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A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the

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A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Jan 2018, 16:19
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A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the age of 40—Burns, Byron, Keats, Poe, and Shelley, to name a few. By contrast, the large majority of famous painters in art history lived well beyond the age of 40. This difference between famous poets and famous painters is most likely because __________.

Which of the following, if true, most logically completes the argument?

(A) most common problems with the human eye develop only after the age of 40.

(B) the appreciation for both poetry and fine painting tends to mature and develop later in life.

(C) writing poetry draw on both the right and left cerebral hemispheres, while painting is almost completely a right hemispheric process.

(D) many famous classical composers, such Schubert, also died before reaching the age of 40, and Schubert often set poetry to music in his songs.

(E) poets can write poems that establish their fame while they are young, while painters typically gain fame only as they age.

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Originally posted by Harley1980 on 24 Aug 2015, 12:53.
Last edited by hazelnut on 24 Jan 2018, 16:19, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2015, 13:43
I don't like any of the answer choices. Can anyone explain why E is correct? Should not there be a scientific reason as to why majority of the famous poets have not lived past 40? Is not this more about the timing of the poets' death than when they gained fame?
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2015, 13:57
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dina98 wrote:
I don't like any of the answer choices. Can anyone explain why E is correct? Should not there be a scientific reason as to why majority of the famous poets have not lived past 40? Is not this more about the timing of the poets' death than when they gained fame?


Hello dina98

In this question we should not find the reason of dying of poets.

The argument did not say that there is no poets who are died old. The argument says that there is a lot of examples famous poets who died young and that there is a lot of examples of famous painters who live after 40.

So we should find the reason why history knows a lot of examples of young died poets and almost do not know such examples among painters.

And the reason is because poet often became famous in young ages and painters need much more time for became famous. So the painters too died in young ages but they are not famous.

That is why E is correct.
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2015, 08:32
dina98 wrote:
I don't like any of the answer choices. Can anyone explain why E is correct? Should not there be a scientific reason as to why majority of the famous poets have not lived past 40? Is not this more about the timing of the poets' death than when they gained fame?


Hi dina98,
The question is tricky as ti drew your attention to death and live. However, the question ask about difference in fame. So you need to search for something that make poets more noticeable than painters.

Answer E.
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2015, 01:42
Superb question. The trick in this one is to correctly interpret how being famous relates to living beyond 40 for poets and painters.
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2018, 18:51
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Official Explanation


The credited answer is (E). The issue is not about life-expectancy of various artistic pursuits, but about who gets famous when. Among both poets and painters, some die young and some live to be old. The poets who die young are already famous, but the painters who die young haven't established their fame yet, so we wind up knowing poets who died young but not painters who died young.

If eye-problems develop after the age of 40, that would suggest problems for an older painter more so than for poets, but that wouldn't explain why we know older painters. Choice (A) is incorrect.

Choice (B) is more about the fans of poetry & painting, not the folks producing the poems or the paintings. Furthermore, something that is the same for both doesn't explain a difference. Choice (B) is incorrect.

Using different hemispheres of the brain has nothing to do with life-expectancy, so while interesting, choice (C) is irrelevant and incorrect.

Choice (D), while interesting, is entirely irrelevant, and adds no insight into what was originally discussed in the prompt. Choice (D) is incorrect.
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2019, 06:42
I think this one could be tricky, the argument is mainly concerned about who gets famous when. Once figure out the core issue here, we will get to the right answer E very quick.
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Re: A large number of famous poets in literary history have died under the   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2019, 06:42
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