Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

31 January 2015

Lesson 14 - immersed in The Bacchae

We whizzed through our language work today to give us more time to get properly stuck into The Bacchae - we're on a mission to get through our readings as we'll be going to see the play next month at the Bloomsbury Theatre. After a quick test of our vocab home-learning task, we then carried on with our 'At The Doctor' translation. Poor spotty little Rufus, he's got measles. But he's a brave little soldier.

Then on to the genius that is Euripides. And the class definitely appreciated the killer line, "talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish." Today we read the scene where Pentheus first meets Dionysus (except he's masquerading a a priest of Dionysus - confused yet?). And brilliant textual analysis from the class who noticed that, yes, Pentheus was being a litle bit over-interested in his captive priest (sorry, told you this play could be, erm, complicated). Nailaa made a stern Dionysus, whilst Anna's portrayal of Pentheus definitely highlighted the confused fascination that this young, naive king feels in the god's presence. The themes of confusion, tension and power struggles were also highlighted by Prof. Edith Hall in her video synopsis of the play.

We also encountered a crucial term in Greek theatre: pathos. Pathos (from which we get the English word 'pathetic') is when a writer appeals to the audience's emotions. Some class members then astutely linked this to the term 'pathetic fallacy', the reflection of human emotion in nature often seen in the works of Romantic poets such as Willam Wordsworth, and novelists such as Thomas Hardy.