Literary Theory: An Introduction 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. The transition from structuralism to post-structuralism is partly in response to what movement?

2. According to Eagleton, why is Shakespeare considered great literature?

3. According to Eagleton, the Western philosophical tradition has "consistently vilified" what?

4. According to Eagleton, what is the disadvantage of claiming literature as more valuable and rewarding than other texts?

5. According to Eagleton, "the meaning of a sign is a matter of what the sign is _____."

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Eagleton claim that Northrop Frye's work emphasized the "utopian root'" of all literature and what is his response?

2. Who is Ferdinand de Saussure and what was his contribution to the field of literary theory?

3. How did Mikhail Bakhtin view language?

4. What are the four areas Eagleton discusses rhetoric should target that would bring about transformation in society?

5. What is multiple pluralism and why does Eagleton object to it?

6. How did Northrop Frye attempt to combine the formalist focus on the text with the essence of new American criticism?

7. What is Eagleton's main critique of the some forms of post-structuralism and why is it significant?

8. How does Julia Kristeva view language and why is it significant?

9. How did post-structuralism develop and why is it significant?

10. What is Sigmund Freud's Oedipus complex and why is it significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Jacques Lacan's work on language as it relates to psychoanalytic theory. How does Lacan's work differ from Freud's?

Essay Topic 2

Define, discuss, and analyze the emergence and development of romantic aesthetic theory.

1) What were the romantic writers responding to in terms of the society in which they lived and worked?

2) What was the role of the romantic artist in society?

3) According to the romantics, why was the symbol so central to the meaning of a text?

4) What are some of the lasting effects of romantic theory?

Essay Topic 3

What is the relationship between individualism and authoritarian capitalism? Why does Eagleton argue that literary theory's attempt to validate the individual as disconnected from society a myth?

(see the answer keys)

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