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. How does Burke define "love?"

2. What type of word are man, castle, horse, etc., as defined by Burke?

3. Which is one of the examples Burke cites to demonstrate the sublime in poetry?

4. What examples does Burke use to prove that human proportionality does not necessarily equal human beauty?

5. What quality of mind does Burke find in women that he thinks is analogous to fragility?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is beautiful in feeling, according to Burke?

2. According to Burke, how does the human eye work?

3. Why are small objects more suited to the beautiful and large objects more suitable to the sublime, according to Burke?

4. Briefly summarize the three classes of words that Burke identifies.

5. What, according to Burke, is the primary strength of poetry?

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

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

8. How does Burke define ugliness, and how does Burke relate ugliness to beauty?

9. 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?

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

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

Summarize Burke's definition of pain and pleasure. How do they exist relative to one another? How do they influence human passions? What state of being does one occupy when experiencing neither pain nor pleasure? How does Burke distinguish delight from pleasure, and how does he connect joy and grief? What examples does Burke use to support his definitions?

(see the answer keys)

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