For each item, write a substantial answer or response equal in size, scope, depth, granularity, and content to what an accomplished, well-studied student could produce in twelve minutes. There being five items, the length of the entire test effort should not exceed sixty minutes. There will be no reward for writing at excessive length; grading will be calibrated to the aforementioned parameters. It is far better to write a compelling twelve-minute answer or response than to produce a sloppy or rambling thirty-minute commentary. As you type in your answers, the area beneath the question or topic should expand to accommodate your input.
1. John Dryden’s Essay of Dramatic Poesy showcases four characters: Crites; Eugenius; Lisideius; and Neander. Explain which of these characters, in your opinion, would be most approving of Dryden’s poem, Mac Flecknoe, and offer the reasons for your answer. Those reasons should derive from early neoclassical literary theory and verse composition practice.
2. Select any one stanza from a poem on our reading list by Abraham Cowley. Explain how some rhetorical or stylistic oddity—some unusual adjustment in meter; some peculiar rhyme; some neologism; whatever—modifies the meaning or effect of the stanza in question or, alternatively, of the entire poem.
3. Alexander Pope’s poem Windsor Forest abounds with periphrasis. Select your favorite example of periphrasis in Windsor Forest and explain, making specific reference to other passages, how it advances or colors or modulates the entirety of Pope’s landmark poem. You may refresh your memory concerning periphrasis at https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100317925#:~:text=A roundabout way of referring,in the use of kennings.
4. Among the most accessible yet also most enigmatic characters in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko is “Trefry,” who comes and goes from the story, usually during episodes that center on other characters. Select any passage from this work of prose fiction in which Trefry appears and explain what his presence or comments or actions add to it.
5. Lady Margaret Cavendish, John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester, and Jonathan Swift all specialize in the delicate presentation of hideous things, whether ferociously sharp atoms or the effects of aging on pleasure or the monstrosities of the human body. Choose any one of these three peculiar poets and analyze, explicate, and appreciate a passage from one of that author’s compositions in which beauty and revulsion merge.
There should be five responses in total. Be sure to address ALL aspects each is asking for. Read carefully and answer them in full capacity.