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Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch

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Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 23 Oct 2018, 19:34
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Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major characters in John Webster’s tragedies. In his The Duchess of Malfi, for instance, the Duchess is “good” in demonstrating the obvious tenderness and sincerity of her love for Antonio, but “bad” in ignoring the wishes and welfare of her family and in making religion a “cloak” hiding worldly self-indulgence. Bosola is “bad” in serving Ferdinand, “good” in turning the Duchess’ thoughts toward heaven and in planning to avenge her murder. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle implied that such contradictions are virtually essential to the tragic personality, and yet critics keep coming back to this element of inconsistency as though it were an eccentric feature of Webster’s own tragic vision.


The problem is that, as an Elizabethan playwright, Webster has become a prisoner of our critical presuppositions. We have, in recent years, been dazzled by the way the earlier Renaissance and medieval theater, particularly the morality play, illuminates Elizabethan drama. We now understand how the habit of mind that saw the world as a battleground between good and evil produced the morality play. Morality plays allegorized that conflict by presenting characters whose actions were defined as the embodiment of good or evil. This model of reality lived on, overlaid by different conventions, in the most sophisticated Elizabethan works of the following age. Yet Webster seems not to have been as heavily influenced by the morality play’s model of reality as were his Elizabethan contemporaries; he was apparently more sensitive to the more morally complicated Italian drama than to these English sources. Consequently, his characters cannot be evaluated according to reductive formulas of good and evil, which is precisely what modern critics have tried to do. They choose what seem to be the most promising of the contradictor values that are dramatized in the play, and treat those values as if they were the only basis for analyzing the moral development of the play’s major characters, attributing the inconsistencies in a character’s behavior to artistic incompetence on Webster’s part. The lack of consistency in Webster’s characters can be better understood if we recognize that the ambiguity at the heart of his tragic vision lies not in the external world but in the duality of human nature. Webster establishes tension in his plays by setting up conflicting systems of value that appear immoral only when one value system is viewed exclusively from the perspective of the other. He presents us not only with characters that we condemn intellectually or ethically and at the same time impulsively approve of, but also with judgments we must accept as logically sound and yet find emotionally repulsive. The dilemma is not only dramatic: it is tragic, because the conflict is irreconcilable, and because it is ours as much as that of the characters.

8. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) clarify an ambiguous assertion
(B) provide evidence in support of a commonly held view
(C) analyze an unresolved question and propose an answer
(D) offer an alternative to a flawed interpretation)
(E) describe and categorize opposing viewpoints


9. The author suggests which one of the following about the dramatic works that most influenced Webster’s tragedies?
(A) They were not concerned with dramatizing the conflict between good and evil that was presented in morality plays.
(B) They were not as sophisticated as the Italian sources from which other Elizabethan tragedies were derived.
(C) They have never been adequately understood by critics.
(D) They have only recently been used to illuminate the conventions of Elizabethan drama.
(E) They have been considered by many critics to be the reason for Webster’s apparent artistic incompetence.


10. The author’s allusion to Aristotle’s view of tragedy in lines 11-13 serves which one of the following functions in the passage?
(A) It introduces a commonly held view of Webster’s tragedies that the author plans to defend.
(B) It supports the author’s suggestion that Webster’s conception of tragedy is not idiosyncratic.
(C) It provides an example of an approach to Webster’s tragedies that the author criticizes.
(D) It establishes the similarity between classical and modern approaches to tragedy.
(E) It supports the author’s assertion that Elizabethan tragedy cannot be fully understood without the help of recent scholarship.


11. It can be inferred from the passage that modern critics’ interpretations of Webster’s tragedies would be more valid if
(A) the ambiguity inherent in Webster’s tragic vision resulted from the duality of human nature
(B) Webster’s conception of the tragic personality were similar to that of Aristotle
(C) Webster had been heavily influenced by the morality play
(D) Elizabethan dramatists had been more sensitive to Italian sources of influence
(E) the inner conflicts exhibited by Webster’s characters were similar to those of modern audiences


12. With which one of the following statements regarding Elizabethan drama would the author be most likely to agree?
(A) The skill of Elizabethan dramatists has in recent years been overestimated.
(B) The conventions that shaped Elizabethan drama are best exemplified by Webster’s drama.
(C) Elizabethan drama, for the most part, can be viewed as being heavily influenced by the morality play.
(D) Only by carefully examining the work of his Elizabethan contemporaries can Webster’s achievement as a dramatist be accurately measured.
(E) Elizabethan drama can best be described as influenced by a composite of Italian and classical sources.


13. It can be inferred from the passage that most modern critics assume which one of the following in their interpretation of Webster’s tragedies?
(A) Webster’s play tended to allegorize the conflict between good and evil more than did those of his contemporaries.
(B) Webster’s plays were derived more from Italian than from English sources.
(C) The artistic flaws in Webster’s tragedies were largely the result of his ignorance of the classical definition of tragedy.
(D) Webster’s tragedies provide no relevant basis for analyzing the moral development of their characters.
(E) In writing his tragedies, Webster was influenced by the same sources as his contemporaries.


14. The author implies that Webster’s conception of tragedy was
(A) artistically flawed
(B) highly conventional
(C) largely derived from the morality play
(D) somewhat different from the conventional Elizabethan conception of tragedy
(E) uninfluenced by the classical conception of tragedy


Originally posted by shard87 on 15 Oct 2018, 07:07.
Last edited by gmat1393 on 23 Oct 2018, 19:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 17:38

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions


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Re: Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 20:34
Can we have the explanations of the ans please. Also ans to question 5 is not provided .
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Re: Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Oct 2018, 20:38
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shard87 wrote:
Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major characters in John Webster’s tragedies. In his The Duchess of Malfi, for instance, the Duchess is “good” in demonstrating the obvious tenderness and sincerity of her love for Antonio, but “bad” in ignoring the wishes and welfare of her family and in making religion a “cloak” hiding worldly self-indulgence. Bosola is “bad” in serving Ferdinand, “good” in turning the Duchess’ thoughts toward heaven and in planning to avenge her murder. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle implied that such contradictions are virtually essential to the tragic personality, and yet critics keep coming back to this element of inconsistency as though it were an eccentric feature of Webster’s own tragic vision.


The problem is that, as an Elizabethan playwright, Webster has become a prisoner of our critical presuppositions. We have, in recent years, been dazzled by the way the earlier Renaissance and medieval theater, particularly the morality play, illuminates Elizabethan drama. We now understand how the habit of mind that saw the world as a battleground between good and evil produced the morality play. Morality plays allegorized that conflict by presenting characters whose actions were defined as the embodiment of good or evil. This model of reality lived on, overlaid by different conventions, in the most sophisticated Elizabethan works of the following age. Yet Webster seems not to have been as heavily influenced by the morality play’s model of reality as were his Elizabethan contemporaries; he was apparently more sensitive to the more morally complicated Italian drama than to these English sources. Consequently, his characters cannot be evaluated according to reductive formulas of good and evil, which is precisely what modern critics have tried to do. They choose what seem to be the most promising of the contradictor values that are dramatized in the play, and treat those values as if they were the only basis for analyzing the moral development of the play’s major characters, attributing the inconsistencies in a character’s behavior to artistic incompetence on Webster’s part. The lack of consistency in Webster’s characters can be better understood if we recognize that the ambiguity at the heart of his tragic vision lies not in the external world but in the duality of human nature. Webster establishes tension in his plays by setting up conflicting systems of value that appear immoral only when one value system is viewed exclusively from the perspective of the other. He presents us not only with characters that we condemn intellectually or ethically and at the same time impulsively approve of, but also with judgments we must accept as logically sound and yet find emotionally repulsive. The dilemma is not only dramatic: it is tragic, because the conflict is irreconcilable, and because it is ours as much as that of the characters.
8. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) clarify an ambiguous assertion
(B) provide evidence in support of a commonly held view
(C) analyze an unresolved question and propose an answer
(D) offer an alternative to a flawed interpretation)
(E) describe and categorize opposing viewpoints


9. The author suggests which one of the following about the dramatic works that most influenced Webster’s tragedies?
(A) They were not concerned with dramatizing the conflict between good and evil that was presented in morality plays.
(B) They were not as sophisticated as the Italian sources from which other Elizabethan tragedies were derived.
(C) They have never been adequately understood by critics.
(D) They have only recently been used to illuminate the conventions of Elizabethan drama.
(E) They have been considered by many critics to be the reason for Webster’s apparent artistic incompetence.


10. The author’s allusion to Aristotle’s view of tragedy in lines 11-13 serves which one of the following functions in the passage?
(A) It introduces a commonly held view of Webster’s tragedies that the author plans to defend.
(B) It supports the author’s suggestion that Webster’s conception of tragedy is not idiosyncratic.
(C) It provides an example of an approach to Webster’s tragedies that the author criticizes.
(D) It establishes the similarity between classical and modern approaches to tragedy.
(E) It supports the author’s assertion that Elizabethan tragedy cannot be fully understood without the help of recent scholarship.


11. It can be inferred from the passage that modern critics’ interpretations of Webster’s tragedies would be more valid if
(A) the ambiguity inherent in Webster’s tragic vision resulted from the duality of human nature
(B) Webster’s conception of the tragic personality were similar to that of Aristotle
(C) Webster had been heavily influenced by the morality play
(D) Elizabethan dramatists had been more sensitive to Italian sources of influence
(E) the inner conflicts exhibited by Webster’s characters were similar to those of modern audiences


12. With which one of the following statements regarding Elizabethan drama would the author be most likely to agree?
(A) The skill of Elizabethan dramatists has in recent years been overestimated.
(B) The conventions that shaped Elizabethan drama are best exemplified by Webster’s drama.
(C) Elizabethan drama, for the most part, can be viewed as being heavily influenced by the morality play.
(D) Only by carefully examining the work of his Elizabethan contemporaries can Webster’s achievement as a dramatist be accurately measured.
(E) Elizabethan drama can best be described as influenced by a composite of Italian and classical sources.


13. It can be inferred from the passage that most modern critics assume which one of the following in their interpretation of Webster’s tragedies?
(A) Webster’s play tended to allegorize the conflict between good and evil more than did those of his contemporaries.
(B) Webster’s plays were derived more from Italian than from English sources.
(C) The artistic flaws in Webster’s tragedies were largely the result of his ignorance of the classical definition of tragedy.
(D) Webster’s tragedies provide no relevant basis for analyzing the moral development of their characters.
(E) In writing his tragedies, Webster was influenced by the same sources as his contemporaries.


14. The author implies that Webster’s conception of tragedy was
(A) artistically flawed
(B) highly conventional
(C) largely derived from the morality play
(D) somewhat different from the conventional Elizabethan conception of tragedy
(E) uninfluenced by the classical conception of tragedy



10 minutes, 5 correct 1 incorrect!

[/box_in][box_in]8. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) clarify an ambiguous assertion- No assertion.
(B) provide evidence in support of a commonly held view-Not in support, in against.
(C) analyze an unresolved question and propose an answer-No question is posed!
(D) offer an alternative to a flawed interpretation-Perfect! Flawed interpretation by scholars, alternative by author!
(E) describe and categorize opposing viewpoints-No opposing viewpoints.


9. The author suggests which one of the following about the dramatic works that most influenced Webster’s tragedies?
(A) They were not concerned with dramatizing the conflict between good and evil that was presented in morality plays.-True, about the work. Not impressed by Morality play. Refer "Morality plays allegorized that conflict by presenting characters whose actions were defined as the embodiment of good or evil. This model of reality lived on, overlaid by different conventions, in the most sophisticated Elizabethan works of the following age. Yet Webster seems not to have been as heavily influenced by the morality play’s model of reality as were his Elizabethan contemporaries.."
(B) They were not as sophisticated as the Italian sources from which other Elizabethan tragedies were derived.-Sophistication is out of context!
(C) They have never been adequately understood by critics.-Wrong! his dramatic works are understood, their interpretation is taken for a toss!
(D) They have only recently been used to illuminate the conventions of Elizabethan drama.-OFS
(E) They have been considered by many critics to be the reason for Webster’s apparent artistic incompetence.-OFS


10. The author’s allusion to Aristotle’s view of tragedy in lines 11-13 serves which one of the following functions in the passage?
(A) It introduces a commonly held view of Webster’s tragedies that the author plans to defend.
(B) It supports the author’s suggestion that Webster’s conception of tragedy is not idiosyncratic.-True, refer " The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle implied that such contradictions are virtually essential to the tragic personality, and yet critics keep coming back to this element of inconsistency as though it were an eccentric feature of Webster’s own tragic vision..."
(C) It provides an example of an approach to Webster’s tragedies that the author criticizes.-Wrong.
(D) It establishes the similarity between classical and modern approaches to tragedy.-OFS
(E) It supports the author’s assertion that Elizabethan tragedy cannot be fully understood without the help of recent scholarship.-OFS


11. It can be inferred from the passage that modern critics’ interpretations of Webster’s tragedies would be more valid if
(A) the ambiguity inherent in Webster’s tragic vision resulted from the duality of human nature
(B) Webster’s conception of the tragic personality were similar to that of Aristotle
(C) Webster had been heavily influenced by the morality play-Excellent choice, refer "Morality plays allegorized that conflict by presenting characters whose actions were defined as the embodiment of good or evil. This model of reality lived on, overlaid by different conventions, in the most sophisticated Elizabethan works of the following age. Yet Webster seems not to have been as heavily influenced by the morality play’s model of reality as were his Elizabethan contemporaries"
(D) Elizabethan dramatists had been more sensitive to Italian sources of influence-Opposite
(E) the inner conflicts exhibited by Webster’s characters were similar to those of modern audiences-OFS


13. It can be inferred from the passage that [b]most modern critics assume which one of the following in their interpretation of Webster’s tragedies?[/b]
(A) Webster’s play tended to allegorize the conflict between good and evil more than did those of his contemporaries.-Wrong.
(B) Webster’s plays were derived more from Italian than from English sources.-More Morally complicated Italian drama not all Italian drama!
(C) The artistic flaws in Webster’s tragedies were largely the result of his ignorance of the classical definition of tragedy.-OFS
(D) Webster’s tragedies provide no relevant basis for analyzing the moral development of their characters.-Incorrect
(E) In writing his tragedies, Webster was influenced by the same sources as his contemporaries.- True, refer "The problem is that, as an Elizabethan playwright, Webster has become a prisoner of our critical presuppositions. We have, in recent years, been dazzled by the way the earlier Renaissance and medieval theater, particularly the morality play, illuminates Elizabethan drama. We now understand how the habit of mind that saw the world as a battleground between good and evil produced the morality play..."


14. The author implies that Webster’s conception of tragedy was
(A) artistically flawed-Not flawed at all.
(B) highly conventional-Not conventional,Rather pretty unconventional
(C) largely derived from the morality play-Opposite
(D) somewhat different from the conventional Elizabethan conception of tragedy-True, refer "Yet Webster seems not to have been as heavily influenced by the morality play’s model of reality as were his Elizabethan contemporaries;.."
(E) uninfluenced by the classical conception of tragedy-Nowhere mentioned!
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In former years,Used to run for "Likes", nowadays, craving for "Kudos". :D


Originally posted by honneeey on 22 Oct 2018, 20:37.
Last edited by honneeey on 22 Oct 2018, 20:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 10:00
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shard87 , workout:
please add timer to Q5 and provide official answer. Thanks for your help.
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Re: Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 17:30
Cinematiccuisine wrote:
shard87 , workout:
please add timer to Q5 and provide official answer. Thanks for your help.


Added it. Thank you for letting us know.
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Re: Critics have long been puzzled by the inner contradictions of major ch &nbs [#permalink] 23 Oct 2018, 17:30
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