A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful Test | Final 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. What emotion has the physical effects of a reclined head, half-closed eyelids, and sighing breath, according to Burke?

2. What has Burke observed in himself regarding the passions and the body, in Section IV?

3. What is Burke's general opinion of linking beauty to virtue?

4. What is another word for the "fitness" of objects about which Burke writes?

5. What visual example does Burke FIRST offer in his explanation of succession and the sublime?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Burke propose to study in Part IV? What caveat does he offer his readers?

2. What is the "real" cause of beauty, according to Burke?

3. What is unique about the historical figure of Campanella, as related by Burke?

4. What two examples does Burke use to illustrate the sublimity of succession in visual objects? Upon which principles does Burke assert these two examples operate?

5. How can pain be a cause of delight, in everyday life and in effecting the sublime?

6. What are the physical effects of fear and pain, and what is the difference between fear and pain, as observed by Burke?

7. How does Burke define proportion, and under which human faculty does it fall?

8. What, to Burke, is the most affecting type of language in poetry and literature?

9. What does Burke assert affects the mind besides natural causes, and how does this thing relate to natural causes?

10. What example does Burke use to demonstrate that perfection is not the cause of beauty?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the ways in which "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" is a gendered text. Is the role of women in the text obvious or subtle, and in what ways? How does Burke's near universal usage of masculine or second person pronouns affect the way you read the text? How is Burke's use and inclusion of women reflective of the role and status of women in mid-18th century English society? What is your reaction to Burke's characterization of and use of women in the text? How can you apply what you know of feminist critical theory or gender theory to approach "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful"?

Essay Topic 2

Define obscurity and clearness, or clarity, as Burke uses them. What significance do obscurity and clearness have to the sublime? How does the imagination interact with obscurity and with clarity? Which passions does Burke associate with obscurity, and which with clarity? Define the aspects of dimensionality Burke uses (vastness, infinity, and magnitude). How do these relate to the sublime? What qualities of "magnificence" are sublime? Use examples like what Burke uses to support your points.

Essay Topic 3

What, according to Burke, is sublime about religion? What tool do many religions make use of, to what ends? Carefully analyze the example Burke offers in Part II, Section V, beginning on page 61. Pay close attention to Burke's word choice, use of imagery, figurative language, selection of references or allusions, and the general tone with which he writes. How does this example reinforce Burke's assertions about religion and power? Are there any problems you see with this example, or any counter-arguments you can mak?

(see the answer keys)

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