Comparative Study Texts 2020

Comparative Study Texts 2020


A Look at the Comparative Study Texts for Leaving Certificate English 2020

The list of prescribed texts for comparative study in 2020 has been announced. The modes at Higher Level for 2020 are Literary Genre, Theme or Issue and Cultural Context, and the Ordinary Level modes are Hero/Heroine/Villain, Theme and Social Setting.

It is always exciting to see the new list of prescribed texts for the comparative, both to see what’s new, and also, to see which favourite texts have disappeared!

The list of texts prescribed for comparative study for examination in the year 2020 has added plenty to my to-read-pile.

I’m particularly looking forward to Sebastian Barry’s ‘Days Without End’, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and winner of the Costa Award. I’ve heard brilliant things about this civil war tale, set in 1850s America.

On the drama front, I’m very interested in reading ‘Eclipsed’ by Patricia Burke-Brogan, which explores the practice of making pregnant and unwed Irish mothers work as 'penitents' in church-run laundries.

Filmwise, I’m delighted to see ‘Winter’s Bone’, directed by Debra Granik, on the list, as it is a film I came across a few years ago when I read Daniel Woodrell’s excellent novel. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, who must find her missing father to save her poverty-stricken family from eviction. 

Other new texts include 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' by Kate Atkinson, 'If This is a Man' by Primo Levi, 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett, 'Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme' by Frank McGuinness. New films include 'Pride' directed by Matthew Warchus and 'Some Like it Hot' directed by Billy Wilder.

The choices for Shakespeare for 2020 are Hamlet and The Tempest (will we ever see Othello, my personal favourite, again?!)

There are also of course, a number of familiar texts that have departed this year; John B. Keane’s ‘Big Maggie’, Claire Keegan’s ‘Foster’ and Jason Reitman’s ‘Juno’ are all popular titles that will leave the list in 2020.

I will be reading and considering prescribed texts in relation to the modes in the coming weeks, so please do check back to see how I’m getting on!

List of Prescribed Material for Leaving Cert English 2020


Behind the Scenes at the Museum
The Handmaid's Tale
Days Without End
Wuthering Heights
Silas Marner
The Great Gatsby
It's Not Yet Dark
The Next Step in the Dance
If this is a Man
Star of the Sea
The Damned Utd.
The Spinning Heart
Touching the Void
The Sound of Things Falling
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891 version)



Waiting for Godot
By the Bog of Cats
A Doll's House
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme
The Tempest
The Playboy of the Western World


About Elly
Winter's Bone
Stop at Nothing
Les Miserables
Some Like it Hot

Classroom Questions with Comparative Study

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