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University Degree: Classical Studies

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  1. What is the main contribution made by the Chorus in The Burial at Thebes? Answer with specific references to the text of the play.

    They are celebrating the victory in Battle and praising the soldiers that defended their city and thanking the gods for their protection, these already start to link the some of the key themes in the play - Loyalty, Power and the Gods. This function of the chorus helps to strengthen Creons position and helps give further emphasis to one of the key themes in the play of Power. At this point in the play, the Chorus are very much seen as Creons people.

    • Word count: 1152
  2. Does Classical Mythology reflect a disposition to explore the realities of the world or a desire to escape from them?

    Myths provide a set of principles by which to live your life. They present and illustrate punishments that can be a deterrent to living a 'bad' life; they teach morality and the consequences of hubris. They also enlighten their understanding of what happened to them after death. Greek religion is a vast and complex subject that developed over hundreds of years and was moulded by many diverse influences, especially those of their Indo-European descendants and of the Minoan-Mycenaeans. Myths were used alongside Religious Mystery rites and imagery to 'manifest their religious experiences' (Vernant 1989).

    • Word count: 2216
  3. In the Epic, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want came from the death of his beloved friend, Enkidu, which is the major turning point in the story.

    At first this terrifies him about death and makes him search for immortality even more, but will develop by the end of the story. Gilgamesh's response to Enkidu's death with this quote shows that from the death of his friend he is grieving and has a sense of absence. In his grief it seems as if a part of him wants to go with Enkidu as well and to cling onto the essence of what once a best friend. Something else also happens to Gilgamesh, as for the first time, he understands-not just an idea-that he will die, the definitive moment that marks him as a human.

    • Word count: 1401
  4. How does Ovid weave together the different myths in Book 6 of Metamorphoses into a unified narrative?

    When humans are in competition with gods and goddesses the outcome is never a positive one for Ovid's characters. The two tapestries show opposing views of the Gods and the world around them; Arachne's shows the Gods bad behaviour how she perceives them, how they deceive, abduct and rape humans (102-28), whereas Minerva's shows the Gods how she visualizes them, as triumphant, glorious and punishing humans who challenge them (69-101). The tapestries are a representation of raw material being woven together to create a story, they are a reflection on Ovid's skills as a poet as well as being a metamorphoses.

    • Word count: 2130
  5. The Romans had a primarily utilitarian approach to myth Do you agree with this statement?

    In order to help unify his people, wherever they may reside in the empire, Augustus drew upon myths, especially the foundation myths of Rome, to give the people of Rome a sense of commonality. Augustus started his reign of Rome by changing his name from Octavian to Augustus. As he had been adopted by the assassinated ruler Julius Caesar, Augustus had to tread carefully; he needed to be accepted as a legitimate leader and seen as part of the ruling family, but he also needed to distance himself enough so that he was not tarnished with Caesar's reputation (Armstrong 2008).

    • Word count: 2172
  6. What is the role of the nurse in different versions of the Hippolytus myth?

    it is her meddling that ultimately brings about the death of Hippolytus. It has been proposed that in Euripides' first version of Hippolytus, the nurse played the role of dissuader to a more sexual and overt Phaedra. Whilst in the version that survives today, she starts in this role but switches to the role of corrupter (McDermott 2000). McDermott presents the theory that by having the nurse change her mind and behaviour; it is actually representative of Euripides changing the earlier version of Hippolytus to one that the Athenian audiences would have found more acceptable.

    • Word count: 1891
  7. Free essay

    Could a female be as heroic as a male character in Greek tragedy?

    This order of things at the very least ensured stability of both the polis and oikos. Unsurprisingly, as within society itself, women within literature were often defined by the roles expected of her, with dire consequences should she ever reject these roles. Clytemnestra is perhaps one of the most infamous female characters throughout Greek tragedy. Her status in Agamemnon as villainess might at first glance be justified - she abandons her feminine role of wife and mother and violently slays her husband and his young concubine, apparently out of jealousy.

    • Word count: 3002
  8. What were the roles, privileges and rights of women in both public and private live in Roman Egypt?

    II. 35) Of course, while we cannot take this passage as a literal description, it does provide us with a mindset of how gender roles in Egypt were perceived prior to Roman occupation. A Roman living in the late Republic might too have found Herodotus' description not so outlandish were he exposed to the incessant propaganda campaigns against the country initiated by Octavian as he was consolidating his powers in the Empire. The fact that Egypt was ruled by a queen during Octavian's rise to power is highly significant - it was not only her nationality as an Egyptian

    • Word count: 3635
  9. In what ways did the presence of the Emperor transform the powers and responsibilities of the Roman senate?

    Roman government at this time consisted of various factions. The magistracies - that is, the executive branch of government - were made up of elected members within various ranks; it was the magistrates that were responsible for passing an assortment of laws. For example, those who held the title of Quaestor were primarily responsible for finance and administration, whereas those who became elected as Consul were chief military and civil magistrates and were responsible for convening the senate. It is important to note the enormous prestige associated with the higher ranks of magistracies.

    • Word count: 2481
  10. How would an Epicurean respond to Callicles argument (in Platos Gorgias) on pleasure?

    (491e) Callicles, then, sees temperance as a negative human trait, characteristic of those who are both unwise and inferior. For Epicurus, asserting one's authority over those who are fundamentally 'weak' is to be avoided - Callicles, here, is setting himself up for a fall. He continues: 'For how can a man be happy if he is a slave to anybody at all? No, natural fairness and justice, I tell you now quite frankly, is this-that he who would live rightly should let his desires be as strong as possible and not chasten them, and should be able to minister to them when they are at their height by reason of his manliness and intelligence, and satisfy each appetite in turn with what it desires.'

    • Word count: 3344
  11. What do the literary and historical texts tell us about Roman attitudes towards Egypt?

    It was only a few years after the very creation of the Triumvirate that Mark Antony had married the wealthy and ambitious Cleopatra and was living openly with her in Egypt - abandoning his wife in Rome. Octavian, in the meantime, seized the opportunity to push forward his own image as a modest and unassuming figurehead of the Republic, emphasising the stark contrast between himself and Mark Antony in the opulent east. Octavian had won the sympathies of the Roman people by exposing Antony as a traitor to Rome and as someone who now regarded himself as an Egyptian.

    • Word count: 3442
  12. The Power of Fate in Aeneas Journey. Throughout Virgils Aeneid fate directs the protagonist and hero, Aeneas, via the gods and goddesses.

    Even Juno, the goddess set against Aeneas and the Trojans, cannot prevent him from Fate. Each Divine intervention pushes Aeneas in a different direction; either setting obstacles, putting him back on his path, or getting him out of a situation that could get him killed. For instance, when the Trojans and Latins are preparing to fight, Venus becomes concerned and intercedes: "now I do come, kneeling before the godhead I adore, begging weapons for my Aeneas, a mother for her son!" (254). Venus uses her powers to aid Aeneas and his men because otherwise they would be killed.

    • Word count: 1923
  13. Language Features in English Advertisements

    In his comment, he asserted advertisement is a literary form and the copywriting process is the delightful and salubrious exercise for the mind. We live in a world of advertising. As potential consumers, we are endlessly bombarded with all kinds of product or service information from various media including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, posters and Internet, etc. Advertising provides a valuable service to society and its members, because it defines the meaning and the role of products, services, and institutions for consumers.

    • Word count: 5768
  14. Oedipus and Freud. In exploring Sophocles tragedy, Freud creates his own myth expanding on this through his theory that the origins of the legend of Oedipus lie in primeval dream-material.

    Consequently, Freud establishes that the impact of the Oedipus myth on contemporary audiences lies in the essential 'nature' of the exemplification of this contrast between free will and predestination. For Freud the force of the drama lies with the interpretation of its signifiers and the degree of empathy that Oedipus's fate evokes. The destiny of King Oedipus, Freud argues, 'moves us only because it might have been ours'. He draws on the classical analogy to create kudos for his argument, and uses it to explore psychoanalysis, the status of sex in society and our most fundamental relationships.

    • Word count: 1095
  15. 4.Universal truths? Discuss the role of Greek myth in modern theory.

    of things and is thus able to master things and manipulate them at will; this is not an 'external", 'abstract' knowledge, but a knowledge that one 'lives' ritually, either by reciting the myth ceremonially, or by carrying out the ritual for which it serves as justification; -that in one way or another one 'lives' the myth, gripped by the sacred, exalting power of the events one is rememorializing and reactualizing.3 The re-visioning of myth gave it more authority, allowing it to hold a deeper truth of reality than that noted in the work of Max Muller, whose essay, "Comparative Mythology,"

    • Word count: 3063
  16. Irish Immigration

    This first group, known as Scots-Irish, spread over the country according to their preference for land. Their decentralization resulted in the weakening of their culture. During the Second Wave of Immigration to America in the 1800's, internal factors once again led the Irish to leave their homeland, thus America seemed to be the promising land: gold was discovered, high demand for workers, immigration encouraged by the American government and high wages.

    • Word count: 546
  17. Analysis on Tesss Tragedy Through

    In his works, Hardy described miserable life of the lower-class people, especially the peasant women, as well as the world-shaking changes in the poverty- stricken rural area brought by the invasion of capitalism, at the mean time; he mercilessly exposed the hypocrisy of bourgeois ethic moral, law and religion, and expressed the deep sympathy towards the poor, but most of his works are penetrated with pessimistic fatalism. Tess of the d'Urbervilles is publically considered as one the most outstanding masterpieces of Hardy, which tells a miserable life of a na�ve, beautiful and brave girl and it is a concentration of Hardy's fatalism.

    • Word count: 3003
  18. Alcestis. In Euripides play, Alcestis, the chorus serves as a way to observe and comment on progression of the characters, forward the action of the play, and evoke sympathy for the hero in the play. Euripides uses the chorus as the most important elem

    Although they believe he is dignified, they often question his actions. For example, when Herakles comes to Ademtos' house he welcomes him in. The Chorus questions the gesture, "Your wife not dead an hour, and you can bear the thought of entertaining guests?" (Euripides 61). The Chorus, along with the viewer, does not understand how such a seemingly dedicated husband can stand the thought of having a visitor in his home when he is mourning. In this scene, the Chorus also questions Admetos for lying to his guest by not informing Herakles his wife has died.

    • Word count: 1087
  19. School plays a more important role than the family in shaping one's personality. Discuss.

    It can be said that personal growth mainly depends on interaction with other people, due to the fact that everyone is a part of society. What is more, the average child spends as many as eight hours a day in school. Eight hours at school in contact with different people and various points of view starts up the process of doubt in what was thought previously and what was told by the parents. This way a child starts to think on its own and wonder about itself and others.

    • Word count: 709
  20. Illustrate the case for reading the poem as (in part) a study in becoming Roman

    By book XII, that goal is within clear sight. The fact that the all-powerful father of the gods programmatically and teleologically tells of such future greatness so early in the poem gives the reader no option but to focus subsequently on how Aeneas achieves this fated goal. Vergil tends not to involve the gods as directly in the narrative of human affairs as does Homer, but uses them to great effect symbolically and to give such weighty pronouncements. Another programmatic feature of the first book involves its emphasis on kingship: to give just two examples, at line 265 we are told, by Jupiter, that Aeneas will reign over Latium and he is soon after described as king of the fugitive Trojans by Ilioneus (544).

    • Word count: 2133
  21. Commentaries on Catullus' Poetry (Poems 72 & 42)

    He uses, in the poem, two striking, and contrasting, similes to try to understand his love for Lesbia. He loved her (note the past tense) as a common might love his girlfriend (72.3), but in addition to that he loved her also as a father might his sons and sons-in-law (72.4). This is touching because it obviously implies that the latter relationship might be closer, with more of a connection, than the former, and, most importantly, that Lesbia was as dear to him as a son would have been, his own flesh and blood.

    • Word count: 2103
  22. Odyssey Commentaries (Books 2 & 6)

    Only Nausika� stood firm as he, a horrible sight, approached. Deciding not grasp her knees in his near nakedness, he nevertheless supplicates her verbally with his characteristic charm. Beginning by eloquently emphasising her beauty, even suggesting (perhaps flirtatiously) the happiness that this will bring to her future husband, Odysseus concludes his 'wooing' with an outline of his troubles and needs. The most striking theme of this passage seems to be, ironically, the most ambiguous: that is marriage or entanglement, specifically the 'many hints at a possible (yet impossible) marriage of Odysseus to Nausika�'3.

    • Word count: 2521
  23. Free essay

    What kind of images of himself does Catullus wish to project in his poems? How does he try to persuade us to accept them?

    Moreover, he alludes to the originality of his work, when describing it as a "neat new booklet". Through these techniques, Catullus manages to subtly show us the virtues of his work. The poem is addressed to the poet Cornelius Nepos, which is apt because his work (like Catullus') is not only learned, concise and highly worked, but he is also a Transpadane. By dedicating this introductory poem to Nepos, he, therefore, implies that he is proud of his provincial roots, but also acknowledges the wealth of literary talent that the region had produced, in doing so again indirectly complimenting his own work.

    • Word count: 1856
  24. What, if anything, is particularly Athenian about Greek tragedy?

    For example, it has been estimated that the theatre of Dionysus at Athens may have held around 12,000 people. There is no doubt that such performances would have had a monumental impact not only on Athenian citizens but also on foreigners invited to the polis for the festival, often engaging too in diplomatic meetings. Such a competitive aspect drew the crowds not only to tragedy but to the city of Athens itself. As I have briefly mentioned, tragedy in the fifth-century (the period during which most of our attested plays were written) was inexorably linked with the Great Dionysia festival, named such in religious reverence to the god Dionysus.

    • Word count: 2072
  25. The analysis of pregnancy in Pietro the Fool and Peruonto

    Both in "Pietro the Fool" and in "Peruonto", the protagonists are granted the power to make any wish come true - in the first case because he has found a magic tuna fish, and in the second case through the power of three fairies. With this power in their hands, both of these characters, true to their titles of fools and "blockheads" (106) wish merely, and solely out of spite, for the young Princesses of their land to become pregnant.

    • Word count: 1052

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