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# Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to

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Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 08:52
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Project RC Butler 2020 - Participate and win GMAT Club Tests.
Passage # 06, Date: 03-Apr-2020
This post is a part of Project RC Butler 2020. Click here for Details

Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to know a particular historical figure, they are not free to claim a godlike knowledge of the figure or of the events surrounding the figure’s life. Richard III, one of England’s monarchs, is an apt case because we all think we “know” what he was like. In his play Richard III, Shakespeare provided a portrait of a monster of a man, twisted in both body and soul. Shakespeare’s great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard has made us accept this creature for the man. We are prepared, therefore, to interpret all the events around him in such a way as to justify our opinion of him.

We accept that Richard executed his brother Clarence, even though the records of the time show that Richard pleaded for his brother’s life. We assume that Richard supervised the death of King Henry VI, overlooking that there is no proof that Henry was actually murdered. And we recoil at Richard’s murdering his two nephews, children of his brother’s wife Elizabeth; yet we forget that Elizabeth had spent her time on the throne plotting to replace her husband’s family in power with her own family. Once we appreciate the historical context, especially the actions of Richard’s opponents, we no longer see his actions as monstrous. Richard becomes, if not lovable, at least understandable. What’s more, when we account for the tone of the times during which Richard lived, as illuminated in literary works of that era such as Machiavelli’s The Prince, Richard’s actions seem to us all the more reasonable.

1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was.
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III.
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed.
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI.
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III.

2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure.
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself.
(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures.
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events.

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate.
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived.
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways.
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature.
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince.

Source: Master GMAT
Difficulty Level: 650

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 10:00
My choices are as below -

1 C
2 D
3 B
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 21:03
Summary :-
|-|against historians on hw they claim knw of hist. fig.; ex of shakesp. in Richard III depiction
|+| sites cases in favor of Richard - not as monstrous as depicted

Quote:
1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was. - This is 180 answer - Shakespere portrayed him as a monster instead
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III. - Author referred Elizabeth but didn't compare her as more evil as such. He mentioned her so that he could show that one should not go against Richard just because somone portrayed him as a monster.
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed. - 2nd paragraph is all in support of Richard - Correct
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI. - He doesn't say he kills Henry VI - infact says there is no proof of his killing
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III. - Never mentions this either. Says even if he was aware of his life, should not claim he has a godlike knowledge

Quote:
2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure.
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself.
(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures. - Correct; artistry and vivid depiction is a taunt at Shakespere in how he shows Richard life from his point of view
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events.

Quote:
3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate. - This is exxageration
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived. - Again an exxageration
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways. "as illuminated in literary works of that era such as Machiavelli’s The Prince, Richard’s actions seem to us all the more reasonable." This sentence shows that authors Machiavelli and Shakespere depict the same figure - Richard - in different ways; one as that if monster and other as reasonable
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature. - "was more astute" is going too far. He never says how he perceives Machiavelle as.
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince. [color=#00a651] "not surprising" is kind of vague as it is not clearly defined on how one would take surprising as

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 22:00
This passage states that historians should not judge the historic figures based on their knowledge....

1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was. Unsupported by passage
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III. Can't be concluded
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed.[color=#3bb878][/color]
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI. Unsupported by passage
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III. Can't be concluded .... he may know the history , but he chose to depict Richard in certain way

2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure. Unsupported by passage
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Out of scope
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself. Out of scope
(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures. CORRECT goes well with the main idea
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events. Close ... this may be an answer

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate. Can't be inferrred
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived. Out of scope
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways. Correct Goes with the main idea
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature. Out of scope
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince. out of scope
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 01:25
1

1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was.
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III.
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed.The two examples in the second paragraph relating to his brother's execution and king Henry 6th's murder
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI.
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III.

2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure.
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself.
(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures. The passage states - "..has made us accept this creature for the man.."
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events.

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate.
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived. The passage states - "What’s more, when we account for the tone of the times during which Richard lived"
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways.
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature.
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 03:02
Q1. Option E. The "Shakespeare-Richard III" example is provided by the author to support the conclusion i.e., starting sentence of the passage. (Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to know a particular historical figure, they are not free to claim a godlike knowledge of the figure or of the events surrounding the figure’s life.)

Q2. Option A. In other words, "great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard" makes us believe the Shakespeare's depiction of William III.

Q3. Option C. Shakespeare portrayed Richard III as a "monster" whereas Machiavelli portrayed Richard III is justifiable for his actions. This shows the contrast in the depection of various authors.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 04:13
1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was.
False.
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III.
We don't know.
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed.
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI.
False. It's unclear if H-VI was even murdered.
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III.
We don't know.

2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure.
False.
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.
Irrelevant.
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself.
[u]Most accurate answer choice. Shakespeare's literary finesse led us to believe in his own portray of Richard rather than the true man that Richard was.

(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures.
irrelevant.
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events.
irrelevant.

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate.
False.
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived.
Most accurate answer choice. Machiavelli's The Prince, a contemporary piece of literature of Richard's time gives a better understanding of his actions because it gives a picture of prevailing circumstances during that time.
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways.
irrelevant.
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature.
This could be true taking the whole passage into consideration but is beyond the scope of the current question.
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince.
Irrelevant.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 05:22
1
1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was. This is the opposite of what the text says. Wrong.
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III. This is not said in the text, what says about Elizabeth is that she was plotting, there is no value or comparison on the evilness of it. Wrong.
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed. This is mentioned in the passage and it is the author intention to make us notice it to support its objetive to show historians bias. Right.
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI. What the text actually says is that may have died of natural causes and there is no historical evidence of his murder. Wrong.
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III. This could be inferred from the first paragraph, but won't be the one that the author agrees the most, Shakesperare probably knew some facts but had more interest in having a more successful or interesting play, he was not a historian. Wrong.

2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure. That is just the opposite the author wants to point, the play may be a good piece of art but not a good way to understand the historical figure. Wrong.
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. That is not related with the aim of the passage, in another text it may be but in this one the author's goal is different. Wrong.
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself. There is no Richard describing himself nowhere, we are talking about how Richard was objectively (in the way someone's acts can be determined by an unbiased person). Wrong.
(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures. Again, this is the main point of the passage, and the author wanted to highlight how historians may be biased by taking as history fantasy written by fiction writers at that time. Right.
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events. That could make sense but is to radical, surely there are fictional works that help understand and interpret historical events, just not Shakespeare's Richard III characterization. Wrong.

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate. Actually the author stated the opposite before, and Machiavelli's mention supports the opposite too. Wrong.
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived. The author states that when reading The Prince we could have a picture about that time, and understand Richard's actions and also see them as more reasonable. Right.
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways. That could be true but is not what the author tells, helps show the historical times not the characters. Wrong.
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature. There is no comparison or information that could help us thinking that, Shakespeare is presented as a not observer of human nature but a fiction writer, so there is no astucity in play here. Wrong.
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince. That could be indirectly inferred if there was any mention about Richard's age. It is not the case and the information shows about the historical time. Wrong.

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 07:46
OAs of this RC are posted, If anyone needs OE kindly let me know. The best explanation here is by pabpinor.

1. C
2. D
3. B

Good Luck
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 08:05
OAs of this RC are posted, If anyone needs OE kindly let me know.

1. C
2. D
3. B

Good Luck

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2020, 10:14
shameekv1989 wrote:
OAs of this RC are posted, If anyone needs OE kindly let me know.

1. C
2. D
3. B

Good Luck

Official Explanation

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

Difficulty Level: 600

Explanation

According to the passage, Machiavelli’s The Prince provides information about the tone of the times in which Richard lived. The passage’s final sentence tells us that Richard’s actions seem “reasonable” in light of the tone of the times—in other words, that his actions reflected the times.

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2020, 20:41
The best explanation here is by pabpinor.

Thanks and regards

I have 1 query in Q1. Can you post OE as well?

Once we appreciate the historical context, especially the actions of Richard’s opponents, we no longer see his actions as monstrous.

Isnt this a comparison? I thought that here we can say that now Richard's actions are less evil/monstrous. So I marked B.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2020, 21:25
nkhl.goyal wrote:
The best explanation here is by pabpinor.

Thanks and regards

I have 1 query in Q1. Can you post OE as well?

Once we appreciate the historical context, especially the actions of Richard’s opponents, we no longer see his actions as monstrous.

Isnt this a comparison? I thought that here we can say that now Richard's actions are less evil/monstrous. So I marked B.

Official Explanation

1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

Difficulty Level: 600

Explanation

Shakespeare depicts Richard III as a monster with a twisted soul—a depiction that leads us to believe that Richard could well have been responsible for the deaths of both his brother Clarence and Henry VI. However, the author of the passage tells us that there is historical evidence that Richard did not kill his brother and that there is no proof that Henry VI was actually murdered.

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to  [#permalink]

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02 May 2020, 08:26
1. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) In Richard III, Shakespeare portrays the king as more noble than he actually was.
(B) The deeds of Elizabeth were even more evil than those of Richard III.
(C) Richard III may have been innocent of some of the crimes that Shakespeare leads us to believe he committed. This is the correct answer as we can observe from the passage that Shakespeare might not have understood the real circumstances of Richard.
(D) Richard III may have had a justifiable reason for killing Henry VI.
(E) Shakespeare was unaware of many of the historical facts about the life of Richard III.

2. The author of the passage refers to Shakespeare’s “great artistry and vivid depiction of Richard” (Highlighted) most probably in order to

(A) make the point that studying Richard III is the best way to understand Richard as a historical figure.
(B) explain why Richard III is widely acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.
(C) contrast Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard with how Richard might have described himself.
(D) illustrate how historians might become prejudiced in their view of historical figures. This is correct answer as the bold words in passage are like a taunt.
(E) point out that historians should never rely on fictional works to understand and interpret historical events.

3. It can be inferred from the passage information that Machiavelli’s The Prince helps show

(A) that, in his play Richard III, Shakespeare’s depiction of the king was historically accurate.
(B) that Richard’s actions were an accurate reflection of the times in which he lived.. Word in the last line of the passage "Richard’s actions seem to us all the more reasonable." shows that Richard was taking appropriate decisions as per circumstances.
(C) that different authors often depict the same historical figures in very different ways.
(D) that Machiavelli was more astute than Shakespeare as an observer of human nature.
(E) that Richard’s actions as a king are not surprising in light of his earlier actions as a prince.
Re: Historians sometimes forget that no matter how well they might come to   [#permalink] 02 May 2020, 08:26