My parents have always used the phrase when one door closes another one opens - one of those corny exchanges which at 17 you just try to ignore. But it proved true in my case. With my English Literature application cast aside I turned to what had always been my true love - Classics.
It was due to an impending fear of studying Latin and Ancient Greek from scratch that I had not applied for this the first time round (I am on the 4-year course). But if there is one thing life teaches us it’s that we shouldn’t listen to our fears (although I will always listen to my fear of bungee jumping - that’s legit). So somehow I have landed myself a place at Cambridge studying the subject I love, and I still find myself mildly starstruck at the fact that I mix with the people who wrote the books which fuelled my interest in the ancient world (and no, I am not supervised by Ovid - the fellows here are not THAT old).
All jokes aside the Classics department seems to strike a perfect balance between seriousness and silliness - which is essentially the whole reason why I love Classics. You can spend the morning discussing the most heart-wrenching moral dilemmas of Greek Tragedy and then turn to the filthy humour of Aristophanes - the two may be worlds apart but they speak volumes about each other.
On this note, I was lucky enough to be cast in this year’s production of the Cambridge Greek Play - a double bill of Antigone and Lysistrata in Ancient Greek. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life - learning Antigone’s monologue, in full knowledge that it is the most performed play ever, was on the other hand quite terrifying. But I felt privileged to be part of a cast who brought what I had studied so often on paper into full-bodied, hot-blooded life. To watch people emotionally engage with plays whose original audiences are long gone was something wonderful to witness, and hopefully removed any doubt in anyone’s mind that Classics is still a subject worth studying and is very much alive.
Evie Butcher, 4-year Classics Course