Knowledge Through Suffering

An NCEA Level 3 English programme that focuses on the genre of tragedy and its key figure, the tragic hero.
An NCEA Level 3 English programme that focuses on the genre of tragedy and its key figure, the tragic hero.
February 2, 2020

“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”

– F Scott Fitzgerald

Opting to study English at the highest level offered in secondary education is an ambitious choice and this course looks to honour your desire to follow this subject as far as you can, at this stage of your life.’ Knowledge Through Suffering’ explores a genre of literature which we call tragedy. Dating back to some of the earliest recorded works by the Greeks, tragedy looks to examine how the flaws of an individual can lead them to their downfall. The tragic hero is one of the earliest character archetypes and the audiences intimate connection with them is considered highly cathartic. This genre will challenge and enlighten you. It will push your thinking and develop your knowledge of English…but not without a little suffering!

Texts selected for this course are intended to offer a rich palette of characters, themes, settings and events for you to critically engage with. We will study the work of the infamous William Shakespeare, become familiar with the Oedipus trilogy from Greek great, Sophocles and explore the 20th-century American work which draws so much of its inspiration from the early tragedy models. Alongside these text studies, you will create your own work, developing your own unique style as a writer, speaker and presenter. The writing portfolio offers the chance to develop your written voice, with a focus on academic essay writing and critical analysis. The intelligent and logical debate of literary concepts will be a central part of this course and your fluency with this will be recognized in a unit that focuses on the art of debating. Throughout the year, you will engage with your own personal reading and complete a study of the genre of tragedy which will enhance the content on offer in class.





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