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AS and A Level: Classics

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  1. 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.

    • Word count: 832
  2. 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.

    • Word count: 761
  3. 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.

    • Word count: 826
  4. 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.

    • Word count: 890
  5. 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.

    • Word count: 517
  6. Medea betrayed her father to help Jason capture the Golden Fleece. Doing so was a great sacrifice. She doomed herself to forever being a foreigner at a time in history when being foreign could be a very dangerous thing.

    (1) Though Medea has lived in Corinth for a while, she is still seen as an outsider. The fact that she has a Greek husband and has given him sons does little to stem the prejudice against her. Could this distrust on the part of the Greeks contribute to her rage? Nurse: she glares with a bull-mad glaze (Or is it a lioness with her whelps) When anyone comes or speaks of helps. (29) Greeks were of the opinion that all Asians, like Medea, were wild and emotional, especially the Persians, who they'd once defeated in war. Comments like this reflect this stereotype. It's almost like the Nurse is saying, "Well, you know how those people are."

    • Word count: 747
  7. What were the issues facing sculptors of metopes? How successfully did the sculptors of the metopes at Olympia address these issues?

    Although, as a sculptor, there would have been a large amount of scope for imaginative designs (making scale and figure involvement somewhat easier), actually making these metopes relevant and clear would have been an incredibly challenging task. The sculptors of these metopes at Olympia successfully addressed this particular issue by sometimes sculpting a scene either before or after the labour had been done, not only to make the whole creation of that metope easier for the sculptor, but this time composition helps us to identify which labour it is more efficiently.

    • Word count: 757
  8. "Achilles and Hector have more in common with each other than they do with their own people." Compare and contrast these Homeric Heroes.

    Hector becomes spiteful, "Don't put such notions in people's heads, you ignorant fool." Such words as these suggest a huge change in Hectors tone. From the Iliad we know that Hector is a caring and loving man - Book 6. However, we see here that Hectors pride gets the better of him, snapping at his fellow comrade in front of a whole Trojan assembly, all because he doesn't want to look weak as a warrior and give up resulting in a lack of Kelos. Achilles shows his suffering throughout the Iliad as he prolongs his sulk and anger.

    • Word count: 944
  9. What were the problems facing architects when designing the layout of buildings on the Acropolis?

    The gateway was 'refurbished' after the Persian wars under the watchful eye of Phidas and its architect Mnesicles. There had previously been another building before the Persian wars and this had to be considered when designing the Propylaia. To overcome the problem of the steep gradient of the hill the Propylaia was designed over two levels. This ensured that roof was not going to run into the floor, therefore making it easier for people to pass through. Another important design feature of the Propylaia is the ramp which runs through the middle. This provided safe and easy access for the many animals that passed through the gateway for sacrifice at the many events that occurred through out the Athenian calendar.

    • Word count: 963
  10. Exekias and the Amasis painter are renowned artists of their time, with well known pieces such as Ajax and Achilles playing a game and Dionysus sailing (both by Exekias) and the weavers, wedding procession and Dionysus and the two maenads (all by the Amas

    The space has been well filled by using all the elements of this process. Strands of wool hanging from their hands fill the gaps. The Amasis Painter has made them more aesthetically pleasing by making them wavy, it also makes it more realistic. Although Exekias shows mythological scenes there are some everyday activities, for example Achilles and Ajax playing a game (black figure amphora). Even though Achilles and Ajax are great warriors they are playing a simple game. Exekias has paid attention to every single detail.

    • Word count: 941
  11. Augustus' foreign policy

    Indeed, the military status of Augustus at 23 BC is the same he had at 31 BC, but the important difference was in the image it created. Now, Caesar's heir was more than everything a supervisor of the order and protector of the republic. Having such responsibility he decided to strengthen the existing borders of the Empire before expanding them. Evidence for this is Augustus saying in Res Gestae that he stationed more than 300,000 soldiers in the provinces as a way to protect the Empire against dangers.

    • Word count: 715
  12. The republic under Augustus

    In Suetonius 28 we read that Augustus was afraid that dividing the power would jeopardize the national security. Truly, with 500 000 soldiers Rome had too many ambitious generals with too little wars to fight and each of them could become the next Sulla or Marius. Hence is the decision of Augustus to reduce the troops to 300,000 (Res Gestae 3) and therefore get rid of people with ambiguous loyalty. The First Settlement from 27 BC gave Augustus more powers than he was supposed to hold - proconsular power in an extended province and 10 years of consulship.

    • Word count: 915
  13. Chem Lab Report (How much energy can we get from margarine)

    to enable the burning wick to heat up the can of water directly. The wick should be positioned as to minimize heat loss to surroundings and to ensure uninterrupted burning. 8.> Stir the water gently with the thermometer. When the temperature of the water rises by about 10 - 15?, take the final temperature and at once blow out the flame. 9.> Reweigh the bottle cap and remaining contents when cool. 10.> (Optional) Some other groups of students may perform the experiment with low fat margarine or slimmers' spread.

    • Word count: 994
  14. A Contemporary Comparison of the Rules of Etiquettes in Nonverbal Communication

    In some countries, it is expected for people to stand close to one another, while large private space is preferred in others. Argentineans are generally very sociable and they tend to stand close to one another when speaking. Likewise, Chinese people generally feel comfortable to stand in close proximity to one another. In an interview, Dr. Song, who had resided in China for 30 years, said that "the Chinese are very conscientious of politeness. Standing apart in a conversation is taken by them as an avoidance of directness."

    • Word count: 631
  15. 5 people you meet in heaven

    He taught Eddie to look at a story from two points of veiw, he was stunned. He taught Eddie that every life is connected, that when one dies, another grows. That birth and death are part of a whole. The next person Eddie encounters in heaven is his captain, his commanding officer in the war. Eddie and his captain were together in the war for a very long time. They had been through alot together in the war, and Eddie had looked up to him greatly. He had soon learned that the captain had died trying to protect his soldiers, Eddie was devastated. He talked to Eddie about sacrifice.

    • Word count: 567
  16. Conflicting Values between Phaedra and the Nurse in Euripides's Hippolytus

    It can be argued that their values differ or alternatively that the Nurse supports the same social values, except to a lesser extent and considers that these do not apply to love. Yet, both women share the same values which respect to fate and the divine intervention of gods in mortal's lives. Phaedra mentions that she was '' failing to win victory over Cypris '' this indicates she is aware that she cannot overcome her fate or the god's wishes , so she settles to commit suicide.

    • Word count: 701
  17. Throughout Aeschyluss play, Oresteia, the theme of justice arises in the form of revenge. Clytemnestra proves this arising theme by murdering her husband, Agamemnon, to avenge her daughters sacrifice.

    Agamemnon's decision of sacrificing his daughter, Iphigenia is justified by many politically related reasons. Agamemnon knows that in order to be protected by the gods on his journey to war he has to sacrifice his virgin daughter. Agamemnon asks himself, "should I desert the fleet and fail my allies? / sacrifice stops the storm, the blood of a virgin must be spilled..." (11). Agamemnon wants his fleet to be out of harm's way on their war journey, and also wants be seen as a powerful king, with a mighty army that reveals a good ally.

    • Word count: 958
  18. How does Homer make the actual description of the storm exciting?

    But when the Trojan heroes reach the place the horror is even bigger than what we are ready for. Only the first sentence contains more than enough to see the high seriousness of the situation. Odysseus' men are "wailing in terror" i.e. all the braveness and manhood are gone and they look more like women or babies. But all this seems to be quite logical when we read the effective description of Charybdis that Homer uses. Adjectives such as "awesome", "fearful" and "dreadful" gives the reader the impression that the ship is doomed to disappear forever. Moreover, Charybdis does not just throw away the water but it "vomits it" and it "rains down" - verbs showing how massive and powerful the whirlpool is.

    • Word count: 606
  19. Compare the hero of a Greek tragedy with the hero of Dantes Divine Comedy, especially in terms of how they acquire self-knowledge

    On the contrary, in Canto 1 of the Inferno in the Divine Comedy, the author/the protagonist Dante gets lost in the forest of darkness, a symbol of human vice. He is in the dark and perplexed at who he is. Comparing with Oedipus the Greek hero who daringly does his will (he believes human intelligence can compete with God), Dante the Christian hero rather hesitates about himself and thus follows the guide Virgil.

    • Word count: 409
  20. Discuss the Greek concept of hero and Roman concept of hero with evidence from the Odyssey and the Aeneid.

    We can see the evidence in the two works. On the one hand, in the Odyssey, Odysseus constitutes the standard Greek values of heroism: individualism.

    • Word count: 327
  21. Oedipus The King Summary

    Later on the shepherd thinks about Oedipus and cant cope that he has done what he has been asked. So the Sheppard goes back up and saves Oedipus. While talking to another Sheppard, the Sheppard finds out that King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth were wanting a child but couldn't have one. So the shephard tells the shepard from Corinth his situation. The shephard takes Oedipus to Corinth and gives him to Polybus and Merope.

    • Word count: 605
  22. Why might excessive pride be taken as a heroic characteristic in Aeschylus Prometheus Bound?

    Therefore, his actions are viewed as not only excessive pride to the god but also heroic feature to men. On the one hand, we know that in ancient world, the hero out of pride usually tends to be against the superior tyrannical authority; his rebellion or even merely over-confidence leads to his downfall.

    • Word count: 338
  23. Analysis of Chlorine in Commercial Bleaching Solutions

    Label the flask. h. Wash a burette with distilled water and then with standard sodium hypochlorite solution. i. Pour the sodium hypochlorite solution into the burette and ensure the tip of burette is filled. j. Record the initial burette reading. k. Pipette 25.0 cm3 of the diluted bleach into a conical flask. l. Add 10 cm3 of KI solution and 10 cm3 of 1 M sulphuric acid into the flask. m. Run the solution from the burette into the conical flask, swirling the flask all the time.

    • Word count: 832
  24. Don Quixote

    This character is actually mentally sound and he is a character who was built by the author, as a way of portraying the Spanish society in the era of sixteenth century. The text is full of quaint humor, and the author uses this in advancing his plot and the themes, which on the other hand comes out from Don Quixote. Don Quixote depicts renaissance in reality and tries to satirize the middle ages chivalric traditions by depicting them as absurd and archaic.

    • Word count: 921
  25. Beowulf, the title character of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, is a classic epic hero, a mythological or legendary figure, a brave, self-sacrificing, illustrious warrior and king

    Strength and physical appearance are essential to the Anglo-Saxon warrior. Beowulf is described as the one "with the strength of thirty in the grip of each hand" (1188), and when he first arrives in the land of the Danes, the coastguard sees the mighty hero and says, "Nor have I seen a mightier man- at- arms on this earth than the one standing here" (1185). He is strong enough to kill the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing the Danes for twelve years, with his bare hands by ripping off his arm.

    • Word count: 727

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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