OCR A2 Latin Verse June 16th and then Prose June 23rd Watch

MakeContact
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Hey there fellow A2 Classicists,

With 9 days to go until the Verse exam and a further 7 until the Prose, that is an awfully long time between exams, and I'm just unsure how to fill up all that space effectively with so much potential time to waste.

What kind of revision approach are you taking?
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BluWacky
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(Original post by MakeContact)
Hey there fellow A2 Classicists,

With 9 days to go until the Verse exam and a further 7 until the Prose, that is an awfully long time between exams, and I'm just unsure how to fill up all that space effectively with so much potential time to waste.

What kind of revision approach are you taking?
My pupils appear to be avoiding their prose set text until after the verse and then planning on cramming it. Fine by me - we're just blitzing the verse revision over the next week or so beforehand.

For the next week or so I suppose it's time to consolidate your verse text - break the Aeneid prescription down into chunks (or if you're doing the Propertius break it down by poem), do mind-maps or lists of what's potentially interesting about each chunk, check your style notes and translations over etc. Other than that I guess it's cramming verse vocab but you should have been doing that all year.

My advice is to remember to comment on sound, choice and placement, and balance in your theme essay.

Then for your prose paper just work through the prescription in that week, make sure you know exactly how to translate it, style etc. and cram some prose vocab (which is likely to be military). Remember that, although the prose literature questions are commentary-based rather than theme-based, one is likely to be more content based (last year's "what impression do you get of Nero" question, for instance) and one is more likely to be style based ("what makes Thrasea Paetus's speech so persuasive").
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MakeContact
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(Original post by BluWacky)

My advice is to remember to comment on sound, choice and placement, and balance in your theme essay.
Thanks for the tips!
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Tweak6
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I'm just going to try and avoid thinking about these exams until I get through the exams I have monday and tuesday... And then maybe just pray I happen to know the vocab that comes up in the translations...
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TheBookOwl
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There are some good vocab quizzes on Sporcle- one has all the verse words from the John Taylor book. I'm also learning a list of common Ovid vocabulary which I think came from the WJEC board a while ago. Other than that I've been going over scansion (4 easy marks) and making short commentary notes on each passage apart from the ones which came up last year. I reckon the theme question might be about Aeneas since it was Dido last time!


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strangephenomena
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Is anyone here doing the prose composition, and if so what vocab list are you using?

I feel weirdly relaxed about these exams even though I have a shocking amount of things I need to learn. I don't think I'm actually doing enough work... :/

Do any of you think it is worth trying to read some of Metamorphoses in English? There's no way I'll finish it before the Verse exam, but maybe it will avoid the nightmarish situation of having absolutely no idea what's going on in the translation passage.
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MakeContact
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(Original post by strangephenomena)
Is anyone here doing the prose composition, and if so what vocab list are you using?

I feel weirdly relaxed about these exams even though I have a shocking amount of things I need to learn. I don't think I'm actually doing enough work... :/

Do any of you think it is worth trying to read some of Metamorphoses in English? There's no way I'll finish it before the Verse exam, but maybe it will avoid the nightmarish situation of having absolutely no idea what's going on in the translation passage.
I'm doing the AS vocab list for vocab.

I always get this feeling with Latin. Especially with Verse, because the only thing I've ever really remotely struggled with has been the translation, and even then, you can afford to translate things very liberally. I've just been learning some Ovid specific vocab and my set texts and I'll probably do some translation closer to the time.
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strangephenomena
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(Original post by MakeContact)
I'm doing the AS vocab list for vocab.

I always get this feeling with Latin. Especially with Verse, because the only thing I've ever really remotely struggled with has been the translation, and even then, you can afford to translate things very liberally. I've just been learning some Ovid specific vocab and my set texts and I'll probably do some translation closer to the time.
You're not memorising the Latin set texts though, right? Just the style and context stuff?
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MakeContact
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(Original post by strangephenomena)
You're not memorising the Latin set texts though, right? Just the style and context stuff?
Actually, as far as I am aware, learning the text is exactly what me and my form are doing.

Context is relatively easy to introduce if you take into account the different kinds of audience that there might have been (i.e. difference between a Roman/modern interpretation), Aeneas' portrayal as a prototype Roman Hero etc.

As for style and technique, my Latin class has been taught how to identify the kind of lit crit points you might make such as hyperbaton, homoioteleuton, polysyndeton, chiasmus etc, and they are especially easy to identify in the verse text, so as long as I know what the Latin actually means, I expect I'll probably lit crit it by sight.

The real problem's going to be the prose, where both in the composition and the lit crit, you have to be a lot more rigid and structured in your answers. >.<
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strangephenomena
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Yeah, I'm quite worried about the prose. My problem is that I find it impossible to identify which part of the text the Latin comes from, so I spend the rest of my exam time making vague, tenuous points. I think I may have to memorise the Tacitus after all.
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Tweak6
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I've memorised my set texts, just because otherwise I can't figure out how to translate the words I quote for stylistic devices. Does anyone have any practice commentary quesitons for the Aeneid?
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strangephenomena
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Does anyone have any idea what questions might come up for the Aeneid essays? I'm assuming they won't cover the same passages again and maybe won't focus on Dido in the essay questions. Maybe Aeneas, Anna, Iarbas? I'd struggle a lot with a question on Aeneas - besides a physical description likening him to Apollo and his reaction to Mercury, there's very little about him our prescribed text. How would you answer a question about his heroism, piety or something like that?
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MakeContact
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(Original post by strangephenomena)
Does anyone have any idea what questions might come up for the Aeneid essays? I'm assuming they won't cover the same passages again and maybe won't focus on Dido in the essay questions. Maybe Aeneas, Anna, Iarbas? I'd struggle a lot with a question on Aeneas - besides a physical description likening him to Apollo and his reaction to Mercury, there's very little about him our prescribed text. How would you answer a question about his heroism, piety or something like that?
I really doubt that they'd ask on Iarbas or Anna. That would be cruel. What would you say about them? All the questions my class has been doing have been focused on how Aeneas is presented as a Roman hero, the role of the gods, Aeneas and Dido's relationship, and just Dido by herself. If they did ask on someone like Anna, it would be in relation to how they influenced Aeneas or Dido to do something.

A question on Aeneas would be quite good, but I think you would need to know the right examples to quote. I was thinking about it last night while brainstorming some ideas for the content essay.

If the question was something about him being a hero, I reckon you'd definitely need to focus on how Aeneas is only a prototype Roman hero and doesn't conform to all of the qualities that they would have, such as "pietas", in that he is reluctant to leave Dido until being *******ed by Jupiter to do so, at which point he puts his service to family and the state above his personal life, as a Roman hero would. Another example you might add (if you remember our glorious GCSE text lol) is how Aeneas bravely tries to lead his family to safety out of Troy, and even goes back to search for Creusa when she is lost, showing his dedication at that stage to his family and his destiny.

I think Aeneas' relationship with Dido is also quite important as it has important contextual elements to consider about what a Roman hero should and should not do. We must remember that Virgil was writing the Aeneid to justify Octavian's reign, and the tragic relationship between Aeneas + Dido reminds us of Antony and Cleopatra, another foreign queen who kills herself, which was definitely the social scandal of the era and what Virgil makes clear that a Roman hero like Octavian would not do. At that stage, Aeneas is more Antony and less Octavian.

Aeneas can also not be seen as a Roman hero through his comparison to the god Apollo, and indeed the description given just before Mercury confronts him. Whilst this imagery presents him in a majestic light, at the same time, he is in Carthaginian dress, which any Roman would definitely not do, and shows us that in a sense he has become a Carthaginian, when a true Roman hero would stick to the Roman values and refuse to conform to any foreign culture. There is a definite contrast between the actions of Aeneas before he leaves, and what he should be doing as a hero.

There's loads you can say, I think. It just depends on the angle. Once you have that, you can pretty much exploit it in any way you want, and as long as you introduce context, make reference to the whole book, or even the whole poem, and provide a vaguely structured commentary, it's quite hard to go wrong.
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strangephenomena
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(Original post by MakeContact)
I really doubt that they'd ask on Iarbas or Anna. That would be cruel. What would you say about them? All the questions my class has been doing have been focused on how Aeneas is presented as a Roman hero, the role of the gods, Aeneas and Dido's relationship, and just Dido by herself. If they did ask on someone like Anna, it would be in relation to how they influenced Aeneas or Dido to do something.

A question on Aeneas would be quite good, but I think you would need to know the right examples to quote. I was thinking about it last night while brainstorming some ideas for the content essay.

If the question was something about him being a hero, I reckon you'd definitely need to focus on how Aeneas is only a prototype Roman hero and doesn't conform to all of the qualities that they would have, such as "pietas", in that he is reluctant to leave Dido until being *******ed by Jupiter to do so, at which point he puts his service to family and the state above his personal life, as a Roman hero would. Another example you might add (if you remember our glorious GCSE text lol) is how Aeneas bravely tries to lead his family to safety out of Troy, and even goes back to search for Creusa when she is lost, showing his dedication at that stage to his family and his destiny.

I think Aeneas' relationship with Dido is also quite important as it has important contextual elements to consider about what a Roman hero should and should not do. We must remember that Virgil was writing the Aeneid to justify Octavian's reign, and the tragic relationship between Aeneas + Dido reminds us of Antony and Cleopatra, another foreign queen who kills herself, which was definitely the social scandal of the era and what Virgil makes clear that a Roman hero like Octavian would not do. At that stage, Aeneas is more Antony and less Octavian.

Aeneas can also not be seen as a Roman hero through his comparison to the god Apollo, and indeed the description given just before Mercury confronts him. Whilst this imagery presents him in a majestic light, at the same time, he is in Carthaginian dress, which any Roman would definitely not do, and shows us that in a sense he has become a Carthaginian, when a true Roman hero would stick to the Roman values and refuse to conform to any foreign culture. There is a definite contrast between the actions of Aeneas before he leaves, and what he should be doing as a hero.

There's loads you can say, I think. It just depends on the angle. Once you have that, you can pretty much exploit it in any way you want, and as long as you introduce context, make reference to the whole book, or even the whole poem, and provide a vaguely structured commentary, it's quite hard to go wrong.

That's brilliant, thanks so much! I'd never really thought about incorporating other books from the poem.

If the question focused on the role of the gods, do you think you could talk about how the weather is utilised by both Juno and Venus (as a destructive, harmful force and as a method of protecting a son - though both arguably could be seen as compassionate acts, since Juno is trying to protect Carthage)? I'd want to focus on the humour and irony of their argument scene, but I'm not sure I could incorporate that into an analytical essay that would relate to the book as a whole. Is there any way significance to the tone of the writing - i.e. exposes a propaganda agenda - or is the scene mainly used as a plot device to foreshadow Juno's intentions for the 'marriage'?
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MakeContact
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(Original post by strangephenomena)
That's brilliant, thanks so much! I'd never really thought about incorporating other books from the poem.
That's probably why I've got 25/25 in every verse essay so far this year

(Original post by strangephenomena)
If the question focused on the role of the gods, do you think you could talk about how the weather is utilised by both Juno and Venus (as a destructive, harmful force and as a method of protecting a son - though both arguably could be seen as compassionate acts, since Juno is trying to protect Carthage)? I'd want to focus on the humour and irony of their argument scene, but I'm not sure I could incorporate that into an analytical essay that would relate to the book as a whole. Is there any way significance to the tone of the writing - i.e. exposes a propaganda agenda - or is the scene mainly used as a plot device to foreshadow Juno's intentions for the 'marriage'?
I have done an essay on the gods before and tbh I didn't talk about the weather at all. I happen to have a rough essay plan for the gods already
and this is what I had for Juno and Venus.


- divine quarrel provides a convenient explanation for the obstacles and challenges that Aeneas overcomes, leading to his eventual development into a Roman hero.

- Tragedy of Dido and godly intervention and conflict provides a sense of setting and explanation for the future punic wars between Carthage and Rome and resulting tensions that would have existed at the same time as Virgil wrote Aeneid.

- Venus + Juno use their children and loyal followers as pawns in their master strategies to one-up each other. Juno only hates Trojans because of the Golden apple, which is why she tries so hard to disrupt Aeneas' journey. Equally so, Venus plays along with Juno's scheme despite knowing the eventual outcome already, but despite this pettiness, it is not beyond the gods to show pity, as seen with Iris' cutting of the lock of hair from Dido's body, releasing her soul.
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Tweak6
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(Original post by strangephenomena)
That's brilliant, thanks so much! I'd never really thought about incorporating other books from the poem.

If the question focused on the role of the gods, do you think you could talk about how the weather is utilised by both Juno and Venus (as a destructive, harmful force and as a method of protecting a son - though both arguably could be seen as compassionate acts, since Juno is trying to protect Carthage)? I'd want to focus on the humour and irony of their argument scene, but I'm not sure I could incorporate that into an analytical essay that would relate to the book as a whole. Is there any way significance to the tone of the writing - i.e. exposes a propaganda agenda - or is the scene mainly used as a plot device to foreshadow Juno's intentions for the 'marriage'?
When talking about the humour and irony you can say it provides comic relief from the quite serious plot of Dido and her passion for Aeneas.


I feel like a question purely Aeneas as a hero probably wouldn't come up- It would end up horrible unfair for some, as lots of people (me included) have studied the whole of the Aeneid in Class Civ, and therefore would have far more to say. I actually have to restrain myself to only talking about the one book most of the time, otherwise I simply end up writing a class civ essay without enough style points or quotes from the book to get me marks.
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MakeContact
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(Original post by Tweak6)
When talking about the humour and irony you can say it provides comic relief from the quite serious plot of Dido and her passion for Aeneas.


I feel like a question purely Aeneas as a hero probably wouldn't come up- It would end up horrible unfair for some, as lots of people (me included) have studied the whole of the Aeneid in Class Civ, and therefore would have far more to say. I actually have to restrain myself to only talking about the one book most of the time, otherwise I simply end up writing a class civ essay without enough style points or quotes from the book to get me marks.
I don't really know about that. I find that bringing in little excerpts from the other books has given me brownie points, though my knowledge is limited because I don't do Class Civ.
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TheBookOwl
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How do y'all structure your essays? I usually do intro/conclusion with three paragraphs, commenting line-by-line for style questions or thematically for more general ones.
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qwertyh
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I'm really struggling with the theme/character question (the second one) for this paper, lit crit is fine but the 2nd one is always so hard especially since I don't do clas civ so I haven't got a huge knowledge of the Aeneid as a whole. Anyone got any tips for in the exam how to approach the question and where to start when looking at the theme questions?
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strangephenomena
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Yeah, I tend to line by line for the question on the specific extract, and then a thematic approach for the more open one on the whole book. I think either way is fine according to the 2013 F363 mark scheme.
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