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There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode

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There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 05:52
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⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.



1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70

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Posts: 291
Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 05:54
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70



Official Explanation

RC79461.01-10

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

Main idea

What is the primary purpose of the passage? The hypothesis that the primary purpose of the passage is to compare and criticize two theories of tragedy is attractive. After all, the substance of the passage consists mainly of a discussion of the two theories.

To confirm that answer choice A is the best choice, however, we need to quickly review the other options. Does the passage develop a new theory of tragedy? No. Does it summarize the thematic content of tragedy? This would be clear if so; it is not clear. Does it offer a theory of tragedy to replace a theory it rejects? Definitely not. Does it distinguish between tragedy and irony? This is discussed, but only in a manner incidental to the main idea of the passage. Given the unsuitability of the other answer choices, we are left with answer choice A: that the main purpose of the passage is to compare and criticize two theories of tragedy.

A. Correct. This best describes the main purpose of the passage, based on the analysis above.

B. The passage does not develop a new theory of tragedy.

C. While the passage summarizes the thematic content of tragedy in a very general way, it does so only as a means to providing a critical analysis of the two theories of tragedy discussed.

D. The passage does not advance a new theory of tragedy; it simply considers two existing theories.

E. The passage distinguishes between tragedy and irony; it does so only in service of the larger analysis that is the main focus of the passage.

The correct answer is A.
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Senior Manager
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Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 291
Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 05:56
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70



Official Explanation

RC79461.01-20

2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

Supporting idea

What reason does the author of the passage state for the claim that the two theories of tragedy discussed represent extreme views?

A careful reading of the first few sentences of the passage provides a quick answer to this question. In the second sentence of the passage, the author states that the two theories represent extreme views because their conclusions are contradictory.

It may be that the author has other reasons for this conclusion. However, no other such reasons are stated.

A. The author neither explicitly nor implicitly characterizes either of the theories as unpopular.

B. The author refers to the complexity of the tragic process, but this statement is not used to complain that the theories are extreme.

C. The author nowhere states that either of the theories—or their juxtaposition—is paradoxical.

D. Correct. The author presents this as reason for concluding that the theories are extreme.

E. The author nowhere refers to imaginativeness as a reason for the claim that the theories are extreme.

The correct answer is D.
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Posts: 291
Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 05:59
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70



Official Explanation

RC79461.01-30

3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

Supporting idea

What is the author's main reason for objecting to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate?

This view is attributed, in the passage's third sentence, to the first of the two theories considered. The author characterizes this view as an oversimplification, primarily because it confuses the tragic condition with the tragic process. In other words, the tragic hero's relationship with fate changes as the tragic process continues: fate is used to balance the tragic hero's life, and becomes an external condition as the hero's life becomes unbalanced.

The author elaborates that in ancient Greek tragedy fate normally becomes external to the hero only after the tragic process has begun. Therefore, the correct answer will likely mention either the tragic “process” or the tragic “condition.”

A. This option mentions neither the tragic condition nor the tragic process.

B. Correct. This option mentions the tragic process and accurately captures the reason presented by the author to support the objection raised.

C. The author invokes ancient Greek tragedy to illustrate and support the objection raised; it is not invoked to indicate a flaw in the theory objected to.

D. The author does not cite tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience as a primary reason for the objection raised.

E. The author does not cite the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate as the primary reason for the objection raised.

The correct answer is B.
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Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 06:00
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70



Official Explanation

RC79461.01-40

4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

Inference

Which one of the comparisons between the tragic hero and the ironic hero is most strongly supported by the information in the passage?

To eliminate some of the choices, note the following: first, the passage indicates that the tragic hero's fate is initially internal, but the passage does not apply this to the ironic hero's fate. Second, the passage does not suggest that an ironic hero cannot be controlled by fate. Third, the passage does not attribute a sin to the ironic hero, yet it does indicate that the character of the ironic hero tends to be ignoble.

In any case, the passage is silent as to whether a tragedy can feature two heroes, one tragic and the other ironic. Finally, the passage implies that tragedy, unlike irony, needs an exceptional central figure. Furthermore, the passage suggests the following about an ironic hero: the more ignoble the hero the sharper the irony.

A. The passage indicates that the tragic hero's fate is initially internal but becomes external as part of the tragic process. The passage does consider whether an ironic hero can be controlled by fate but also does not exclude that possibility. Therefore, the passage does not suggest that externalized fate is a factor that distinguishes the tragic hero from the ironic hero.

B. Nothing in the passage indicates that an ironic hero cannot be controlled by fate.

C. The passage indicates that the character of the ironic hero tends to be ignoble. However, it does not imply that a sin by the ironic hero is essential to the development of the irony.

D .The passage does not address whether a tragedy can feature two heroes, one of whom is tragic and one of whom is ironic.

E. Correct. Among the choices provided, this comparison is best supported: tragedy requires an exceptional central figure, while for irony, the more ignoble the hero the better.

The correct answer is E.
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Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 06:02
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70



Official Explanation

RC79461.01-50

5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

Evaluation

For what reason does the author draw a contrast between an honest person and a criminal? The contrast is presented during the discussion of the first of the two theories of tragedy; in particular, it is introduced to question whether fate is necessarily external in the tragic hero. The author suggests that fate, as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is initially the internal balancing condition of life. However, fate becomes external once the tragic process is unleashed. The tragic process begins when the theory violates this internal balance, ultimately leading to the tragic condition.

From this perspective, fate is both internal and external during the tragic process. Attributing sin to the tragic hero pertains only to the discussion of the second theory of tragedy. Note that no reference to comedy occurs in the context of the contrast drawn between an honest person and a criminal.

A. The passage suggests that fate can be external as well as internal in ancient Greek tragedy.

B. The distinction between tragedy and irony is offered as a critique of the first theory of tragedy; it is not presented as derived from the preceding discussion about fate.

C. Correct. As explained above, the contrast between the internal and external forms of fate is presented to distinguish between the tragic process itself and the tragic condition that is the outcome of the tragic process.

D. The attribution of sin to the tragic hero figures only in the discussion of the second theory of tragedy; therefore it is not associated with the mentioned contrast.

E. While the passage briefly mentions comedy, it is not in association with the contrast mentioned.

The correct answer is C.
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Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 06:04
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70




Official Explanation

RC79461.01-60

6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

Evaluation

Which one of the five answer choices best describes the primary purpose of the author's claim that the glory of the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy”? In the sentence immediately preceding this claim, we read: It is heroism that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is unique to tragedy.

Tragedy persistently reminds us of the extraordinary destiny that could have been attained by the hero. This reminds the audience that this glorious destiny has been tragically lost. The final sentence of the first paragraph, therefore, serves to support the claim in the sentence that precedes it.

A. Nothing suggests that the author regards this claim as lessening the flaw that the author sees in the theory of tragedy first discussed.
B. This claim does not introduce the discussion of the second theory in the sense of creating a meaningful transition to it.
C. Nowhere does the passage address a theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition; the author suggests that both are inherent in tragedy.
D. Correct. The context indicates that the author's suggestion is presented to support the claim expressed in the sentence that precedes it.
E. Nowhere does the passage mention a distinction between ancient Greek tragedy and more recent tragedy.

The correct answer is D.
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Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 06:05
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀There are two theories that have been used to
⠀⠀⠀ explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither quite
⠀⠀⠀ explains the complexity of the tragic process or the
⠀⠀⠀ tragic hero, but each explains important elements
(5) of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are
⠀⠀⠀ contradictory, they represent extreme views. The first
⠀⠀⠀ theory states that all tragedy exhibits the workings
⠀⠀⠀ of external fate. Of course, the overwhelming
⠀⠀⠀ majority of tragedies do leave us with a sense of the
(10) supremacy of impersonal power and of the limitation
⠀⠀⠀ of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an
⠀⠀⠀ oversimplification, primarily because it confuses
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic condition with the tragic process: the
⠀⠀⠀ theory does not acknowledge that fate, in a tragedy,
(15) normally becomes external to the hero only after
⠀⠀⠀ the tragic process has been set in motion. Fate, as
⠀⠀⠀ conceived in ancient Greek tragedy, is the internal
⠀⠀⠀ balancing condition of life. It appears as external
⠀⠀⠀ only after it has been violated, just as justice is an
(20) internal quality of an honest person, but the external
⠀⠀⠀ antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory
⠀⠀⠀ of tragedy does not distinguish tragedy from irony.
⠀⠀⠀ Irony does not need an exceptional central figure:
⠀⠀⠀ as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the
(25) irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is heroism
⠀⠀⠀ that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is
⠀⠀⠀ unique to tragedy. The tragic hero normally has an
⠀⠀⠀ extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost
⠀⠀⠀ within grasp, and the glory of that original destiny
(30) never quite fades out of the tragedy.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The second theory of tragedy states that the
⠀⠀⠀ act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
⠀⠀⠀ primarily a violation of moral law, whether human
⠀⠀⠀ or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have a
(35) flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again
⠀⠀⠀ it is true that the great majority of tragic heroes do
⠀⠀⠀ possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind
⠀⠀⠀ that seems to make the hero's downfall morally
⠀⠀⠀ explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating
(40) agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause
⠀⠀⠀ of the happy ending is usually some act of humility,
⠀⠀⠀ often performed by a noble character who is meanly
⠀⠀⠀ disguised.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. compare and criticize two theories of tragedy
B. develop a new theory of tragedy
C. summarize the thematic content of tragedy
D. reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place
E. distinguish between tragedy and irony

RC79461.01-10



2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views” (see line 6) because their conclusions are

A. unpopular
B. complex
C. paradoxical
D. contradictory
E. imaginative

RC79461.01-20



3. The author objects to the theory that all tragedy exhibits the workings of external fate primarily because

A. fate in tragedies is not as important a cause of action as is the violation of a moral law
B. fate in tragedies does not appear to be something that is external to the tragic hero until after the tragic process has begun
C. the theory is based solely on an understanding of ancient Greek tragedy
D. the theory does not seem to be a plausible explanation of tragedy's ability to exhilarate an audience
E. the theory does not seem applicable to the large number of tragedies in which the hero overcomes fate

RC79461.01-30



4. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by information contained in the passage?

A. A tragic hero's fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero's fate is an internal one.
B. A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C. A tragic hero's moral flaw surprises the audience, but an ironic hero's sin does not.
D. A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E. A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.

RC79461.01-40



5. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal (see lines 19–21) primarily to

A. prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero
B. establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy
C. develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process
D. introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action
E. argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy

RC79461.01-50



6. The author suggests that the tragic hero's “original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy” (see lines 29–30) primarily to

A. qualify the assertion that the theory of tragedy as a display of external fate is inconsistent
B. introduce the discussion of the theory that tragedy is the consequence of individual sin
C. refute the theory that the tragic process is more important than the tragic condition
D. support the claim that heroism creates the splendor and exhilaration of tragedy
E. distinguish between fate as conceived in ancient Greek tragedy and fate in more recent tragedy

RC79461.01-60



7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

RC79461.01-70




RC79461.01-70

Official Explanation


7. In the author's opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to

A. a catastrophe in tragedy
B. an ironic action in tragedy
C. a tragic hero's pride and passion
D. a tragic hero's aversion to sin
E. a tragic hero's pursuit of an unusual destiny

Inference

What would the author regard as most analogous to an act of humility in comedy? The author writes that a proud and passionate mind is the precipitating agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy the cause of the happy ending is usually some act of humility. In other words, in tragedy, the hero's hubris leads to his or her downfall.

A. A catastrophe is an external event rather than the quality of a character, whereas both hubris and humility are qualities of human characters.

B. Nowhere does the passage associate an ironic action in tragedy with an act of humility.

C. Correct. The author compares how hubris leads to catastrophe in tragedy with how an act of humility leads to a happy ending in comedy.

D. The author refers to how the second theory associates the tragic hero with sin. However, the author makes no reference to the tragic hero's aversion to sin as analogous to an act of humility in comedy.

E. The author does not propose any similarity between the extraordinary aspiration of the tragic hero—that is, the hero's unusual destiny—and an act of humility in comedy.

The correct answer is C.
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Re: There are two theories that have been used to explain ancient and mode  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 03:05
I dont think this passage is 700 level. It must be sub-600 level
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New post 26 Sep 2019, 07:22
prags1989 this one looks like 600-700 level
4 out of the 7 questions are pretty straightforward
the remaining 3 are a bit tricky
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New post 23 Oct 2019, 01:44
1
Q4 and Q7 incorrect - both rely on an understanding of definitions.

Q4 - ignoble == not honourable in character or purpose.

Q7 - Hubris = excessive pride --> understanding this makes C quite clearly the answer, but we could get to C via POE. I got caught on A, which is actually the end-result of the analogous situation, not the situation itself.
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New post 23 Oct 2019, 01:47
gmatt1476

In future can you please consolidate your answers in one post and hide the explanations please. It seems redundant and doesn't encourage user replies when all the answers are posted.

SajjadAhmad do you mind consolidating please?
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