On the 17th of October members of the L5th and U5th and Sixth form who are taking Greek for GCSE or A-level were taken to Oxford along with Mrs Kavanagh and Mrs Coetzee for a day packed full of Greek myth and culture.
After our arrival we were given a very interesting talk on the original construction of Greek theatres and pottery. The talk started with theatres, where we were informed that Greek theatres were first of all made out of wood forming the shape of a semicircle, before revolutionising into stone. We also learnt that with each theatre would be a temple for worshipping the goddess Dionysus as well as an altar for sacrifices made to her. Then as the talk progressed we were given an insight into Greek pottery and learnt that different pots had different comedies and tragedies depicted on them. Learning that pots depicting comedies often had people with funny faces on them, representing masks and also that these people also usually had large bottoms and bellies, representing the padding they would have worn there as part of their comic appearance, was really interesting as it allowed us to grasp the sense of humour that the Greeks watching these plays had. As we were told that the odd body shapes of the actors was the height of comedy for the Greeks. This talk was enjoyable and enlightened us about the hobbies the Greeks had. As well as this whilst having our lunch we were allowed to look round the exhibition that compared different past plays of “The Furies” which helped ready us for the outstanding performance that we were to watch later that day.
After our lunch we were lucky enough to get to visit the Ashmolean museum in which we were able to roam round freely looking at the many different exhibitions to do with different country’s histories. There was a wide variety of sections to look round including Greek and Roman Sculpture, Life and Death in Ancient Egypt and Early Italian Art, meaning we were given a whistle stop tour of not only Greek history and culture but many different countries as well, which was a nice added bonus.
Then to give a great end to our day out we went to watch an Oxford student’s production of “The Furies” where we were told the story of Orestes who killed his mother in a distraught act of revenge and was hunted down by a group of vengeful Furies. The play was absolutely amazing with dramatic, scary acting, incredible singing and a great band. We even recognised two former KEHS students participating in the play, one as an actor and the other as part of the band. Everyone loved the play and found it really fun to be able to recognise some of the Greek words in their dialogue and apply them to the context of the play, as well as learn about a Greek myth to help build up our background knowledge of the Greeks.
Overall the trip was fantastic, fun and very helpful for our Greek studies!