The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present 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. What kind of family background did Montaigne come from?

2. What is Michel de Montaigne considered to be?

3. What is ironic about the Montaigne essay title, "Of a Monstrous Child?"?

4. What was the profession of Seneca the Younger's father?

5. Plutarch is known for his tenderness towards which group of people?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is dealt with by Kenko in his essay "Essays in Idleness?"

2. How are the writings of Montaigne structured?

3. What is the tone of Joseph Addison's "Nicolini and the Lions?" What details of the story account for this tone?

4. As expressed in "On Some Verses of Virgil," what does Montaigne have to say about the nature of the sexes?

5. What is the subject of Abraham Cowley's "Of Greatness"? What point does Abraham Cowley make?

6. What is "On Noise" about? What does Seneca advise?

7. What philosophy of death does Plutarch advise in "Consolation to His Wife?"

8. What is the subject of "Pleasure Boat Studio?"

9. What is the subject of Montaigne's "Of Books?"

10. What personal details are included in Seneca's "Asthma"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Journeying is the topic of Henry David Thoreau's "Walking" and William Hazlitt's "On Going a Journey."

A) What is the nature of the "journey" each man takes? Is the journey physical, spiritual, philosophical?

B) How might each man's journey be applied to larger life issues?

Essay Topic 2

"Essays in Idleness" by Kenko and "An Apology for Idlers" by Robert Louis Stevenson provide musings on idleness.

A) How does each author view idleness? Can idleness be valuable? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being idle?

B) Compare the forms of each essay. Kenko wrote a journal, while Stevenson is offering an "apology." How does form relate to content in each case?

Essay Topic 3

Michel de Montaigne speaks about the nature of reading and writing in his essays "Of Books" and "On Some Verses of Virgil."

A) What is Montaigne's philosophy of education? What does it mean to acquire and have an education? How does level of education separate people?

B) What is Montaigne's philosophy in regards to borrowing from other sources, including classical authors. Why does he do this borrowing?

(see the answer keys)

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