Final Examination: Honour School of Classics and English

Ancient Greek relief. (Image credit: Shutterstock).

Ancient Greek relief. (Image credit: Shutterstock).

For Classics and English Finals you take seven papers:

  • two papers from the English single honours course (see https://www.english.ox.ac.uk/course-structure)
  • two Classics papers, at least one of which must be Greek Core or Latin Core (see Literae Humaniores). Your second Classics paper may be chosen from a wide variety of options on the Literae Humaniores syllabus, the main exceptions being that Classics and English students are not able to take archaeology papers or the majority of modern philosophy papers.
  • two link papers, one of which must be Epic (see below for descriptions of these papers).
  • dissertation

For comprehensive details of the papers available, and the rules on which combinations of papers students may take, please refer to the Examination Regulations.

Please note that changes may be made to course syllabuses from year to year, and that not all papers may be available in any given year.

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This paper provides the opportunity of studying the most prestigious and influential poetic genre in Greco-Roman poetry, the epic poetry of Homer and Virgil, together with Virgil’s Roman successor Lucan. These form the basis for comparative study with some of their most distinguished and important versions and descendants in English poetry, the work of Milton, Dryden, and Pope.

This paper provides the opportunity of studying some central texts of Greco-Roman comedy, ranging from Aristophanes in Athens of the fifth century BC to Plautus and Terence in Rome of the second century B.C. These form the basis for comparative study with some related and central texts from English comedy, ranging from George Gascoigne and John Lyly in the 16th century to Congreve and Sheridan in the 18th.

This paper provides the opportunity of studying some texts representing the most original poetic genre of ancient Greece, Attic tragedy of the fifth century BC (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides), as well as tragedies by the Roman author Seneca. These form the basis for comparative study with some of their best known descendants in English poetry, ranging from Marlowe’s Spanish Tragedy to Milton’s Samson Agonistes, and for a consideration of Aristotle’s views on tragedy as a genre.

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