AS and A Level: Classics essays

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350 AS and A Level Classics essays

  • Peer Reviewed essays 5
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  1. Peer reviewed

    Aeneas can be considered an excellent hero. Discuss.

    5 star(s)

    This aspect of Aeneas in that he wishes not to drain his men of hope and courage but instead sacrifice his own wellbeing is also evident in Book I as he later must get away from his men to mourn the loss of Orontes and Amycus. During the war with the Latins, Aeneas again enacts this self -sacrifice to instil spirit among his men. Virgil tells us that Aeneas is suffering from 'great tides of grief' at the thought of war yet at the same time he encourages his troops before battle by getting them to parade behind their standards thus instilling a sense of pride.

    • Length: 1972 words
  2. Peer reviewed

    Antigone is a saint, whereas Medea is a devil incarnate" do you agree?

    4 star(s)

    It was Creon who made the law forbidding anyone from burying the body of Polynices, Antigone's brother, and when he finds out that she has gone against his word he puts her to death, yet while it is clear that Creon is in the wrong, he is not particularly the evil tyrant that Antigone makes him out to be. When he is interrogating Antigone he does give Antigone a small chance to escape her punishment (Q), which Antigone ignores, she also does everything she can to aggravate Creon, she arrogantly basks in her crime she doesn't act in a remorseful manner at all when she could have avoided harsh punishment.

    • Length: 1549 words
  3. Peer reviewed

    To what extent are the characters in Ovid metamorphes real and not stereotypical

    4 star(s)

    She, too, was transformed into a bird. Daedalus was an inventor, and he despised being in exile, so he decided to create wings for himself and his son, Icarus to escape. As they made their flight across the sky, he warned the boy however the naïve boy carried away with the freedom of his wings flew too close to the sun, and his wings melted. He was engulfed by the sea and drowned. In his memory, the sea where he drowned bears his name.

    • Length: 1155 words
  4. Peer reviewed

    Who was the real tragic hero of the Agamemnon?

    3 star(s)

    Agamemnon in some ways has a good fitness of character; he is noble through his status but constantly proud and selfish. He is also very "true to life" as he ascended from god and he treasures his protection and is always loyal to the gods (to a point). Agamemnon is always consistent in himself throughout the play. He stays very arrogant through the play and he proud in himself but also very foolish, this leads to his downfall in the end.

    • Length: 1712 words
  5. Peer reviewed

    Scylla and Minos Critique

    3 star(s)

    However she begins to convince herself that that the war is in fact justly waged and that being defeated would not be such a bad thing. She then decides that in fact defeat is inevitable. She now resolves to steal her father's magic lock of hair that ensures the safety of his kingdom, and hand it over to Minos, as she believes that no other woman would let something stand in the way of her love. She manages to steal it and she offers it to Minos, confident that he will thank her and now take her as a bride.

    • Length: 832 words
  6. In your opinion, where did the real power lie within the Spartan Constitution?

    An example of this type of power would be an accountancy position; such a position requires an individual who is qualified and trained in the discipline and not some arbitrary individual whose name has been 'pulled from a hat. Reward Power depends on the ability of the individual with the power to be able to produce 'rewards' for others. An example of this sort of power would be an employer giving his staff a Christmas bonus because they've 'worked very hard' throughout the year and 'deserve it'.

    • Length: 2490 words
  7. Political success depended upon military success. To what extent do the sources support the view of the ways in which politicians achieved success in Rome?

    As for Suetonius, being imperial secretary provided him access to numerous sources and anecdotes. He behaves according to modern historians standards by listing his references with his reliability being equivalent to that of his sources. Our first hand accounts include Sallust, Cicero and Caesar, which are considered biased as each of them has his own agenda to promote. Cicero, an optimates supporter, is a famous orator and 'novus homo', a prolific writer and speaker promoting his interests according to the audience he is addressing.

    • Length: 1724 words
  8. How useful are the sources for our understanding of the significance of tribunes in Roman politics in the period after 70 BC?

    Importantly, the power of the tribunes lies in that they were considered sacrosanct. Among the important tribunes were the Gracchi whose radical measures (e.g lex Agraria) shocked the aristocracy since they went too far but maybe too fast. Both Tiberius and his brother Gaius made important socioeconomic and military reforms for the poorer classes when holding the office. To do so they challenged and defied the Senate, but the very fact that the Senate resorted to violence to eliminate them shows how valuable the tribunes were.

    • Length: 1270 words
  9. In what way if at all does Herodotus overemphasize the role of individuals in the conflict between Xerxes and the Greeks?

    This evidence limitation means that no specific Persian source exists; therefore, we mainly rely on Herodotus. On the other hand, his analysis of causes and events is superficial as he does not deeply analyze them; rather, he only takes into account the motives of individuals. Sometimes he correctly describes them to be the main protagonists, as it was individuals indeed that shaped situations. Besides, this is what history is for the Greeks, not merely the story telling of events but the praising of their heroes, also.

    • Length: 2039 words
  10. To what extent did Augustus use the building programme to beautify Rome.

    Augustus' concern with beautifying Rome which is evident in his restoration of damaged old buildings, roads, sewers and streets. The most notable of these is his restoration of the Aqueducts and building of the roads. It is important to note that Augustus' motivations for such restorations could simply be for the wellbeing and benefit of the plebs although in reality this was most likely a by-product of the beautifying of Rome. The concept of pietas was central to Augustan values, he saw the decay of Roman temples to be a symbol of negative pietas so thus resolved to change it in order to enter Rome into a period of mos maiorium.

    • Length: 1948 words
  11. To what extent did the Roman emperor Augustus restore the republic?

    This method of holding power can be argued to be an innovation and thus acting against the Republican and not restoring it to its 'true title.' Augustus is quick to mention in Res Gestae the positions which he did not accept such as Consul for life and dictator for life which could argue that Augustus wasn't in fact an emperor. In reality however this can be seen to simply be propaganda or even a fear of Caesar's ghost and thus assassination.

    • Length: 1476 words
  12. Odysseus Analysis. Through Pheidons point of view, this passage illustrates Odysseus return to his homeland of Ithaca,

    Through Pheidon's point of view, this passage illustrates Odysseus' return to his homeland of Ithaca, which is near the end of his journey in Homer's book of "The Odyssey." Also, this passage shows the relation Odysseus had with the Greek gods, notably the almighty Zeus. In those days, to seek advice from the goods only few had the privilege of doing. This shows that Odysseus was heroic and important in those days. The next passage which exemplifies Odysseus' journey is when he first reveals himself to his loyal supporters, Philoetius, and Eumaeus in his home country after 20 years: (Book 21, page 282, lines 200-206)

    • Length: 700 words
  13. Free essay

    What picture do the sources present of life for women in ancient Athens?

    In Thucydides' writings of Pericles' Funeral Oration, women are given a few lines of the speech, "to sum them up in one short admiration" showing their lack of importance during this time. Thucydides (though through Pericles) is advising women three tasks on which to fulfil the ideal role of a women; to rear many children for the sake of Athens, to not show more weakness than is natural for the gender, and lastly to avoid being talked about amongst other men, for either good or bad reasons.

    • Length: 1441 words
  14. To what extent do the sources suggest that Rome had become ungovernable by the 50s BC

    Cicero's letters show his own personal contemporary insight to this alliance, and though obviously portraying his opinion perhaps also demonstrates the power of this unofficial bond (also shown in Plutarch's Life of Caesar) - whist he is in a position to understand, and is a well-known politician of the time, whose opinions are seemingly valued. Plutarch further shows politics becoming increasingly to do with the personal ambition that the good of the Republic - although the triumvirate (as proved) could only last as long as the three characters balanced out - both rendering the short-term threat beatable (though more rise to challenge)

    • Length: 1848 words
  15. One of the best examples for Aristotles tragic hero is Oedipus from Sophocles tragedy, King Oedipus.

    The peripeteia of this play is that the intensity of Oedipus' downfall is paralleled by the level of his strength and dedication to the people of Thebes. As Oedipus continuously appears to us as a brave and honorable hero, he draws closer to his tragic fate. In the beginning of the play, Oedipus tells the people of Thebes "You have your several griefs, each for himself; But my heart bears the weight of my own, and yours." This means that not only must Oedipus face his own torment at his downfall when he discovers that he is the real murderer of Laius, but he must also bear the torment of an entire group of people.

    • Length: 1025 words
  16. The Parthenon was part of an ambitious building campaign that began around 450 b.c. in Athens Greece.

    The Athenians lucked out when a marble deposit was discovered only miles away from the construction site. The second challenge faced was assembling the hundreds of skilled stone masons to work on the building. An estimated 200 stone masons were gathered from all around ancient Greece to construct the Parthenon. The builders of the time are noted for their keen attention to detail. Their measurements were so precise that gaps in the blocks of marble are less than 1/10th of a millimeter, or about the width of a human hair.

    • Length: 848 words
  17. Discuss the causes and origins of the Peloponnesian War.

    This period has been given title of The First Peloponnesian War. The Peloponnesian War is seen as a continuation of this earlier war. Thucydides, seen as the most important source from the time and other sources such as Aristophanes and Plutarch, do not refer to this period as part of the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides refers to the Peloponnesian War as the "Twenty-Seven Year War" and refers to the First Peloponnesian War (as we call it) as the "Ten-Year War" meaning he sees them as separate wars. This is probably because for 15 years after the First Peloponnesian War there was a balance of power between Athens and Sparta until the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War or as Thucydides calls it, the "Twenty-Seven Year War".

    • Length: 1345 words
  18. In this essay I will be examining the reasons why against all odds the Greeks were victorious against the mighty Persians, during the Fifth Century BC.

    In 546BC Cyrus looking to expand his empire sent envoys to Ionia, the area west of Asia Minor inhabited by Greek descendents, offering peace terms of Earth and Water. The people of Ionia were of Hellenistic descent so did not look kindly to taking orders from a King. Help was sought from their fellow Greeks the Spartans, with a reputation of being mighty, having wiped out the great Asian city of Troy in a battle a hundred years previous. At this stage in history however, Sparta refused to help the Ionians due to them being an oligarchy state, committed only to Sparta and thus preferring to protect and defend only themselves.

    • Length: 3104 words
  19. To what extent does the architecture of Rome highlight the aims of the emperors?

    However, it should be taken into account that Augustus would record a positive account of himself and so this account is no doubt bias to present Augustus as pious and honourable. Yet it can be supported by Augustus' erection of temples such as the Temple of Mars Ultor, the Pantheon and the Temple of Apollo Palatinus which according to Cassius Dio's, History, 54.29.4, was constructed after Augustus had pledged a temple to his patron god Apollo should he be granted victory over Sextus Pompeius and Mark Antony.

    • Length: 2220 words
  20. To what extent is hamartia present in the opening of Oedipus Rex?

    Romeo and Juliet mirrors this particular technique. Oedipus is told of a prophecy that he will kill his own father and sleep with his mother. In order to escape his destiny he flees. The very idea of attempting to avoid fate was a very popular subject in Greek tragedies. This is most likely, because fate played a main part in everyone's lives, and even more importantly that the God's control people's lives. However a characteristic of a prophecy is that they are almost always misunderstood by those who hear them; hence Oedipus's misunderstanding.

    • Length: 761 words
  21. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    Was Caesar's final victory of his own strategy and skills, or the failings of his opposition? Does assassination automatically mean failure as a leader? Was Caesar was justified in his actions? Especially military and how his wartime experience affected his later political career. First off approaching his military profession and subsequently then his political exploits; this allows creation of a clear comparison between his pre-war consulship and his dictatorship having explored his generalship. With all the evidence available of Caesar many interpretation are possible, as a tyrant or a benign dictator.

    • Length: 6012 words
  22. Did Kleon deserve his reputation as an uncultured and power-hungry demagogue?

    The constitution of the Athenians by pseudo-Aristotle is a key source for looking at Athenian politics. Within this source, Kleon is mentioned to have "led the people", whilst Nicias led the upper classes. He is described within this passage to have "corrupted the people more than anyone else by his violence" by shouting abusive language, and acted with ill taste, addressing the Ekklesia in a scruffy, untraditional manner, with his "garments tucked up". Being described as a Democrat, he highly contrasts with Nicias the other leader at the time, which was more of an "oligarchic" leader.

    • Length: 1783 words
  23. Giving examples describe the way in which Aristophanes tried to make his audience laugh; what, also, can you infer from The Wasps about the types of people who make up that audience?

    In a modern day audience, this wouldn't have been found that amusing, but during the rein of Aristophanes plays, this was funny and got laughs from a wide range of the audience, not just the simple minded Athenians. Also when Bdelycleon stuffs his dad back down the chimney, he cracks a joke about being the 'son of smoke'; that small play on words is still used today and would have gotten laughs from the audience. Also in the first scene, we have a small use of role reversal with Sosias impersonating Alcibiades and joking around about his lisp when talking to Xanthias.

    • Length: 826 words
  24. Peisistratus was a tyrant, yet was almost universally admired by those who knew of him. Did he do more or less than Solon to protect the interests of the ordinary people of Attica?

    Unlike Solon, Peisistratus tried to help with self-sufficiency and he did this so that the people of Greece didn't suffer in terms of food and more citizens didn't go without food and die of hunger. He did this through the Eisphoria. It was a tax that encouraged people to overproduce food therefore people didn't become victim to moneylenders and therefore they don't have to pay debts back over a lifetime. In addition to this Peisistratus built upon Solon's reform of exports. Solon allowed the export of figs, wine and olive oil, mainly, however Peisistratus encouraged exports of Black Figure ware.

    • Length: 890 words
  25. The theme of fate and tragedy in "Oedipus the King".

    First of all I will be looking to see if he deserved or could have prevented his downfall. In my opinion his downfall began not when the oracle told Jocasta that her son was going to kill his father and marry his mother. I think it was when his parents which he believed to be his real ones told him a lie instead of the truth. Another unfortunate incident was him not killing all of the guards which were with king lias.

    • Length: 517 words
"

The study of the classical world and its civilisations is a fascinating subject which will introduce you to Greek and Roman societies. You may find yourself studying mythology, archaeology, drama, literature or society and you'll be asked to investigate and evaluate sources and explore the nature of the cultures involved. In studying the ways in which these societies were organised and how their citizens behaved will give you an insight as to how they've influenced our lives, behaviours and systems.

Classics or Classical Civilisation requires you to develop skills of interpretation, evaluation and expression as well as the ability to present your answers in a concise and clear manner. To enable you to master these skills Marked by Teachers has collated a wide range of essay examples, many of which have been marked and annotated by Classics teachers with many years of experience.

A level Classics is a valuable qualification to gain and the skills you'll develop are a strong preparation for studying Classical Studies atuniversity, as well as further study in Law, Philosophy or History.

"

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Assess the leadership qualities of Lysistrata in Aristophanes 'Lysistrata'

    "In conclusion Aristophanes has shown Lysistrata's good leadership qualities such as organisation, manipulation and persuasion, her own passionate way of speaking and her ability to incite passion in others in a well rounded manner that makes her both identifiable to the other women and stand out as an independent, outwardly thinking leader. Helen Edwards Classical Civilisation Lysistrata 1"

  • Compare and Contrast the Portrayal of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon and Electra

    "In both plays we only see her through the eyes of others, she isn't actually strongly characterised. Her psychological reasons for the murder are the point and not her emotional state. Considering this, both Agamemnon and Electra reach similar conclusions concerning Clytemnestra's situation. She has ample grounds for hating her husband but no-one holds her justified in killing him in either play, "your words are just; yet in your 'justice' there remains something repellent." Electra disposes of her mother's defence in detail and leaves the audience feeling that Clytemnestra's murder of her husband really was not warranted. How different the plays are in their depiction of her character depend on how the reader chooses to interpret Clytemnestra's maternal professions; either genuine and loving or devious and selfish. Zoe Stimson"

  • To what extent does the architecture of Rome highlight the aims of the emperors?

    "In conclusion, it is clear that the architecture of Rome highlights the main aims of the vast majority of emperors of the time period studied. Almost all emperors sought to appease the people with the construction of buildings for public entertainment such as theatres of the Flavian Amphitheatre. Many also sought to present themselves as pious through the construction of religious sites or some sought to appease the masses by improving the infrastructure of Rome. However, some emperors such as Nero due to their personality or style of rule did not do as much for the people as emperors such as Titus or Claudius seeking only to glorify themselves or improve their own standard of living before others."

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