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University Degree: Classical Studies

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  1. What attitudes towards the Roman games did the ancient writers express? How would you account for the differences and similarities between these attitudes? Answer in no more than 900 words.

    numbered entrances/exits for the 50,000 spectators and also offered routes to the seating areas via passageways and staircases. The staircases were sequenced to keep spectators moving and both the staircases and passageways were made wide in order to prevent congestion. The arcades provide foyer space for the people to mill around. (DVD1, Track 5) Turning now to the symbolic meaning of the Colosseum, its sheer size and scale suggests it was built to impress the viewing public, yet it does so without being forbidding due to the decorative orders of the fa�ade. The emperor Vespasian wanted to symbolise his wealth, power and generosity to the citizens - the spectators for whom the Colosseum was built.

    • Word count: 1462
  2. For what purposes does Virgil use the supernatural in Book 3 of the Aeneid?

    Rather than indicating possibilities of the doomed nature of this land, Virgil goes on to use Polydorus' supernatural speech as a means of confirming it. This is done in the narration of Polydorus' past experience on the land. Virgil, through this supernatural, gives information about the fall of troy. "He was losing faith in the arms of Troy and saw his city surrounded by besiegers". Also, in Polydorus' speech is the theme of hospitality, which is violated as it leads to the death of Polydorus.

    • Word count: 1324
  3. Leadership in the Aeneid and Antigone.

    The first of these qualities, courage, deals with a person's ability to stand up to danger or trying circumstances. While courage finds its most prominent display on the battlefield, facing up to difficult leadership decisions can also be a method of showing courage. Honor, a key part of ar�te, can be obtained by honoring the gods, thus staying on their favorable side. By serving one's community and state, one may also earn honor through either humble or glorified service. Virtue, perhaps the most interesting of the ar�te qualifications, has nothing to do with the modern definition of virtue which one might compare to morality, but rather involves looking out for the best interest of one's state.

    • Word count: 2378
  4. AntigoneDiscuss and analyse the themes which arise in Sophocles' Antigone

    Pride and its effects are central to the play of Antigone. It is a trait despised by the gods, who bring suffering to the proud, but in the Greek mind, pride is also an inextricable part of greatness. Pride is a multifaceted concept in Greek tragedy. Both Antigone and Creon are extremely proud making it impossible for either to back down as the Chorus points out concerning Antigone: "Not to give way when everything's against her." Antigone's dual sense of pride and stubbornness fuels her personal reactions. Her belief that her brother deserves a proper burial seems to transcend logic and directly counter both temporal and divine authority.

    • Word count: 2999
  5. What is a kletic poem? What types of relationships between humans and deities do these poems define? A kletic poem is one that

    Though Sappho also capitalizes the "L", she describes love as an abstract being, a "creature" with no human characteristics. She also describes the creature as being bittersweet, illustrating how love can be both pleasurable and painful. When we think of war, we think of everything else that relates to it. Most if not all the metaphors which are used in poetry concerning war are those related objects or situations. Mimnermus in his sixth poem writes, "Not such was the might and manly spirit of that man...with him Pallas Athena never found fault at all, nor with the keen-edge might of his heart, when through the front lines he used to rush in war's bloody combat...for no man was better and braver than that one, when he moved like the rays of the sun."

    • Word count: 3471
  6. Greek tragedies often establish free will and fate as the driving forces of the conflict. In Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles,

    His learning of his past leads to his downfall and the outcome of his life. Oedipus was born to king Laius and queen Jacosta. Upon his birth the king is informed by an oracle that their son is going to grow up and murder his father and marry his mother. To protect himself and his wife, the king sends him away to be killed. However, Oedipus is saved by a shepherd and brought to the home of a married couple, who raises him as their own. Years later, while traveling through the countryside, Oedipus is confronted by a man that he ultimately kills.

    • Word count: 1053
  7. The Island is indeed an actor's play, for acting is its central metaphor and idea: acting as a means for the acting out of one

    With the blast of a second whistle, the transfer of sand concludes and a new mime commences. This time John and Winston are handcuffed, joined at the ankles, and forced to run in tandem. A subhuman race is portrayed, "They start to run ... John mumbling a prayer, Winston muttering a rhythm for their three-legged run" Rather than reducing them to despair or turning them into tortured animals, it serves to evoke the very things that raise men above bestiality manifested in John's prayer and manifested in Winston's creating a rhythm so that the two men may with dignity run in unison.

    • Word count: 1834
  8. A comment on the authors approach to historical writing as demonstrated by Thucydides (Thucydides, 'History of the Peloponnesian War', Book 6, chapter 15 (pp.418-19) and an analysis of the historical problems raised in this passage.

    The final line of the chapter sets the scene for a speech by Alcibiades to explain why he is best suited for the leadership of the Sicilian expedition. Thucydides makes several judgements about Alcibiades, which though not supported by evidence do damage his character and perhaps play on the hubris nature of his person. Like one of the great warriors of the 'Golden Age', Alcibiades conduct in war is described as excellent but his general character is flawed. This positive nature of his character may have something to do with Thucydides being a general in the same conflict, perhaps even

    • Word count: 2109
  9. Evaluate whether Antigone of Sophocles is more a political, or a psychological drama.

    Thus, leaving Creon to live a life of misery because of his blind heart. A political drama can be defined as a play, film, or television programme that has a political component. This can reflect one of two things; the first being the political opinion of the author, and the second being a description of political events. On the other hand, a psychological drama can be defined as a piece of drama, as mentioned in the forms before, that contains elements relating to psychology, and that may have risen from the mind or emotions of the protagonist within the play.

    • Word count: 1548
  10. Is there a "Universal Code of Morality"?

    Voltaire believed "there is but one morality as there is but one geometry". However, one believes that a universal code for morality can barely exist. Moral codes cannot be distinguished from codes put by religion, cultural differences or political interests. Therefore, it will be very difficult to find a universal code that will unite all the ideas, beliefs and principles of all the groups or societies around the world. It is more realistic to believe that morality is based on the beliefs of a group or society, which disagrees with what Voltaire believes.

    • Word count: 1961
  11. "In Oedipus Tyranus, Oedipus is destroyed by his own flawed character." Asses this statement.

    When his parentage was brought into doubt by a guest in his adoptive parent's house, the assurance of his parents would not satisfy him. When the Oracle at Delphi prophesized his future, Oedipus fled what he believed to be his native home to save himself and his family the horror of his destiny. By all appearances, Oedipus is a character decided on controlling his own destiny using the formidable rational capacities afforded to him. His subsequent rescue of Thebes from the plague of the Sphinx is indicative of both his capacity to understand the nature of man, but later points to his lack of understanding of himself.

    • Word count: 1250
  12. Oedipus - Write an analysis of the themes explored in Episode 2.

    This is a major theme in the sense that, with the help of Jocasta's panicking and continual reassurances, it ignites Oedipus' own suspicions about himself, starting his arduous downward spiral. Although the audience is well aware of Oedipus' fate, Sophocles continues on using Jocasta as a tool to deny it. Through her constant reassurances to Oedipus, and disregard to the God's claiming "so much for prophecy" - this blasphemous act shows just how much Jocasta is willing to defend her husband...

    • Word count: 1070
  13. Review of "Antigone," by Sophocles.

    In the opening scene, Antigone tells her sister Ismene of her plan to bury their brother Polynices. Aware of the law forbidding this, Ismene refuses to collaborate with Antigone, trying to convince her sister to abandon the notion. However Antigone remains persistent, saying, "even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory" (Sophocles 63.86). Antigone knew that the violation of this decree was only punishable by death, but she had a strong belief that death in the name of such a cause would somehow immortalize her.

    • Word count: 1296
  14. Jean Anouilhs' play Antigone - Analysis of Major Themes.

    The wine's twice the price there" (Anouilh 28). This suggests to the audience that these guards are not very affluent and that a venture to a luxurious place in not a customary occurrence. Additionally, there are several references to the guards indulging themselves in a card game when extremely disturbing events have just transpired, illustrating that they are indifferent to what occurs around them. For exemplar, after Antigone is hanged and Haemon and Eurydice have committed suicide, "Only the guards are left.

    • Word count: 1368
  15. Montpellier - Environment, People and the Quality of Life

    There are two ways of studying the quality of life in/of an area. Firstly is by the use of hard indicators, usually from census data, such as unemployment, average income, car ownership, housing tenure and crime rates. It is this sort of data that goes to make up many investigations on quality of life and deprivation. The benefit of such indicators is that they are, on the whole, comparable on a time scale. That is present data can be compared to data from ten years ago to analyse changes over time. It can also allow greater breadth in an enquiry by making comparisons between other areas easy. Another benefit is it is cheap.

    • Word count: 2594
  16. Fate and the Limitations of Free Will.

    Through Oedipus' protracted journey towards an inevitable end, the ancient Greek viewer notes the impossibility of escaping one's providence. Similarly to Iocasta and Laios unwillingness to accept the message from the gods and attempt to avoid the situation entirely, Oedipus tries to escape the prophecy delivered to him as a young adult. Unaware that by listening to the prophecy he is fulfilling it, he sets forth on a long travel into the unknown. The gods' shrewdness is depicted by their willingness to utilize prophets as the harbinger of the future, while also exploiting them as a tool for expediting the result.

    • Word count: 1394
  17. The story, Antigone written by Sophocles.

    Antigone insists that Polynices's body must be buried and asks her sister, Ismene, to help. Ismene will not help her sister because she feels that by disobeying the laws that she would also be defiling the Gods, and that they are only women so there is nothing they can do. The chorus, old men of Thebes, sings unfolding the tragic events of the battle, which depicted the men's horrible fate. Creon enters and gives a speech about the importance of faithfulness to one's country and the government. Eteocles died in the battle, leaving Creon to see him as a hero and will have a proper burial.

    • Word count: 1366
  18. The Use of Irony in Sophocles's King Oedipus.

    He had left his 'home' in Corinth because of a prophecy he relates in lines 792 to794. How I must marry my mother, And become the parent of a misbegotten brood, An offence to all mankind - and kill my father. Although Oedipus learns that a similar prophecy is attributed to the son of Laius, the previous king of Thebes and the former husband of Oedipus's wife, Jocasta, his unstinting faith in his version of the 'truth' does not allow alarm bells to ring in his mind. This situation where the main character is deluded and ignorant of the real circumstances in which he or she finds himself or herself is called 'Structural Irony'.

    • Word count: 1082
  19. Humanities: Loves and Transformation - The Power of Love.

    This already sets the narrative apart from the others. Phoebus's love is a result of vengeance. Turning the mighty Phoebus into a love-struck fool is Cupid's means of gaining back his pride. In addition, Phoebus's love is authentic love because it comes from Cupid's own arrow. It is not lust that Cupid injected into Phoebus, but pure and omnipotent love. As a result, there is nothing that Phoebus can do to get rid of this feeling. Ironically, the god "who has invented medicine" can find "no herb to cure [his] passions; [his] art, which helps all men, can't heal its master" (Book I, 23).

    • Word count: 1305
  20. The Changing Character of Creon In the Antigone.

    Through this study I hope to come to a more thorough understanding of Creon's character and consequently gain a deeper insight into the meaning of the play as a whole. First impressions of Creon are favourable. The chorus describe him as "the new man for the new day"3 (line 174) and in his opening speech he seems to do what is right for the country, deeming any who place "a friend above the good of his own country" as "nothing" (lines 203-4). But even here we have a hint of one of Creon's problems - his view of the city.

    • Word count: 2137
  21. Antigone by Sophocles - Show how Creon's pride of power leads to his destruction, and how Antigone's pride makes her an honorable character who should be treated as a hero.

    This goes against the beliefs of most of the people in the town and many feel that it goes against what the gods would see as acceptable. A leader tries to suggest that it could be the work of the gods. "My king, ever since he began I've been debating in my mind, could this possibly be the work of the gods?"(1274) This again is a reference that the people are disgusted by what Creon has decreed. They feel like it is gross or disgusting to let a persons body have no burial rights and leave the remains to be against the elements of nature.

    • Word count: 992
  22. Antigone: A Girl with an Oedipus

    Creon, Oedipus's brother-in-law, was crowned king, and brought peace to Thebes. However, one of his edicts was that the body of the dead Polynices would not be buried and anyone found disobeying this edict would be put to death. Antigone could not tolerate a member of her family being doomed to wander the world as a spirit. She decided that it was her duty to bury Polynices. So, under cover of night, Antigone stole to the keeping place of Polynices's body, and buried him. However, through a series of events, Antigone is caught.

    • Word count: 1650
  23. Personalities and Beliefs of Sisters - In Ancient Greece, life was full of complicated questions.

    In the play Antigone, there is a difference in opinion to whether Antigone's actions to go against "Human" Law or in other words "Governed" Law was justifiable. Is there an invisible line that we can cross when it comes to set laws? In keeping with the ideas of "Divine" law, the dead require a proper burial in order to make the journey to the underworld. Antigone firmly believed that Divine law was far more superior to Civil Law. To Antigone, obeying the gods was more crucial than obeying the government.

    • Word count: 655
  24. The Aeneid. At first glance, it may appear that Aeneas is a non-heroic character with no apparent power to act in his own behalf. The gods preordain his fate at every turn

    He is destined to birth the future city of his people. Aeneas is basically forced by the gods to perform this mission, yet Aeneas shows great leadership, emotional strength,great compassion, and valor even in the midst of the god's mayhem. His eyes are always on the future with a one-minded determination. This is what makes him a heroic character in the Aeneid. Leadership is one of the first qualities that Aeneas shows. His character shows pragmatism and enthusiasm. A Leader frequently arises in times of disorder and pandemonium. When Trojan forces lay siege to Troy, Aeneas rises up with great furor to take control.

    • Word count: 763
  25. Sophocles knowing that his audience is aware of the outcome of the play utilizes that knowledge to create various situations in which dramatic irony play key roles.

    He tells them, "my spirit groans for city and myself and you at once", thereby signifying that he has personally taken the problems of Thebes upon himself to solve, disregarding the usefulness of the gods. (www.watson.org) Oedipus, who happily tells the uncooperative Teiresias "I came, I Oedipus, who knew nothing, and I stopped her I solved the riddle by my wit alone" For Oedipus, to chase truth was to destroy his world: his power, accomplishments, and family name are all lost.

    • Word count: 1691

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