A2 AQA Greek Tragedy 09/06/15 Predictions Watch

Wordsy
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I was just wondering whether anyone had any predictions on what the themes of the questions would be in the Greek Tragedy paper this Tuesday. And what everyone's techniques and revision strategies are?
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Classics_Teacher
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I always caution my students against the use of predictions, since while for some of them it's just a bit of fun, for others they seem to prepare those topics (particularly if I have suggested something that might come up) and invariably are thrown by the appearance of different questions to the ones offered as predictions. So forgive me if I don't suggest what I think might come up!

In terms of techniques and revision strategies, I would suggest that the best thing to be doing so close to the exam is reading play summaries and attempting essay plans for the 40-mark questions. In the exam itself, make sure you choose your first section based on the 10 and 20 mark questions rather than the 5-mark section at the beginning.

Feel free to PM me if you want any more advice.
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Wordsy
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(Original post by Classics_Teacher)
I always caution my students against the use of predictions, since while for some of them it's just a bit of fun, for others they seem to prepare those topics (particularly if I have suggested something that might come up) and invariably are thrown by the appearance of different questions to the ones offered as predictions. So forgive me if I don't suggest what I think might come up!

In terms of techniques and revision strategies, I would suggest that the best thing to be doing so close to the exam is reading play summaries and attempting essay plans for the 40-mark questions. In the exam itself, make sure you choose your first section based on the 10 and 20 mark questions rather than the 5-mark section at the beginning.

Feel free to PM me if you want any more advice.
Thank you, I've been attempting to study the themes involved in all the tragedies, placing them into mind-maps and writing relevant information off those mind maps. Do you think this is a good idea?
And would you recommend answering questions thematically or play by play as I usually find it hard to fit all Tragedies relevantly into one theme.
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Classics_Teacher
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Yes, mind-mapping is a great idea if your mind works that way. Anything that allows you to visualise how each theme fits into each play is a good thing.

Generally, the highest marks tend to go to the answers that can structure thematically as opposed to answering play-by-play, simply because this shows the additional skill of being able to construct an effective argument, rather than simply writing everything you know about one play and then another and so on, before drawing it all together in a conclusion.

That said, it is better to go play-by-play if you feel more secure that way, since trying to structure it thematically can cause more stress and you forget some very obvious points/characters if you go that way.
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buddy_glass
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(Original post by Classics_Teacher)
Yes, mind-mapping is a great idea if your mind works that way. Anything that allows you to visualise how each theme fits into each play is a good thing.

Generally, the highest marks tend to go to the answers that can structure thematically as opposed to answering play-by-play, simply because this shows the additional skill of being able to construct an effective argument, rather than simply writing everything you know about one play and then another and so on, before drawing it all together in a conclusion.

That said, it is better to go play-by-play if you feel more secure that way, since trying to structure it thematically can cause more stress and you forget some very obvious points/characters if you go that way.
Thank you for your helpful posts! With a day or two to go, which themes in particular would you recommend focusing on?
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mcbb
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Hey thanks for the thread!
I'm a bit confused as to how to answer the 40 markers. I'm just curious as to how you've been taught and if you could offer any tips?
We've kinda been told to answer theme by theme, first Sophocles' plays (as that's what I'm studying) followed by Euripides', then compare them both as playwrights. If anyone could help me out I'd really appreciate it as I'm not having a lot of luck with my teachers.

Thank you xx
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buddy_glass
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(Original post by mcbb)
Hey thanks for the thread!
I'm a bit confused as to how to answer the 40 markers. I'm just curious as to how you've been taught and if you could offer any tips?
We've kinda been told to answer theme by theme, first Sophocles' plays (as that's what I'm studying) followed by Euripides', then compare them both as playwrights. If anyone could help me out I'd really appreciate it as I'm not having a lot of luck with my teachers.

Thank you xx
It really depends on the question. If for example it was how satisfying are the endings, I would choose a few areas of discussion, eg.:

- Is it visually satisfying?
- Is justice served?
- What is the moral?
- Is it emotionally satisfying?

I would go through theme by theme - so four paragraphs, 1 per topic above. In each paragraph I would attempt to mention each play.

Some questions are more linear eg. How is dramatic irony used? With that you could try to go through thematically, but I think I would probably do it play by play but make sure I include plenty of analysis and cross-examination ie. putting the plays alongside each other and EVALUATING.

In general, theme by theme is stronger but I would always make sure you are evaluating and comparing, rather than just describing each play.

Hope that helps
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mcbb
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(Original post by buddy_glass)
It really depends on the question. If for example it was how satisfying are the endings, I would choose a few areas of discussion, eg.:

- Is it visually satisfying?
- Is justice served?
- What is the moral?
- Is it emotionally satisfying?

I would go through theme by theme - so four paragraphs, 1 per topic above. In each paragraph I would attempt to mention each play.

Some questions are more linear eg. How is dramatic irony used? With that you could try to go through thematically, but I think I would probably do it play by play but make sure I include plenty of analysis and cross-examination ie. putting the plays alongside each other and EVALUATING.

In general, theme by theme is stronger but I would always make sure you are evaluating and comparing, rather than just describing each play.

Hope that helps

You are a superstar! Thank you so much. Also, on the five markers, could you offer any advice as to how to prepare for them? I'm terrible at remembering minor details and it never sets me up well for the rest of the exam if I tremble at the beginning. I'd just like to feel a bit more confident so any tips would be massively appreciated! Thanks again :-)
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buddy_glass
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(Original post by mcbb)
You are a superstar! Thank you so much. Also, on the five markers, could you offer any advice as to how to prepare for them? I'm terrible at remembering minor details and it never sets me up well for the rest of the exam if I tremble at the beginning. I'd just like to feel a bit more confident so any tips would be massively appreciated! Thanks again :-)
Some of the factual questions are small tidbits - like last year I seem to remember one question was "Identify Cypris" for one mark. For the longer 5 mark questions I generally think to myself 'how can I contextualise and explain the situation that this extract is from?' Sometimes that might require you to go back to the start of the play and explain the tensions and conflicts. For example, if a passage was given from Medea's discussion with Aegeus, and the question was Explain the situation that this extract is from, you might say:

-Medea has been betrayed by Jason, who has gone to marry Glauce, daughter of the King of Corinth (Creon)
-She is looking for a means of revenge on Jason
-She has secured 1 day in Corinth before she is to be exiled
-Aegeus has come by to visit having been to Delphi to speak with the Oracle
-Medea is here trying to secure sanctuary so that she can be sure of her security once she has taken her revenge

That answer is probably too long, but you get the idea - imagine you are explaining the context to someone who doesn't know the play that well.
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mcbb
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(Original post by buddy_glass)
Some of the factual questions are small tidbits - like last year I seem to remember one question was "Identify Cypris" for one mark. For the longer 5 mark questions I generally think to myself 'how can I contextualise and explain the situation that this extract is from?' Sometimes that might require you to go back to the start of the play and explain the tensions and conflicts. For example, if a passage was given from Medea's discussion with Aegeus, and the question was Explain the situation that this extract is from, you might say:

-Medea has been betrayed by Jason, who has gone to marry Glauce, daughter of the King of Corinth (Creon)
-She is looking for a means of revenge on Jason
-She has secured 1 day in Corinth before she is to be exiled
-Aegeus has come by to visit having been to Delphi to speak with the Oracle
-Medea is here trying to secure sanctuary so that she can be sure of her security once she has taken her revenge

That answer is probably too long, but you get the idea - imagine you are explaining the context to someone who doesn't know the play that well.
Okay, got it! Thank you so much for your help. It really does mean a lot.
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Sciguy11
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Which plays are most likely to appear this year? And what main theme will be for the 40 mark question.
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buddy_glass
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How did it go guys?
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Wordsy
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(Original post by buddy_glass)
How did it go guys?
Decent I hope, which questions did you do and what did you write?
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Sciguy11
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I picked the one about the chorus, but I found both essays questions quite difficult initially. I was hoping for one about one of the key themes. I think I did fairly well on option B about Medea, I revised it quite well. What about the rest of you?
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jules100
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What was the other B question? I did the chorus one too.. Hopefully it was alright!
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Sciguy11
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The other essay question was something about how the beginning of each play to show something..... can't really remember it too well. The other questions were on Antigone but didn't look at them, went straight for Medea as that's what teacher said was likely to come up.
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buddy_glass
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Decent I hope, which questions did you do and what did you write?
I went in hoping Medea would come up, and Antigone wouldn't. However, I felt the Antigone questions were infinitely better and so went for Option A - Antigone.

In the 10 marker, I considered Antigone's defiance; her blatant disregard for authority; her eagerness for glory and a potential martyr complex. I then considered differences - she has been consumed by her cause. It is no longer about family, but about divine justice too.

In the 20 marker, I considered Individual vs. State, Family vs. State, subversion of the oikos and the nature of poltiical leadership. As a counter, I considered conflicts between Haemon and Creon, Creon and Tiresias and between Antigone and Ismene to be thematically important too.

I did the 40 marker on the opening scene. I considered dramatic, visual stimulation; tension; introduction of themes and characters; introduction of irony.
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Wordsy
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(Original post by Sciguy11)
I picked the one about the chorus, but I found both essays questions quite difficult initially. I was hoping for one about one of the key themes. I think I did fairly well on option B about Medea, I revised it quite well. What about the rest of you?
I did the chorus essay question too, what did you write down for it?
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Wordsy
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(Original post by jules100)
What was the other B question? I did the chorus one too.. Hopefully it was alright!
What did you write for your chorus essay?
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Sciguy11
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What did you write for your chorus essay?
i said how they were used so that the only 3 actors could change into other characters during each episode (obvious point though). I also mentioned the 'des ex machina' that they provided time to set that up for the climax scenes in Medea and Hippolytus (dont think its a point but put it in just incase). The rest was really mentioning some quotes from plays that shows they just provided some light entertainment with singing and dancing.

I wrote about the leader (of chours) having, some lines in Antigone and if the chours wasnt there then the outcome of the play would be different. Also about keeping Medea's plan a secret and Phaedra's suicide a secret. the rest i said was rubbish about saying how they pitty female characters and shudder in fear at others which gave a different prospective to the all male audiences.

Im sure 70% of my essay was a load of rubbish but thats what happens when you dont revise the simple things in the plays :/
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