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 do use and habit affect pleasure?

2. What is John Locke's theory concerning darkness?

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

4. How does Burke define "blackness?"

5. Upon what does the power of poetry NOT depend, according to Burke?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Paraphrase Burke's definition of beauty and the distinction he makes between love and lust or desire.

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

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

8. Why, according to Burke, is proportion not the cause of beauty in vegetation and animals?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the role of the senses in producing the effect of the sublime. How does Burke describe the differences between light and dark, relative to the sublime? What types of colors are productive of the sublime, and which colors are not, according to Burke? What qualities of sound produce the sublime? How can certain smells and tastes be sublime? Use examples to reinforce your points, and explain how each example is relevant.

Essay Topic 2

What are the limitations of the use of first-person perspective? What are the advantages to it? Do you feel that Burke uses any strategies to combat the limitations of this perspective, and if so, what does he do? What specific language does he employ, and with what results? How do the two Prefaces employ first-person perspective? What tone does Burke adopt in them, and do you think his tone is at all a product of the written point of view? Can you categorize the Prefaces as ultimately self-serving, useful, argumentative, informative to the state of his mind, etc., or is doing so problematic in and of itself? How do these instances of first-person perspective affect your reaction to the text? For example, do you feel more like a real person is speaking to you, rather than like you're being lecture?

Essay Topic 3

Carefully analyze Part III, sections VI, IX, and XV, looking for passages which you think are particularly important in demonstrating ways in which Burke characterizes women. Pay close attention to Burke's word choice, imagery, use of metaphor or other figurative speech, and his general tone. How does he use women to demonstrate that perfection is not the cause of beauty? How does Burke use women as examples to demonstrate some of the aspects of beauty? What gender distinctions does Burke make between men and women, and do these distinctions seem to move beyond merely the realm of the beautiful? What parts of the female body, and what characteristics of femininity, does Burke focus on? What portions of the body or characteristics of femininity does Burke neglect?

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