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Greek A Level *Fees Payable* at Benenden School *Fees Payable*

Course description

Greek AS and A Level provide a valuable blend of skills that, as well as being of great benefit in their own right, enhance and complement skills used and developed in many other subject areas, whether languages, humanities, maths or science. The course offers a combination of linguistic expertise and literary criticism that develops critical sensitivity, logic and analysis, clarity and precision in both interpretation and communication, and emotional intelligence.

The further study of Greek also continues to give pupils the opportunity to read unadapted literature in a language other than English, to a very high academic level. The intellectual discipline which you acquire in this course combines well with a wide range of other subjects, 

Course content

The course follows much the same outline as GCSE, so should be very familiar. Half of the assessment is language, and half is through examination of set literature. The entire A Level is examined at the end of the two years. There is no coursework.

Paper 1: Unseen Translation

Translation of two passages of unseen Greek, one prose and one verse. The verse passage will be from the tragedies of Euripides, known for the psychological realism of his plays, in which the marginal figures of society are often given prominent and powerful roles.

Weighting: 33%

Paper 2: Comprehension or prose composition 

Either answering questions on a piece of unseen Greek prose, taken from Greek rhetoric, the surviving legal and political speeches of the Athenians that reveal much of the way the state’s citizens lived.

Or translating a passage of unseen English into Greek. 

Weighting: 17%

Paper 3: Prose literature

Questions on set prose literature.

In the first year of the course the text will be either the historian Thucydides’ account of the Athenians’ shock defeat of the Spartans at Pylos, in which the most powerful Greek military force was utterly humiliated, and yet at the same time the political developments at Athens made its eventual defeat in the war inevitable.

In the second year girls will be able to choose whether to explore the same text further, read the other text instead, or study further recollections of the life of Socrates, this time by Xenophon, an Athenian man of letters remarkable for his wide-ranging interest and openness to the ideas of others without the prejudice or chauvinism that could characterise the era

Weighting: 25%

Paper 4: Verse Literature

Questions on set verse literature.

In the first year of the course the text will be book 10 of Homer’s Odyssey, in which Odysseus encounters the enchantress Circe and must save himself and his men from being turned into pigs, as well as convince the goddess to aid him in his quest to return home from the Trojan War.

In the second year girls will be able to choose whether to explore this text further, or read instead Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, exploring the conflict between personal and political obligations and a woman’s freedom to act as she chooses, or Aristophanes’ Acharnians, a comedy satirizing the political failures that lead to war.

Weighting: 25%

Entry requirements

GCSE Greek, ideally at A or A*

Future opportunities

The intellectual discipline which you acquire in this course combines well with a wide range of other subjects, especially English, history, modern languages, mathematics and the sciences. The rigour required is valued highly by universities and employers and thus can be of significant value to students striving for places in highly competitive fields, at university or afterwards.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Benenden School *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 01 December 2016
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