Thursday 23 November 2017

Alexander was great but who could have written about 'Frogs'?

LC & JC Latin, Classical Studies

'In Greek Drama, Mr O'Dea said that the question on Aristophanes's 'The Frogs', about life and politics in Athens at that time, required intensive research into the background of the play rather than focusing on its plot' (stock photo)
'In Greek Drama, Mr O'Dea said that the question on Aristophanes's 'The Frogs', about life and politics in Athens at that time, required intensive research into the background of the play rather than focusing on its plot' (stock photo)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A reasonable paper, with a sufficiently wide range of questions to ensure pupils would be pleased, said teacher Jim O'Dea of the Leaving Certificate higher level Classical Studies paper.

Mr O'Dea, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), and Rathdown School, Glenageary, Co Dublin, said questions on Alexander the Great were along expected lines. However, two of the four questions in 'Life and thought in the Late Roman Republic' "were quite difficult, especially the question on Sertorius".

In Greek Drama, Mr O'Dea said that the question on Aristophanes's 'The Frogs', about life and politics in Athens at that time, required intensive research into the background of the play rather than focusing on its plot.

"It would be very difficult for second level pupils to answer this question. The only consolation is that 'The Frogs' is the least popular of the Greek plays," he said.

Mr O'Dea described questions in the Ancient Epic section, as" nice", while in 'Writers of the Augustan Age', he said they were "manageable" and, in Greek Art and Architecture, "along expected lines".

Ordinary level candidates had a paper that was "quite uneven in parts", but there was "a sufficient number of reasonable questions to counterbalance the difficult questions," he said.

At Junior Cert, the higher level paper was "reasonable for the most part", although pupils could have been "unlucky enough to have done those topics where more detail was required". "Ordinary level candidates would have been happy," he said.

Mr O'Dea had no quibble with the Junior Cert Latin papers. He added: "Leaving Cert candidates were reasonably happy after last year's nightmare."

Irish Independent

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