcile.



The ending is dramatically satisfying due to a number of reasons;

  • It is in line with the type literacy work which is a tragedy i.e. serious presentation that arouses tension, fear, sympathy and ends disastrously.
  • The central characters Romeo and Juliet are loving and determined but have character flaws which combine with other forces such as fate and parents hatred to cause their tragic end.
  • There is purgation of feelings which is in line with a tragedy.
  • Goodness triumphs over evil. The two feuding families eventually reconcile over the dead bodies of their children.
  • The ending is the richest part and climax of the play. All the main characters are paraded and we see their traits and some of the themes are clearly brought out i.e. death, fate, love.
  • The good characters are rewarded. Friar Lawrence who struggles to reconcile the two families eventually achieves his goal.
  • The bad characters are paid in their own currency. The two family heads end up losing their only children for perpetuating evil / hatred.
  • The playwright’s message has been brought out clearly and lessons learnt.
  • The mechanism of fate has worked in all the circumstances surrounding the two lovers Romeo and Juliet i.e. “star crossed.”
  • Etc.


4. Discuss the contribution of Tybalt to the development of the play Romeo and Juliet.

Candidates are expected to briefly describe the character of Tybalt as portrayed in the play and show his contribution to the themes, character, plot and other aspects.

  • Tybalt is a Capulet and cousin to Juliet. He is short tempered – when Romeo gate crushes the Capulets feast, he is greatly angered since he sees the act as an insult.
  • His violent nature makes him peruse Romeo even after Romeo has married Juliet and fuels a number of events that calumniate into the tragic end of the play.




  • Plot development i.e. causes a fight with Mercutio by insulting Romeo. When Mercutio gets killed, Romeo fights Tybalt and kills him. Romeo is banished to Mantua. When the Capulets try to force Juliet to marry Paris, she seeks assistance from Friar Lawrence and the remedy he gives her leads to the death of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Contributes to thematic development – hatred, death, fate.
  • Heightens the tragedy when he acts violently and kills Mercutio, fueling the feud and banishment of Romeo.
  • Character development of others e.g. Benvolio seen as peace loving, friendly, trust worth; Mercutio seen as friendly, violent; Romeo seen as passionate, rebellious.
  • Brings out the play wrights intention – his aggressive nature leads to disaster revealing that grudges or enmity does not play.
  • Shows the strained relationship between the Montague’s and Capulet’s. Whenever, the two families meet they end up in serious conflicts. When Romeo gate crushes the Capulet’s feast he is looked at as a serious intruder.
  • Lessons learnt
  • Arouses our feelings
  • Symbolic
  • Etc.

(Mark as 15:18 = 33mks)


5. Discuss the character and role of Brutus in the play Julius Caesar.

Candidates are expected to discuss the character of Brutus in detail and show his contribution to the development of the play.

  • Brutus is Caesar’s close friend who conspires against him because his love for his country is greater than that for the friend.
  • He is loving to Caesar, his wife, and the page.
  • He is patriotic. His great love for his country compels him to join the conspiracy against his friend Caesar.
  • He is an idealist – his motives to betray his close friend are wholly pure and he thinks he can maintain this purity in everything at all times.
  • He is principled. When he has made up his mind on the course to be taken, he cannot be swayed by anyone.
  • He is responsible. He takes it upon himself to control the trend of events in Rome so as to fight the impending dictatorship when he foresees Caesar’s becoming king.
  • He is brave – he takes part in the murder of Caesar and even commands the conspirators to bathe their hands in Caesar’s blood as a way of congratulating themselves.

    His role:

  • Contributes to the development of the plot. He is at the forefront of the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. After the murder, a series of events occurs until the war is lost.
  • Thematic development e.g. betrayal, love, etc.
  • Character development e.g. Antony is seen as a loyal friend to Caesar, Portia is loving, Cassias is courageous, practical and a fanatic.
  • Heightens the tragedy through his actions and decisions. He clearly sustains a serious fearful presentation that ends disastrously.
  • Contributes to the general mood of the play i.e. seriousness, tension, fear.
  • He is symbolic of patriotism and idealism.
  • Etc.

    Mark as 17: 16 marks

6. Discuss the theme of betrayal as portrayed in the play Julius Caesar.

Candidates are expected to discuss the theme of betrayal in detail with relevant illustrations from the play.

  • At the very beginning of the play Flavius and Marullus, the tribunes show some discord when the people of Rome celebrate a holiday in honour of Julius Caesar. They reproach the citizens for forgetting their former ruler, Pompey. This reveals that the representatives of the masses for whom Caesar has been fighting are turning against the new regime, hence betrayal.
  • Flavius and Marullus also insult Caesar by tearing down the decoration intended to honour him. They fear that he is bound to be a tyrant when he alone is ruler of Rome. They end up sowing seeds of defiance and this is the genesis of betrayal.
  • Brutus a close friend of Caesar’s accidentally speaks his thoughts aloud when he says he fears that the people choose Caesar for their king. He betrays his feelings towards his friend and consequently he gains full control of the band of conspirators.
  • Cassius, who hates Julius Caesar, incites people and organizes conspiracy against him.
  • He scoffs at the ceremony with the crown; he strikes the first blow in the murder of Caesar.
  • Cassius also inspires Brutus to betray his friend Caesar. He first gives him some hints to show that he could make a better leader.
  • Brutus a bosom friend to Caesar, referred to as his angel is at the forefront of the conspiracy. When Caesar discovers this, he gives up the fight and he is ready to die.
  • Brutus justifies his betrayal of Caesar by arguing that he kills him because the needs of Rome are more important than the demands of friendship. This is when he has lost the battle at Philipp and runs on his sword to avoid being captured.
  • The conspirators accompany Caesar to the capitol as if they are his guards. He decides to go toward the senate to meet the senators. When the procession is on and Caesar is speaking, chaos breaks out and consequently Caesar is murdered.
  • In his speech, Antony Caesar’s loyal friend is cautious with his reference to the conspirators. He keeps referring to them as honourable men but a citizen finally says they are traitors hence the theme of betrayal.

    (Mark as a whole) – 33 Marks








MOLIERE:     The Imaginary Invalid.

7. (a) Place the passage in context (08mks)

The passage is from Act III Scence III just after the music interlude organized by Beralde to cheer up Argan. Beralde asks his brother Argan whether the entertainment is not better than the treatment he gets from the physicians. Argan goes for a walk and Toinette takes the opportunity to beg Beralde assist his niece Angelique to prevent the match with Diafoirus. When Argan returns, Beralde asks him why he plans to plate his daughter in a convent and observes that it’s Beline he wants to please. He further asks why Argan is interested in a son of a doctor and this leads to the passage.

After the passage, Beralde cautions his brother against the prescriptions of the physicians such as Purgon.
He warms that Purgon is causing death to Argan the way he has done to his wife and children. He argues that Argan should just allow nature to recover gently from disorder because the physicians are fake. When Fluerant, Purgon’s apothecary comes ready to administer even to Argan, Benalde sends him away.

(b) Describe the characters of Argan and Benalde as revealed in the passage. (08mks)


  • Selfish
  • Gullible
  • Inconsiderate
  • Etc.

Any 2 well explained @ 2 marks


  • Loving and caring to Angelique and Benalde
  • Realistic
  • Principled
  • Determined
  • Etc.

Any 2 well explained points @ 2 marks

(c) Briefly discuss the themes portrayed in the passage (04mks)

  • Medical incompetence
  • Poor parenting
  • Exploitation

Any 2 well discussed themes

(d). What techniques does the playwright use in this extract? (04mks)

  • Satire
  • Dramatic irony
  • Humour
  • Etc.

Any 2 well discussed techniques @ 2marks

(e) Discuss the significance of the passage to the development of the plot of the play.

  • Beralde continues to discourage his brother Argan from further treatment by the physicians.
  • When Fluerant, Purgon’s apothecary comes ready to administer an enema to Argan, he is sent away by Beralde.
  • Purgon comes fuming because his prescription has been rejected and warms that Argan is to develop complications which will worsen his condition and lead to his death within four days.
  • Toinette disguises as a physician and disregards all the work and prescriptions of other physicians.
  • Beralde advises Argan to allow his daughter marry another man, now that Purgon has fallen out with him.

    Argan shows his determination to send Angelique to a convent and Beralde remarks that it is Beline whom he wants to please, Argan says she is innocent and loving.

  • Toinette then designs a test to show Argan whether Beline loves him. It is proved beyond reasonable doubt that she does not love him at all. It is Angelique who loves her father as proved from her response to the apparent death. Argan embraces Angelique and even approves of her relationship with Cleant but he wants Cleant to train as a physician.
  • On realizing that Argan is still obsessed with physicians, Beralde advises him to become a physician. A ceremony is performed to admit Argan to the faculty.

    Any 5 points (10mks)




HENRIK IBSEN:    A Doll’s House

  1. (a) State what precedes this passage. (10 marks)

    Krogstad comes and announces that he has been fired. He says that the conflicts among Nora, himself and Torvald her husband could be solved if Torvald would promote him to a better job in the bank. Nora objects saying that her husband must never know her contract with Krogstad. Krogstad leaves dropping a letter detailing Nora’s secret in the letter box.

    When Mrs. Linde returns, Nora cries that Krogstad has left a letter in the letter box. Mrs. Linde realizes that it was Krogstad who lent Nora the money. Nora confesses that she forged a signature and makes Mrs. Linde promise to say that the responsibility for the forgery is Nora’s so that Torvald won’t be held accountable for anything if Nora disappears.

    Mrs. Linde leaves since she wants to speak with Krogstad and even confesses she once had a relationship with him.


  2. Describe the character of Torvald Helmer as revealed in the passage. (08 marks)

    He is;

  • Proud
  • Domineering
  • A male chauvinist
  • Loving
  • Etc.

(Any 4 well explained traits)



  1. What feelings are evoked in you by this passage? (06 marks)
  • Amazement at Nora’s secretive nature.
  • Admiration for Nora’s commitment to the husband.
  • Dislike for Torvald’s male chauvinism and pride.
  • Etc.

(Any 3 well explained traits)


  1. Discuss the significance of this passage to the development of the plot of the play.

    (10 marks)

  • Mrs. Linde goes to meet Krogstad her former lover. Their interaction brings them closer once again and they discuss Nora’s problem.
  • Mrs. Linde suggests that the truth be revealed if Torvald’s family is to live in peace.
  • When Torvald and Nora return from the ball they express their love for each other.
  • Dr. Rank comes to bid farewell and drops his cards in the letter box. This compels Torvald to open the box and he discovers the letter from Krogstad.
  • He is so outraged that he calls Nora a liar and hypocrite.
  • He declares that she will not be allowed to raise their children Nora leaves.

    Any five points @ 2 marks


OKOIT OMTATAH:    Lwanda Magere

9. (a) State the circumstances that have led to this passage. (10 marks)

The Luo elders learn that the Longo who are their arch enemies want their princess to marry Lwanda Magere as a bait to kill him. They plan to stop this marriage but all is in vain. Lwanda tells his senior wife that he is going to marry the Lango princess so she should prepare for the wedding. The elders send for Lwanda Magere and when he appears, he shows respect to them by kneeling and giving each one a handshake. The elders caution him against marrying the said princess as she is just a bait to kill him. He assures them that there is no cause for fear because he is protected by the infallible ancestors. The priest informs Lwanda Magere that the infalliable oracle has warned that he should not marry the enemy girl. Lwanda Magere arrogantly disregards this advice saying he will marry the princess since he does not fear a woman.


  1. Describe the character of Lwanda Magere as portrayed in the passage. (08 marks)

    He is;

  • Courageous
  • Adamant
  • Proud / arrogant
  • A womanizer / polygamous
  • Disrespectful
  • Short tempered
  • Rude

    (Any 4 well explained traits)



  1. What feelings does this passage evoke in you? (06 marks)
  • Disappointment with Lwanda Magere
  • Fear for Lwanda’s life
  • Anger with Lwanda’s adamance
  • Amazement for his level of courage
  • Dislike for his lack of respect for elders and pride

    (Any 3 well explained)


  1. Discuss the significance of this passage to the development of the plot of the play.

    (10 marks)

  • Lwanda Magere refuses to listen to the priest since he is sure the spirits will stand by him.
  • He goes ahead to marry the Lango princess and even treats her as his favourite wife.
  • She lures him into divulging the secrets of his life and mystery of his security.
  • She goes back to her people and reveals all the secrets.
  • When they wage a war, Lwanda with all his courage and confidence goes to fight in broad day light and he is killed.

    Any five points @ 2 marks













GEORGE BENARD SHAW: The Devil’s Disciple

10. Discuss the status of women as revealed in the play The Devil’s Disciple.

Candidates are expected to identify the women in the play and discuss their status.

  • In the play, the women are Mrs. Dudgeon, Mrs. Judith Anderson and Essie.
  • The women are relegated to domestic setting and are subject to men’s authority.
  • They are regarded as inferior to their male counterparts and have little or no say about the economic issues.
  • They are manipulated and cannot inherit any substantial percentage of their deceased husband’s property e.g. Mrs. Dudgeon is denied her own property she acquired during her marriage. Almost everything is given to the eldest son Richard Dudgeon.
  • The women have little legal status and are treated like possessions or objects by their husbands.
  • They act according to the instructions of their husbands e.g. Mrs. Anderson who does not like Richard is forced to serve him tea and give him company in the absence of Mrs. Anderson.
  • During the session of reading the will Mr. Hawkin remarks that the courts will sustain the claim of a man and that the eldest son against any woman if they can. This shows that women are treated unfairly. The law favours the male counterparts.
  • The law favours men and makes them treat women as insignificant creatures.
  • They are submissive and subservient e.g. Elsie serves Richard with water. Judith treats Richard as per the husband’s instruction.
  • Etc.

    (Mark As A Whole)…………33 marks





11. Discuss the theme of hypocrisy as portrayed in the play The Devil’s Disciple.

  • The ill treatment of Essie does not reflect the conduct of a religious person.
  • The blasphemy of offering a condemned man the ‘comforts’ of religion.
  • Mrs. Dudgeon reacts to the news of her husband’s death with more annoyance rather than grief. She does not feel any loss.
  • Mrs. Dudgeon treats Essie in unchristian and uncaring nature yet she claims to be religious.
  • Mrs. Judith Anderson hates Richard when he first comes to their home. She is uncomfortable in Richard’s presence though she agrees to take tea with him in the absence of Anderson.
  • Later Judith declares her love for Richard and reveals that he performed his heroic action for her benefit. This is not expected of a married woman.
  • Mrs. Dudgeon complains about looking after Essie a daughter to late Peter. She sees her as a burden yet as a Christian she is expected to exhibit love and care for the disadvantaged, hence religious hypocrisy.
  • Mrs. Dudgeon is bitter with her late husband’s show of concern for a brother and consequently dying.
  • Etc.

    (Mark as a whole)…………………..33 marks

A Man for All seasons

12. Discuss the role of the Common man play in the play A Man for All Seasons?

Candidates are expected to discuss the contribution of the common man to the development of the play in terms of themes plot, character and other aspects.

  • The Common man is a compilation of useful characters, all people who would not be considered important. He represents all of us and his attitudes are those of everyone. He plays the parts of steward, boatman, publican jailer, jury foreman and headsman.
  • While the tasks are all different, their personalities are all similar. They are concerned with staying alive at any cost.
  • He introduces the play and many of the scene
  • He introduces characters in the play and sometimes makes comments hence developing the character trains.
  • He contributes to the development of various themes e.g. integrity, corruption, materialism, injustice.
  • He reads notes and helps the audience understand the circumstances in the society. He gives background information which enriches the audience’s appreciation of the play.
  • Contributes to plot development – Reveals what happens to Wolsey and how Thomas More is affected.
  • Heightens the tragedy when he serves as jailor and headsman.
  • Contributes to the comic relief.
  • Arouses of feelings.
  • Lessons learnt
  • Symbolic
  • Etc.


13. “When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties ………… they lead their country by a short rout to chaos.” Discuss this statement in view of what happens in the play A Man for All Seasons.

Candidates are expected to show who makes the statement when, talking to who and what it means, then discuss it in view what happens in the play.

  • This statement is made by Sir Thomas More when talking to Cardinal Wolsey at Cardinal Wolsey’s place. Cardinal Wolsey wants Thomas More to support the king in his bid to get a son by divorcing Catherine and marrying Anne Boleyn. He wants him to look at Latin dispatch and give a backing but More instead talks about the dispensation already received by the king so that he could marry Catherine.
  • More wants to protect his conscience so he makes this statement
  • The statement means that when public figures forego or ignore their integrity or conscience because of their political roles, they can cause more trouble in the country.
  • A number of characters in the play forego their integrity for the sake of public duties
  • Richard rich and Cromwell uphold Machiavelli’s ideas i.e. every man has a price. Richard in particular is offered several posts that make him forsake his conscience e.g. testifies against More, consequently More is found guilty of high treason and executed.
  • King Henry declares himself supreme head of the church for his own convenience and this makes several people suffer.
  • Cromwell boasts of simply doing things for administrative convenience. He says if the king wants to change his woman, he is ready to support him for convenience, he even claims to be very successful.
  • Consider acts of Cranmer, Norfolk, Chapuys, etc.
  • Etc.

R.B SHERIDAN: The School for Scandal

14. Discuss the dramatic significance of Lady Sneerwell’s house in the play The school for Scandal.

Candidates are expected to discuss the dramatic significance of Lady Sneerwell’s house.

  • Lady Sneerwell’s house is a major aspect of physical setting of the play. It serves as the main building of the school for scandal which is headed by Lady Sneerwell.
  • It is where major scandals are taught i.e malice, gossip, gambling, hypocrisy e.t.c. The scandal mongers such as snake, Joseph, Sir Benjamin, Crab tree, Backbite and Candour assemble in this house.
  • It is the place on which the playwright bases to attack/satirize the major social evils, so it contributes greatly to the development of major concerns or themes e.g. hypocrisy, materialism, betrayal, scandal mongering, snobbery e.t.c
  • It is symbolic of the scandal school whose curriculum comprises bad manners such as gossip, hypocrisy, malice, among others with teachers such as Joseph and students like Lady Teezle.
  • It enhances the development of the plot(s) i.e when Lady Sneewell and her henchman .make meet love, they plan to break the relationship between Charles surface and Maria. They spread rumours about Lady Teezle and Charles surface using Joseph surface. Peter Teezle on realizing that Charles is innocent even compels Sir Oliver to test the two young men. It is finally proved that Charles is a better character and he is rewarded by the uncle. Lady Teezle abandons the school for scandal and reconciles with the husband.
  • It contributes to character development. The members of the scandal school meet here and their true colours are revealed i.e. Lady Sneewwell seen as a schemer, gossip and malicious, Mrs. Candour – talkative, Joseph surface – hypocritical, Her, cunning a schemer, Snake – a gossip, malicious, treacherous e.t.c.
  • The letter aimed at destroying Charles relationship with Peter Teezle are
    forged from here However, Snake spills the beans and Sneenwell fails in her
    plots. Therefore, character with very limited trace of human values.
  • It brings out the character relationship e.g. Joseph is only interested in Marias’ wealth. Charles and Maria are in love but Lady Sneerwell wants to break their relationship because she wants Charles for herself.
  • Etc.


15. Describe the relationship between Maria and Charles Surface and show the importance of this relationship in the play The School for Scandal.

Candidates are expected to describe the relationship between Maria and Charles Surface, then assess the importance of this relationship in terms of plot, thematic and character development; and any other aspects.

  • Charles Surface is the protagonist of the play and the young brother to Joseph Surface. Maria is Sir Peter Teazle’s wealthy ward. The two young people are in love and wishes to get married but there are characters who are against their love and they struggle very hard to separate them.
  • Lady Sneerwell and her henchman Snake plot to break up the romance between Charles and Maria through gossip and rumormongering. Sneerwell wants Charles for herself so that Maria marries Joseph Surface.
  • Maria remains so committed to Charles that she condemns any gossip and even refuses to be persuaded that Charles is unworthy of her.
  • Joseph Surface wants Maria to reject his brother in his favour just because he is interested in her money but cannot change her mind.
  • He attempts to present his suit for Maria while playing a card game but all is in vain. Maria loves only Charles Surface.
  • Maria remains against any rumour or malice against Charles and stands by him whenever he is ill spoken of e.g. they spread rumous that he is very extravagant.
  • Further attempts to destroy the relationship are made when Snake writes letters claiming they are Charles’ to Lady Teazle to create a rift between Sir Peter Teazle and Charles.
  • Since Peter Teazle is the guardian to Maria, it is assumed that when he learns of it he will not allow Maria to marry Charles.
  • Maria when persuaded by Peter, to reject Charles and accept Joseph, stands firm and instead proclaims her love for Charles.
  • Peter Teazle discourages her and wants her to marry Joseph Surface. However, when he discovers that rumours of Charles’ behavior are out malice, he even encourages the relationship.
  • When drinking with friends, Charles tells them that alcohol can tell you most accurately who it is you love most. He ends up revealing his love for Maria and gets them drink to her beauty.
  • When Sir Oliver tests the two young Surfaces, he discovers that Charles is extravagant but more redeemable than Joseph. He even pleads with Maria to marry Charles. This further cements their love.
  • All efforts by Sneerwell to destroy the relationship become futile when Snake spills the beans about the letters.
  • In the end Maria and Charles marriage / relationship is endorsed by Sir Peter and Sir Oliver.

    Importance of the relationship

  • Development of themes e.g. Appearance Vs reality hypocrisy, scandal mongering, betrayal, materialism etc.
  • Plot development. The plot revolves around the relationship between Maria and Charles.

    Lady Sneerwell plots to destroy the romance since she is interested in Charles and wants Maria to go for Joseph. Joseph and Lady Sneerwell struggle to get what they want but in vain.

    In addition, Sir Oliver attempts to discover his two nephews. All actions are centered on the two characters and so the plot is propelled.

  • Character development e.g. Lady Sneerwell seen as a schemer, gossip, hypocrite, malicious, Joseph as a hypocrite, selfish, malicious, liar, cunning and ungrateful, Sir Oliver Surface – loving, vain but with good sense of judgement, Sir Peter Teazle-kind, vexatious.
  • Contributes to humour. The schemes by various characters to destroy the romantic relationship turnout to be funny and make the play achieve the satirical effect.
  • Brings out the relationship between characters e.g. Sir Oliver Surface and the nephews. Lady Sneerwell and Joseph Surface, Lady Teazle and Peter Teazle.
  • Lessons learnt – never judge a book by the cover, never give up etc.
  • It arouses feelings.

    Mark as 17:16 = 33 marks



Echoes of Silence

16. Discuss the effectiveness of flashbacks in the play Echoes of Silence.

Candidates are expected to identify the various flashbacks and show their effectiveness.

  • O.O’s father participates in the Second World War in Burma when O.O he is just two years old. When the missionaries at Maseno get to know his family, they throw him out saying his presence is a bad influence on the other boys. This explains O.O’s poverty and disillusionment which are part of Ruganda’s concerns.
  • Mary Muthon Nyanjiru’s efforts in fighting for the release of a leader are referred to. She leads a group of men and women in the fight for their rights. On 16th, March, 1922, when the firing is done she is the first to die. This brings out the disillusionment and suffering. People die in their struggle for independence but cannot enjoy its fruits.
  • The wedding day for Wairi and Njoroge and their marriage consummation. It is now eight years but there is no child. Wairi is really unhappy – disillusionment.
  • Wairi had a still birth and has only a baby cot as evidence – disillusionment, suffering.
  • The first moment of Wairi and Njoroge’s marriage – the unquestionable love, dances, parties, picnics. Right now Wairi wishes she could go back into her mother’s womb and wipe out all the years of torture. This brings out the level of suffering, disillusionment and loneliness.
  • Wairi’s first encounter with Njoroge after a successful presentation of Hamlet. I.e. how Njoroge rushes back stage excited and kisses her. She now wonders where the first love has gone – disillusionment.
  • The flash backs bring out the background to the present situation and account for the silence the characters are suffering from.
  • August 1982 the time when Wairi had a still birth i.e. yet thorough preparation had been made for the baby. This accounts for the misery and loneliness Wairi is experiencing.
  • O.O keeps revealing his past experience with his wife Muthoni – a nagging woman who makes home a nasty place.
  • He also reveals how he starts his relationship with Muthoni, pity, assistance, pregnancy, finally marriage but now she has lost interest in him. This depicts the degree of disillusionment in O.O, the nagging and unappreciative nature of Muthoni.
  • Etc.

    (Mark as a whole – 33 marks)

17. How effective is John Ruganda’s use of only two characters in the play Echoes of Silence?

Candidates are expected to discuss the effectiveness of the two characters Wairimu and Okoth – Okack in the play.

  • The play has two characters: Wairimu or Wairi, Njoroge’s wife; and Okoth-Okach (OO). They are experienced actors, so they are manipulated in various ways to bring out the playwright’s message.
  • Wairi is a lady from the mountain region and Okoth is from the lake region. The two represent the Kikuyu and Luo communities. Wairi is from the class of the rich/haves and Okoth is from the poor so they clearly show the extremes but each has his/her own disabilities.
  • The two characters clearly bring out the major themes in the play such as disillusionment, male chauvinism etc. Wairi who is rich is married to a man who does not stay at home. She is left with furniture, utensils, and misses the warmth of her man. On the other hand, Okoth is poor with a physical disability. The wife is nagging, so he wishes things would be improved.
  • The two characters clearly show that silence can be loud. When they realize that they both have problems, they open up and express themselves. Okoth speaks out like a chatterbox about his home; Wairi mentions her challenges and even wishes to go back to her mother’s womb and start afresh. The silence about Njoroge’s extra-marital relations is loud and clear at this time when Okoth is in the house.
  • Wairi is a brilliant actress and Okoth an experienced actor. This makes it easy for the playwright to manipulate them in the numerous plays within the play. The two characters can easily change roles and represent characters we do not actually see on stage. Since we are witnessing the echoes of silence, there is no need to see the real partners of the characters suffering. It saves us from the confusion of having the real persons who could fail to bring out the mood of the play.
  • The two characters show that no one in this world can be completely happy. Okoth, who is poor has a child but the wife is not happy and this creates despair in him to the level of wanting to commit suicide. Wairi, with all the affluence, has failed to have a child and the husband is always out with other women.
  • Wairi and Okoth are two human beings faced with the similar challenges, only that they are caused by different circumstances. At the end they regard each other as birds of a feather.
  • The two characters come together and there is chance to learn from each other’s loneliness and brand of disability. They reflect on their own weaknesses and strengths. This makes them counsel each other and accept each other’s company. By the end of the play, they are a bit happy.
  • The experience of the two characters teaches the audience a lesion: life is not a bed of roses. We should also never judge a book by its cover.
  • The two characters clearly bring out the two extremes in society that reveal the playwright’s intention. Life cannot be perfect at all times. There are always challenges.
  • No one whether rich or poor can enjoy complete happiness. This can only be represented by the two characters.
  • Etc.

Mark as a whole………………..33 marks









DAVID MULWA:         Inheritance.

18. To what extent is the downfall of Lacuna Kasoo a result of his own folly in the play


Candidates are expected to account for the fall of Lacuna Kasoo’s government in Kutula with close reference to the play.

  • Lacuna Kasoo is King Kutula’s only child. He is lured into murdering his own father by the selfish white colonialists and immediately crowned leader of Kutula.
  • His downfall is to a large extent due to his own folly;
    • Even before he is made a leader, Menninger observes that he is an ingenious greedy rascal that is utterly devoid of human feelings, loves pleasure and is ambitious.
    • He is unpopular right from the beginning. On the afternoon of his coronation, people grumble that they are crowning the wrong leader. They prefer Sangoi. Some are dealt with harshly.
    • He becomes a leader at the time when the people of Kutula are disgruntled about the whites and their influence. His collaboration with them fires up more rebellion.
    • He is naturally not meant to lead Kutula because his qualities are wanting; no wonder his father’s crown does not fit him. At one time he even leaves the throne for Goldstein. He is just a puppet or rubberstamp for the western powers that cannot sustain their system in the country.
    • He is a murderer – kills his own father, and as a leader, he kills all those opposed to him, hence becoming unpopular.
    • A dictator – commands everything to be done in his favour and cannot even listen to his councilors.
    • Extravagant – uses the loan of 98 billion but cannot account for it before the financers. He uses the money on luxuries.
    • Selfish – uses public funds for his own private gains. He buys an aero plane to fit in a high class, banks money on personal accounts in foreign banks.
    • Lustful and adulterous
    • Corrupt
    • Etc.


To a small extent due to other factors;

  • The western world (International Financiers) lend him more money on conditions which tantamount to selling his own country i.e. they demand privatization of parastatals, embracing foreign investments, lowering wages, reducing employment, longer hours of working, among others. He foolishly accepts all these and resistance against his rule intensifies.
  • The army which is a tool of his dictatorship becomes disintegrated. Some of the men cross to the side of the popular uprising. Even when he orders recruitment from the royal clan the force is inadequate.
  • When the western powers realize that Lacuna has lost all the support of his people and the economy is crumbling, they come and take all the money he has on personal accounts in foreign banks. Goldstein and Robert show him the zero balance and he is back to square one.
  • Sangoi, King Kutula’s adopted daughter offers alternative leadership which Lacuna cannot challenge. This encourages the people to overthrow Lacuna and liberate the country from tyranny.
  • His henchmen such as Councilor Chipande only struggle to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses, which makes his rule unpopular.
  • Etc.

(Mark as 20: 13 = 33 marks)

19. In what ways is what happens in the play Inheritance a reflection of our contemporary society?

Candidates are expected to relate the experiences, issues, characters in the play to what happens in our contemporary society.

  • The experiences in the play Inheritance are not peculiar to Kutula but they are everywhere especially in post independent Africa. King Kutula XV forsakes fast technological advancement in favour of unity and meaningful development for his people but he is seen as a stumbling block by the western powers.
  • He condones the resistance of natives against the whites and his own son Lacuna Kasoo is used to eliminate him. Several Africans have conspired with foreign powers or former colonial masters to cause political change.
  • Lacuna takes over power but he is a dictator who wants to amass wealth at the expense of his subjects. This is characteristic of several leaders of developing countries.
  • The people with the help of Sangoi engage in an uprising and consequently overthrow Lacuna’s government. In many African states, civil wars have erupted and unpopular governments overthrown.
  • There is a lot of external influence in Kutula republic. Lacuna becomes a mere puppet or rubberstamp for the whites i.e. international financiers. They determine the policies and investments just like in most African states where leaders dance to the tunes of the so called donors.
  • The greed, selfishness and corruption exhibited by Lacuna and his henchmen and sycophants is also among several African leaders. They tend to run their states as private projects and they exhibit supremacy.
  • Governments have accumulated debts yet some leaders use the money for personal aggrandizement. This is what Lacuna does in Kutula.
  • Attempts are made to displace people from Bukelenge valley for the sake of foreign based investment. Many Africans are forced to leave their ancestral land because of investments in favour of foreigners.
  • The masses suffer and even regret having lost past leaders Tamina and other characters lament about the abuse of office, exploitation, state inspired insecurity and poverty.
  • A number of issues/themes portrayed are akin to most developing countries e.g. external influence, poverty, corruption, dictatorship, nepotism, disillusionment etc.
  • A number of characters such as Lucuna’s sycophants such as Chapande, Meshach can be found in modern society.
  • Several lessons can be drawn from the play e.g. pride goes before a fall.
  • State of emergency and curfews and state inspired insecurity have been common especially in the 80s.
  • Etc.

    (Mark as a whole = 33 marks)







20. Discuss the view that Aminata is an agent of change in the play Aminata.

Candidates are expected to show how Aminata’s actions, views and opinions contribute to change in her society as portrayed in the play.

  • Aminata is the central character in the play Aminata. She is the daughter to the late Pastor Ngoya and wife of Dr. George Mulemi a medical researcher. She is very instrumental in causing change.
  • When late Pastor Ngoya is preaching against gender inequality and some taboos like women eating chicken, it’s his daughter Amina who eats first and all the women follow.
  • According to the tradition of Membe, women are not meant to inherit land, but when Aminata’s father dies, it is discovered that he gave her a piece of land. She struggles and changes the attitude of some elders towards women.
  • The Headman of Membe, Jumba, considers this act as abuse of tradition and resigns from the post. He hands over the title to Rosina his wife. Having a woman as a leader was unheard of in Membe.
  • Aminata is at the forefront of some projects yet it is the men who are meant to lead. She extends water to Membe yet women are at first not meant to meddle in the affairs of their clan once they are married.
  • Aminata, a girl child / woman is loved and adored by the entire clan. Her father refers to her as a son.
  • Women who have all along been subjected to childbearing with no control can practice family planning. Aminata has only two children and she is not ready to listen to any traditionalist.
  • Aminata is a champion of education of children irrespective of their gender. She pays fees for her relatives.
  • It is because of Aminata’s conduct that the village ‘Solomon’ Agege remarks that some women are better than men. He refers to the comparison of Aminata and her brother Ababio to bring out the fact that women are no longer inferior.
  • Aminata is able to buy a coffin for the late father yet people expect the son Ababio to do it. Therefore, Aminata acts against the unfair tradition, hence an agent of change.
  • When Ababion attacks her for misleading the women, Aminata advocates for the rights of women.
  • Etc.

    (Mark as a whole – 33 marks)


21. Discuss the theme of male chauvinism as portrayed in the play Aminata.

Candidates are expected to discuss the theme of male chauvinism with relevant examples from the play.

  • It is believed that men are more responsible than women. When Pastor Ngoya dies, society expects the son to be charged with the task of buying the coffin and cementing the grave. When Aminata buys the coffin, it is a shame to men in particular Ababio.
  • Leadership in the Membe community is an affair for men. There is a Headman of the stool and several elders.
  • Jumba on realizing that the elders have succumbed to the whim of a woman, he gets frustrated and hands over the stool to his wife.
  • It is believed that a girl does not inherit any property more so land from the father, Jumba is very uncomfortable to hear from the late brother’s ghost that Aminata must have her share of the land. Ababio even commits suicide.
  • Male chauvinism is further portrayed when Aunt Kezia is sent to Aminata to ask her to give up her demand for land because a woman is not meant to inherit land.
  • According to the Membe tradition, a girl who is married is not meant to meddle into the affairs of her clan. When Aminata extends water to her people, educates her brother’s children and assists her uncle, men are not happy.
  • For a long time, women are denied tasting some delicacies such as chicken. It’s Pastor Ngoya who preaches against this inequality and causes the change.
  • Ababio despises Aminata and imagine she is not entitled to any inheritance.
  • Aunt Kezia and relatives of Dr. Mulemi are not happy to find that Aminata has more influence in the home. They expect her to be submissive to her husband.
  • Etc.


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