Literary Criticism – 04 (Practice Questions & detailed answer)

Q16- Light verse (‘applied to poems that use an ordinary speaking voice and a relaxed manner’) would ——————.

1) develop its subjects out of concepts that are petty or essentially inconsequential but have great applications for social satire

2) evolve as a large subclass to ‘verse de societe’ originally dealing with relationships, concerns and doings of polite society

3) find one of its exponents in the children’s nonsense verse of the Victorian era—as in Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy Cat

4) be written initially as nursery rhymes which were then popularized as ribald or decorous limericks

Q17- Which of the following about the term ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ is TRUE?

1) They were called “deadly” because they were considered to put the soul of anyone manifesting them in peril of eternal perdition: such sins could never be forgiven

2) They were usually identified as Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, and Sloth in medieval and later Christian theology.

3) They were regarded with even more disgust that cardinal sins and were defined and discussed at length by such major theologians as Gregory the Great and Thomas Aquinas.

4) They played an important role in many works of medieval and Renaissance literature—sometimes in elaborately developed personifications—including Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale,” and Marlow’s “Hero and Leander”

Q18- Which of the following works best represent a ‘Juvenalian satire’?

1) Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy

2) Pope’s Moral Essays

3) Rabelias’ Gargantua and Pantagruel

4) Samuel Johnson’s London

Q19- The term ‘subversion-containment dialectic’ best pertains to the concerns and ideas held by —————–.

1) New historicist critics of Renaissance literature

2) History of ideas critics of the Romantic period

3) Critical theorists of the Frankfurt School

4) Yale School of deconstructionists

Q20- Which of the following about ‘Black Arts Movement’ is TRUE?

1) Its purely artistic, socially-pacifist ethics influenced the American postmodern literature of the 1970s and 80s

2) It complemented, in intellectual terms, the ‘high art’ and modernist forms developed by Ralph Ellison and other African-American writers in the 1950s

3) It designates a number of African-American writers whose work was shaped by the social and political turbulence of the 1930s

4) It was associated with the Black Power movement in politics, whose spokesmen, including Malcolm X advocated black separatism and black pride

Answers

Q16 – Option 3 (Light verse is a term applied to a great variety of poems that use an ordinary speaking voice and a relaxed manner to treat their subjects gaily, or playfully, or wittily, or with good-natured satire. The subject matter of light verse need not be in itself petty or inconsequential; the defining quality is the tone of voice used, and the attitude of the lyric or narrative speaker toward the subject. Nursery rhymes and other children’s verses are another type of light verse. Edward Lear (“The Jumblies,” “The Owl and the Pussy Cat”) and Lewis Carroll (“Jabberwocky,” The Hunting of the Snark) made children’s nonsense verses into a Victorian specialty.)

Q17 – Option 2 (In medieval and later Christian theology these sins were usually identified as Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, and Sloth. They were called “deadly” because they were considered to put the soul of anyone manifesting them in peril of eternal perdition; such sins could be expiated only by absolute penitence. Among them, Pride was often considered primary, since it was believed to have motivated the original fall of Satan in heaven. Sloth was accounted a deadly sin because it signified not simply laziness, but a torpid and despondent spiritual condition that threatened to make a person despair of any chance of achieving divine Grace.)

Q18 – Option 4 (In ‘Juvenalian satire’ the speaker is a serious moralist who uses a dignified and public utterance to decry modes of vice and error which are no less dangerous because they are ridiculous, and who undertakes to evoke from readers’ contempt, moral indignation, or an unillusioned sadness at the aberrations of humanity. Samuel Johnson’s “London” (1738) and “The Vanity of Human Wishes” (1749) are distinguished instances of Juvenalian satire.)

Q19 – Option 1 (In Greenblatt’s reading, the dialogue and events of the Henry plays reveal the degree to which princely power is based on predation, calculation, deceit, and hypocrisy; at the same time, the plays do not scruple to record the dissonant and subversive voices of Falstaff and various other representatives of Elizabethan subcultures. These counter-establishment discourses in Shakespeare’s plays, however, in fact are so managed as to maneuver their audience to accept and even glorify the power structure to which that audience is itself subordinated. Greenblatt applies to these plays a conceptual pattern, the subversion-containment dialectic, which has been a central concern of new historicist critics of Renaissance literature. The thesis is that, in order to sustain its power, any durable political and cultural order not only to some degree allows, but also actively fosters “subversive” elements and forces, yet in such a way as more effectively to “contain” such challenges to the existing order.)

Q20 – Option 4 (‘The Black Arts Movement’ designates a number of African-American writers whose work was shaped by the social and political turbulence of the 1960s—the decade of massive protests against the Vietnam War, demands for the rights of African-Americans that led to repeated and sometimes violent confrontations, and the riots and burnings in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Newark, and other major cities. The literary movement was associated with the Black Power movement in politics, whose spokesmen, including Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X, opposed the proponents of integration, and instead advocated black separatism, black pride, and black solidarity. Representatives of the Black Arts put their literary writings at the service of these social and political aims.)

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