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AS and A Level: Classics

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  1. How far do you agree that Sophocles "Oedipus the King" is nothing more than a detective story? In your answer, you should consider events in the play and the themes which Sophocles explores.

    Instead, he proves to be the start of many bad things to come. Recognition in a plot means a change from ignorance to knowledge. This is very true about Oedipus' character when the recognition comes as a result of him being told, "Polybus is no kin of yours" This is the catalyst for all the events that follow and lead to his dramatic downfall. A complex plot structure includes both the reversal and recognition, like the play "Oedipus the King" does. "Oedipus the King" has a simple plot structure making it most effective and easy to understand.

    • Word count: 2682
  2. Yusuf Islam Biography

    Although his father had a Greek Orthodox background, Cat Stevens was sent to a Roman Catholic school. When he was approximately eight years of age his parents divorced, Later, his mother moved back to Sweden and took him with her, at age 17 he attended art school.

    • Word count: 206
  3. An analysis of how dikh ('justice') and its associated values are presented and translated in two passages from Sophocles: Electra. What broader issues are raised and how would these be investigated further?

    The first extract is that of the argument between Clytaemnestra and Electra (Sophocles, Translator Watling, E.F., 'Electra and other plays', pg 84-56, lines 518-543) concerning her justification for the murder of Agamemnon. In this extract we are presented with a selection of references to justice and how Clytaemnestra explains how she was right in her murder of her husband. At line 518 (Ibid.,) she complains at her portrayal as 'an unjust tyrant', presumably implying that she was not within her right or custom to kill him.

    • Word count: 1942
  4. HOW EFFECTIVE A LEADER DO YOU CONSIDER AENEAS TO BE?

    Through this, a positive sign of leadership is presented to us on his arrival "on the coast of Libya". At this point, he takes it upon himself to search for his missing men. "Aeneas climbed a rock to see if there was any trace of the storm-tossed Antheus". "Capys perhaps or the Caicus" armour." Virgil emphasizes Aeneas' desperation to find his men and his great compassion by the use of the word Perhaps. Similarly, Aeneas proves himself to be a very comforting and reassuring character to his men in times of loss. In his sufferings, he makes it his duty to fend for all his men by finding food for them.

    • Word count: 1312
  5. "Euripides is not asking us [the audience] to sympathise with Medea..."

    An example of this 'hamartia' is excessive pride, also known as the 'hubris', which overwhelms the tragic hero's conscience, hence leading him to violate or ignore a divine warning or moral law. There are reasons to both believe and deny that Medea fits Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero, or 'heroine'. Medea was a victim of her own emotions in a very difficult situation, and her surroundings/society only deteriorated that situation. One could also argue that it was her society, which put her in such a circumstance in the first place.

    • Word count: 1740
  6. Destiny & Character - Discuss in relation to the stories of Gilamesh, Oedipus the king, and The Tradegy of Sohrab and Rostam.

    I abandoned Corinth" (413). Instead of running away from his troubles, he puts the element of fate into motion. As a reckless, hot-headed youth, Oedipus ends up inflicting immortal wounds on his own father after a mere quarrel. He is obviously ignorant of the fact that the victim was his own father. Later, he successfully solves the riddle of Sphinx. Again, without knowledge, he marries the widow queen of Thebes and his very own mother, Jocasta. If he had taken the prophecy more seriously, he would have avoided conflicts or interactions with older people. Instead, he acts in a rash manner.

    • Word count: 1257
  7. Why do you think the TV. programme The Simpsons is so successful?

    The Simpson's themselves are a simple family in a small town in Middle America called Springfield. They are: Homer (loyal but stupid father), Marge (dissatisfied, trapped housewife/ mother), Bart (rebellious son), Lisa (unappreciated genius daughter), and Maggie (silent baby). The show also revolves around a number of other characters. The members of the family have their own quirks and are constantly feuding amongst themselves. The hilarious show portrays the ups and downs of the Simpson's which real families are said to relate with, to a certain to degree.

    • Word count: 3495
  8. Odysseus was a true hero he showed this through his determination and courage.

    The dictionary definition of a hero includes courage, strength and great ability. Odysseus fits the dictionary description of a hero. Two characteristics that I believe are essential to the definition of a heroic individual are determination and courage. Odysseus embodies these characteristics through out the whole story. After all the whole story is about his determination to get home; he doesn't let all the battles he has to fight along the way stop him from getting to where he wants to be. Odysseus persevered through everything the gods through at him. Imprisoned by Calypso for seven years and never lost sight of his goal, survived Poseidon's wrath, beat the Cyclops and made

    • Word count: 926
  9. Portrayal of blindness in The Outsider and Oedipus the King

    The blindness that overcomes Meursault and Oedipus prevents them from seeing and understanding the lives that they are living. In Meursault's case, he oblivious to his own absurdity, as he only comes to terms with this ideology towards the end of the novel. As a student, he had ambitions; but as he came towards the end of his studies, he realized that "none of it really mattered". At that instant, his vision became clouded, as he began to realize that he was not dissatisfied with his life.

    • Word count: 1073
  10. Discuss the ways in which the character of Oedipus in Oedipus the King conforms to the conventions of the tragic hero. In your discussion refer to how the issues explored in the play have a wider significance than the tragedy of Oedipus as an individual.

    Aristotle's definition of tragedy is still the first tuning point today. His idea of defining the form by referring to its effects on the audience is controversial - especially his idea of catharsis - the 'purification' of the emotions of those in the audience. This is the effect that leaves the audience feeling not depressed at the hero's suffering and defeat, but relieved and even inspired at the end of the play. A major feature of tragedy is the use of a tragic hero.

    • Word count: 1172
  11. The Simpsons

    The Simpsons has some of these characteristics but it does break most of them. The first difference you see straight away is that the characters are mostly yellow and this is because it was supposed to catch the eye of "channel flickers" quoted by Matt Groening. Also because it is an animation, it can be more unrealistic therefore use more hyperbole. Unlike families in traditional sitcoms such as "Leave it to Beaver"; the Simpsons family is far from perfection as shown by Homer, the unreasonably and lazy father.

    • Word count: 1915
  12. In Sophocles' Oedipus The King, King Oedipus of Thebes is confronted and strangely obsessed with the mystery of who killed Laios

    The clues involved in Oedipus' puzzle surface a dark truth about his past and the fate that he simply cannot shake the fact that he is the murderer and is indeed controlled by the Gods, not as powerful as them. When Kreon returns from Delphi, he tells Oedipus that he must, "avenge the murderers of King Laios. (l.131)" In a desperate situation to save his city, Oedipus focuses on Laios' murder, consequently beginning the play with the mystery of, "Who killed king Laios?"

    • Word count: 714
  13. 'The Genius' by Frank O'Connor

    The fact that his mother has told him "about geniuses" makes it clear that she has high ambitions for him. This is reinforced by the fact that she: "Worried herself endlessly finding answers to my questions". Miss Cooney, however, plays an important role in encouraging and 'feeding' the boy's sense of himself as someone 'special'. Although a very eccentric and even unstable woman, she recognises his intelligence and, by making her "religious books" freely available to him, seeks to plant and foster the growth of the idea that he will grow up to be a priest.

    • Word count: 1707
  14. To what extent do you regard 'The Shield Of Achilles' as characteristic of Auden's work as whole?

    that they are doing good can be as easily applicable to the modern day (i.e. the situation in Iraq) as to classical times. The timeless nature of the poem can be said to be a characteristic feature as it appears in other poems such as 'Gare du Midi': ...clutching a little case He walks out briskly to infect a city Whose terrible future may have just arrived. ('Gare Du Midi', ll.6-8) Here we are led to believe that a man is about to unleash a terrible weapon on a city and although the poem was written in December 1938, its proleptic nature allows the poem to be much more in tune with the world's present fears1.

    • Word count: 1019
  15. Comparative Essay: Metamorphosis and Oedipus

    "It was....a child of Laius' house."(Oedipus pg.58) Oedipus realizes that when he was born his mother instantly rejected him because of a prophecy. "Yes, master- They said 'twas on account of some wicked spell." (Oedipus pg.58) Jocasta sends Oedipus to be killed in order to keep her husband safe. ".... And husband, to the woman who bore him..." (Oedipus pg.38) As the years go by, Jocasta later takes in Oedipus, ironically, unaware that he is her son, and marries him. Yet strangely enough she wants him when he is grown and his true identity is not known, while when he was born, she wanted him dead.

    • Word count: 1106
  16. Compare and Contrast the characters of Hektor and Paris and draw close character analysis of both of them.

    Hektor is also the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba as he is brother to Paris. Hektor is referred to as "the mightiest warrior in the Trojan army". He is also referred to as "tall Hektor", as "beloved of Zeus" and as "the slayer of men". Although these references are insightful, they are vague. To understand these characters true personalities we must look closer at the text and the context in which they are present in. Paris's character is apparent and definable from the context in book three alone. We learn a lot about him and how he is perceived, not just by his family, but also his people.

    • Word count: 2648
  17. Beowulf - Main Ideas and Themes

    Another example of fate is when Beowulf says "Fate will unwind as it must!" In the day of Beowulf people believed that the future could not be prevented or changed. They believed that the outcome was not effected by the present. That is the reason that Beowulf faced Grendel without a weapon. He believed, that if his destiny was to die in the battle against Grendel, a sword would not protect him. On the other hand he trusted, that if his was to defeat Grendel, a sword would not help him.

    • Word count: 1566
  18. Pick out two ways in which Plato's ideas might be described as totalitarian. Explain in which way they might be totalitarian. Do you think that they are in fact totalitarian? Argue for your view carefully with reference to both Crito and The Republic

    This requires that he first describe justice on the scale of the "ideal state". According to "Crito" and "The Republic", Plato's ideas can be count as totalitarianism. Both texts are refer to accepting the state rules and esteem to the rulers. To this end, I will prove my argument by giving brief information about totalitarianism and criticize excerpts from "Crito" and "The Republic" Totalitarianism can be defined as the political power which is concentrated in one bloc, and the ruled have no alternative. "A totalitarian government seeks to control not only all economic and political matters but rhe attitudes, values, and beliefs of its Telemez 2 population, erasing the distinction between state and society.

    • Word count: 1530
  19. Freud vs. Sophocles

    It is crucial to first identify the symbolic representations of Freudian elements and ideas in '"'Oedipus the King'"'. One of the reasons why Freud analyzes dreams instead of other psychical activities is that dreams are unaffected by the '"'much-abused privilege of conscious activity, wherever it plays a part, [that conceals] every other activity from our eyes'"' (652). For Sophocles, the dream case-study in '"'Oedipus the King'"' is the plague. Just as Freud follows the thought processes within each dream, the people of Thebes try to interpret the dream-thoughts through the dream-content. The plague represents the dream-content, and the gods correspond to the unconscious, to which the Thebans reach out: '"'Great welcome voice of Zeus, what do you bring?

    • Word count: 1809
  20. Do You Know "Achilles' Heel"?-- Analyzing the Relationship between Greek Myths and English Language

    The water washed every part of his body expect the heel in his mother's hand. It was precisely at his vulnerable point that Achilles was later killed in Trojan battle. Greek mythology is a set of legends about the gods, heroes, natural events and universal history of Hellenic civilization. The myths of Greece mostly come from Hellenic literature such as Homer's Iliad, Hesiod's Theogony and Sophocles' drama. From the Renaissance to now, Greek Myths is one of their required courses when the English people receive classical education. These stories and myths are so enjoyable that they impress themselves upon the English.

    • Word count: 2047
  21. The Effects of Pride and Power

    the people of Thebes must subject to him, "no man questions your power to rule the land" (line 56), says a priest. Oedipus attained this power by his acts in relieving the city of Thebes from a horrible monster, the sphinx, by solving her riddle, and there by saving the city from the hideous monster that was terrorizing them. This power of the throne for Oedipus consisted of "wealth, power, craft of statesmanship! / Kingly position, everywhere admired"(line 367-8), as stated by Oedipus.

    • Word count: 1940
  22. Examine and compare the motives and actions of Orestes and Electra. To what extent will an Athenian audience admire and approve of them?

    Pg 76. This shows Aegisthus' lack of respect for Agamemnon, the tradition of the Greeks and the Gods. As a result of the situation she denies herself of the privileges and luxuries of being a princess because she doesn't want to live of f the means of her worst enemies. She describes herself as 'an alien slave, a menial...dressed like a slattern in coarse and ugly garments'. The death of her Father and the exile of her brother, Orestes makes her mourn helplessly and continuously, as she cannot do anything.

    • Word count: 1143
  23. The Portrayal of Lysistrata in 'Lysistrata'

    Firstly Lysistrata is portrayed as a woman of great organisation and outward thinking thus making her a great leader. She has not only at the beginning of the play organised a meeting to discuss her plans for peace but show outward thinking by inviting not just Athenian women to but delegates of women from all Greek states-"The whole future of the country [here the text implies that Greece is all one country] rests with us." This is further mirrored in the great organisation and intelligence in the layout of her plan. She knows that it may not be enough to merely go on a sex strike and that for peace to be obtained all Athens war funding contained in the Acropolis must be seized.

    • Word count: 1132
  24. Assess the leadership qualities of Lysistrata in Aristophanes 'Lysistrata'

    Firstly the play opens with an exchange between Lysistrata and Calonice. We learn from their exchange that Lysistrata has organised a meeting to discuss her plans for peace. Lysistrata here shows great leadership in the form of organisation and outward thinking. She has not only organised a meeting but shows outward thinking by inviting not just Athenian women to such a meeting but delegates of women from all Greek states- "The whole future of the country [here the text implies that Greece is all one country] rests with us."

    • Word count: 867
  25. Compare and Contrast the Portrayal of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon and Electra

    Upon learning that she had sent her daughter to her death due to the deceit of her husband, Clytemnestra was grieved and enraged beyond measure and gave her heart over to the avengement of her daughter. The very strong reaction Clytemnestra has to Iphigenia's death suggests a fervent maternal love for the daughter she lost. The more feminist modern audience can sympathise with this maternal tie and understand the fire of vengeance that was lighted in Clytemnestra as part of the grieving process.

    • Word count: 1818

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