A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Burke define pain and pleasure?

2. According to Burke, what is more powerful than light at representing the sublime?

3. What examples does Burke use to argue that some sights are pleasurable to all people?

4. Which passion belongs under the heading of "self-preservation?"

5. What term does Burke use to reflect uncertainty relative to the sublime?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the significance of the imagination, to Burke?

2. Summarize Burke's section about the role of smells and tastes relating to the sublime.

3. What is the cause of a wrong taste, and what are examples of it?

4. Describe the main difference between light and dark relative to the sublime.

5. Describe the passions belonging to society, as Burke introduces them.

6. Summarize Burke's definition of pain and pleasure.

7. What, according to Burke, is sublime about religion?

8. Briefly describe the significance of human judgment to the faculty of taste.

9. What is "magnificence," according to Burke?

10. What significance do obscurity and clarity have to the sublime?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the faculty of "taste," as Burke depicts it, what are the three human faculties that affect taste? How does Burke consider the general human capacity about taste? What "agreements" does Burke assert are naturally part of taste? What does Burke argue about tastes that deviate from causes other than habit or use? Briefly describe the significance of human judgment to the faculty of taste. What is the cause of a wrong taste, and what are some examples of it? What does Burke identify as the central tension between the imagination and the judgment? How can one improve one's taste? What is the significance of pleasure to taste, and the relationship between pleasure and judgment?

Essay Topic 2

Define the three classes of words that Burke identifies, and summarize his reasons for classifying language in this manner. Give examples of all three classes of words, and explain why your examples are appropriate. How does Burke differentiate between the three classes of words? What does Burke accomplish by categorizing language? What three primary effects do words have upon a listener or a reader, and how are these effects manifested? How does Burke explain that words may have an effect without raising images in the listener or reader's mind. How do words not connected to concrete or sensible things affect the mind? Which categories of words does Burke attach to certain effects? What kinds of words are the strongest and have the greatest effects upon the listener or reader?

Essay Topic 3

How does Burke define and categorize power? What is the significance of power to the sublime? What is power's relation to pain and pleasure? How does Burke relate danger to power? What are some of the examples Burke uses to represent power, and do you think they are accurate examples?

(see the answer keys)

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