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There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plow

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There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plow  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 12:16
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There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plowman by Langland (1330-1400) and House of Fame by Chaucer (1342-1400), two Middle English poems relating dream visions. Some critics have argued that because a number of the shared elements are uncommon in Middle English poetry, and because Langland’s poem probably predates Chaucer’s by a few years, Chaucer was most likely influenced by Piers Plowman when writing House of Fame.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the critics’ argument?

A. Piers Plowman is one of Langland’s major works, whereas House of Fame is a minor work of Chaucer’s.
B. House of Fame survives in only three manuscript copies, substantially fewer than the number of manuscript copies that exist of Piers Plowman.
C. Because Piers Plowman became a well-known work in its day, it is likely that the similarities between it and House of Fame were detected by many of the people who read House of Fame soon after Chaucer wrote it.
D. Many of the themes and structures of Piers Plowman are also found in Latin, Italian, French works with which Chaucer could well have been familiar.
E. There is no evidence that Chaucer and Langland ever met or that they corresponded with each other about literary topics.

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There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plow  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 23:23
carcass wrote:
There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plowman by Langland (1330-1400) and House of Fame by Chaucer (1342-1400), two Middle English poems relating dream visions. Some critics have argued that because a number of the shared elements are uncommon in Middle English poetry, and because Langland’s poem probably predates Chaucer’s by a few years, Chaucer was most likely influenced by Piers Plowman when writing House of Fame.


Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the critics’ argument?


A. Piers Plowman is one of Langland’s major works, whereas House of Fame is a minor work of Chaucer’s. Major and Minor work is Irrelevant to us. Minor work may not necessarily a work of influence.

B. House of Fame survives in only three manuscript copies, substantially fewer than the number of manuscript copies that exist of Piers Plowman.

Fewer copies does not prove whether the work was influenced or not.

C. Because Piers Plowman became a well-known work in its day, it is likely that the similarities between it and House of Fame were detected by many of the people who read House of Fame soon after Chaucer wrote it.

Irrelevant : Similarities does not mean influence.

D. Many of the themes and structures of Piers Plowman are also found in Latin, Italian, French works with which Chaucer could well have been familiar.

This shows us that Chaucer may have influenced by similar themes and structures given in literatures of other languages, and not necessarily from "Piers Plowman" poems. A slight weakner but best among given choices. This is not a perfect answer IMO as there is always a possibility that "Piers Plowman" poems might have been translated in different languages which Chaucer did refer to. But this is the only choice we have that suits best

E. There is no evidence that Chaucer and Langland ever met or that they corresponded with each other about literary topics.

To get influenced, there is no need to meet or correspond about literary topics. It does not help us.

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Re: There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plow  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 23:40
According to D, the same themes and structures are available in French, Latin, Italian and other works as well and Chaucer could have been well versed with these works. Chaucer could have been influenced by these themes and structures from these other works rather than from the work of Langland.
E states that there is no evidence that Chaucer and Langland ever met. It does not explicitly state that there is no connection between the two. According to E there could be or could not be a connection between the two. E is in fact a trap.
A, B and C go out of context and do nothing to weaken the argument. So D is the correct answer choice.

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Re: There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plow  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 23:49
carcass wrote:
There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plowman by Langland (1330-1400) and House of Fame by Chaucer (1342-1400), two Middle English poems relating dream visions. Some critics have argued that because a number of the shared elements are uncommon in Middle English poetry, and because Langland’s poem probably predates Chaucer’s by a few years, Chaucer was most likely influenced by Piers Plowman when writing House of Fame.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the critics’ argument?

A. Piers Plowman is one of Langland’s major works, whereas House of Fame is a minor work of Chaucer’s.
B. House of Fame survives in only three manuscript copies, substantially fewer than the number of manuscript copies that exist of Piers Plowman.
C. Because Piers Plowman became a well-known work in its day, it is likely that the similarities between it and House of Fame were detected by many of the people who read House of Fame soon after Chaucer wrote it.
D. Many of the themes and structures of Piers Plowman are also found in Latin, Italian, French works with which Chaucer could well have been familiar.
E. There is no evidence that Chaucer and Langland ever met or that they corresponded with each other about literary topics.


Conclusion -> Chaucer was most likely influenced by Piers Plowman(written by Langland) when writing House of Fame.

Now i have to weaken by saying it wasn't the influence of Langland's book but something else is the reason for that influence.

I thought on these lines , they could be working together on some project, something else influenced Langland's book.

A. Piers Plowman is one of Langland’s major works, whereas House of Fame is a minor work of Chaucer’s.
This is nowhere questioning the conclusion, Irrelevant

B. House of Fame survives in only three manuscript copies, substantially fewer than the number of manuscript copies that exist of Piers Plowman.
There is no relationship between survival of manuscripts and influence.

C. Because Piers Plowman became a well-known work in its day, it is likely that the similarities between it and House of Fame were detected by many of the people who read House of Fame soon after Chaucer wrote it.
this is a mild strengthener.

D. Many of the themes and structures of Piers Plowman are also found in Latin, Italian, French works with which Chaucer could well have been familiar.
This correctly gives us the different reason for the influence.

E. There is no evidence that Chaucer and Langland ever met or that they corresponded with each other about literary topics
Meeting has no relationship between getting and not getting influenced by somebody's work.
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Re: There are many structural and thematic similarities between Piers Plow   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2019, 23:49
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