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essays

nb: PRACTICAL CRITICISMS. Q800 Students taking this module will be required to offer two practical criticisms in lieu of an essay for one of the coursework assessment points. They may choose whether to do this in the first OR second term. See the practical criticism tag above.

Assessed essays for Term 1 (autumn 2016): to be handed in by 12 noon on Tuesday 15 November 2016


Write an essay of approximately 2500 words on ONE of the following topics:

  • To what extent is impotence the marker of success in Ovid's Amores?

(For bibliography on Ovid's Amores see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)

  • 'Satire reinvests in the body in such a manner that it cannot reach the sublime without passing through the ridicule of the body.' Unpack this statement in the light of Horace Satires book 1.

(For bibliography on Horace's Satires see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)

  • The poet of the Epodes is helpless, toothless, a flop. Discuss

(For bibliography on the Epodes see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)


Assessed essays for Term 2 (Spring 2017): to be handed in by 12 noon on Monday 6 February 2017


Write an essay of approximately 2500 words on ONE of the following topics:

  • To what extent do Seneca's Letters attend to the need to accept bodily weakness?

(For bibliography on Seneca's Letters see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)

  • Statius' Achilleid performs the (re)birth of epic as the denial and conquest of 'female' vulnerability. Discuss this statement.

(For bibliography on the Achilleid see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)

  • How does metaphor operate to make readers of Persius' Satires vulnerable, and how might we respond to this?

(For bibliography on Persius see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)

  • Is Roman Stoicism, as it is communicated and taught in imperial Latin literary texts, effective in curing its students of imbecillitas?

(Look at suggested bibliography on Seneca and on Persius. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask).

  • Does Atreus' victorious reduction of Thyestes to a state of unbearable vulnerability have an 'irresistible appeal'?

(For bibliography on Seneca's Thyestes see the bibliography tab. You are also encouraged to do your own research using the library and its online databases. If you have trouble finding something or need further guidance, please ask.)