A2 Classics

What will I study for A2 Classical Civilisation?

You will study two topics in year 13 both of which are examined at the end of the academic year.

Virgil and the world of the hero

The principal focus of this unit is on literature, society and values. The unit is also concerned with history, politics and religion.

Candidates must read the prescribed books selected from Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad. These books are:

Aeneid: Books 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 (although we will be reading the whole book)

Iliad: Books 6, 18, 22 and 24 (we will look at an overview of the whole book and pupils are advised to read it in its entirety)

Passages for commentary may be taken from any of these books.

Literary context

Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and an understanding of the following areas:

·         The composition of both epics

·         Plot

·         Narrative techniques including speeches and repetition

·         Descriptive techniques including similes and imagery

·         Characterisation

·         Themes within the epics including: heroism, honour and repetition, family, women, the role of the gods, the power of fate, the portrayal of war, moral values and the role of Aeneas in Rome’s imperial destiny

Political, social, historical and cultural context

Candidates should also show an awareness of:

·         Virgil’s relationship to the regime of Augustus

·         The political and historical background in which the Aeneid was written

 

  Comic Drama in the Ancient World

The principal focus of this unit is on literature. The unit is also concerned with history, politics and society and values.

From June 2010 to June 2012, inclusive, the set texts will be: Aristophanes’ Wasps and Frogs, Menander’s Dyskolos and Plautus’ Pseudolus.

From June 2013 to June 2015, inclusive, the set texts will be: Aristophanes’ Frogs and Lysistrata and Plautus’ Pseudolus and The Swaggering Soldier.

Candidates must be prepared to answer commentary questions on passages taken from any of the material prescribed for the unit.

Literary context

Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

·         Plot structure and characterisation

·         Types of humour, comic effects and technique

·         The role of the chorus in Aristophanes

·         Fantasy, escapism and reality

·         Comparisons between Greek Old Comedy, Greek New Comedy and Roman Comedy

·         The degree of seriousness behind the comedy

·         The use of actors

·         Theatre buildings, machinery, costumes, props and masks

Political, historical, social and religious context

Candidates should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

·         The social strata in both Athens and Rome (including the position of slaves)

·         The relationships within households (e.g. father/son, master/slave)

·         Religious practice and belief

·         The place of drama in Athenian and Roman society

·         The political and historical background to Aristophanes’ plays



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