Classics Final - It's All Greek to Me!

by Kim Johnson

December 13, 2007

The upperclassmen in the Classics Department brought new meaning to the term "final exam" performing a scene from Euripides’ Hippolytus in its original language. Seniors Alex Coates, Chris Geggie, and Homer Twigg took the stage Thursday in front of a crowd.

"With students at this level, it is silly to give them another written exam," said Professor of Classics David Kubiak. "I know whether or not they know the language."

Alex Coates ’08 said, "rather than take another translation exam, we wanted to be able to show our knowledge in a more practical way. Our goal was to get an entire play done. We wanted to go beyond the translation and get at what it was the play meant to say."

The seniors were pleasantly surprised with the turnout and the audience’s reaction. They expected a lot of laughter at the female characters they played but instead felt like the crowd was drawn into the story. "From what we understand, this mimicked a Greek audience," Chris Geggie ’08 said. "People got really wrapped up in the action. We saw that today.

"We wanted to experience what it would have been like to perform a Greek play. In Greek plays all the characters were played by males. We also wanted the opportunity to speak it since Greek was first and foremost a spoken language long before it was ever written."

Coates said, "this is really pulling together all of the pieces of a liberal arts education – the language, the translation, the performing. There was even a theater professor here. That’s what it’s all about."

After the performance Professor Kubiak said, "They passed, they definitely passed."

 


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