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Elle Woods
Elle Woods
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Q20 - That Shakespeare's

by smiller Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:09 am

Question Type:

Stimulus Breakdown:
Premise: It seems certain that one of Shakespeare’s plays is modeled after a Greek play.
Premise: It’s accepted that Shakespeare knew little or no Greek.
Intermediate Conclusion: The original Greek play is not likely to have been the source for Shakespeare’s play.
Main Conclusion: It’s most likely that Shakespeare came to know the Greek play via a Latin translation.

Answer Anticipation:
This argument rejects one option, and based only on that it concludes that another option is probably true. What about a third option?

The question stem asks us to select the answer that LEAST strengthens the argument. Answers that strengthen are likely to be wrong, so we still want to consider ways to strengthen the argument. This will help us spot incorrect answers. The correct answer could weaken, or it could have no effect on the argument.

Correct answer:

Answer choice analysis:
(A) Correct. This seems to strengthen the argument at first glance. If Shakespeare included Latin phrases in his plays then he could probably read Latin, right? So he probably read a Latin translation of the Greek play, right? Let’s think about that. Do you know what an ad hominem argument is? What about a bona fide agreement? Have you ever been paid a per diem fee? Many people are familiar with these terms, which are all Latin phrases. That doesn’t mean we’re all ready to sit down and read a play written in Latin.

(B) Strengthens: This makes it less likely that Shakespeare read the play in English.

(C) Strengthens: This suggests a specific Latin translation that Shakespeare might have read.

(D) Strengthens: This makes it likely that Shakespeare studied Latin in school. As those of us who have sat in a Latin class can attest, this doesn’t guarantee that Shakespeare actually learned Latin well enough to read a play. But it does improve the odds.

(E) Strengthens: If other works by Shakespeare are based on Latin translations of Greek plays, it’s more likely that the play in question is based on a similar translation.

When looking for an answer that LEAST strengthens, the correct answer might neither strengthen nor weaken the argument

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Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q20 - That Shakespeare's

by MingL143 Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:42 pm

Why A is right? ?

Why B is wrong? “ The only English language version of Alcestis drastically from the original in ways the Winter’s Tale does not”. How does this strengthen the conclusion that “ Shakespeare relying on a translation”? Is this because, the dramatic difference kind of proves that Shakespeare couldn’t understand the Greek original version? Therefore strengthening the premise?
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Atticus Finch
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Re: Q20 - That Shakespeare's

by ohthatpatrick Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:22 pm

CURIOUS FACT: How did Shakespeare model one of his plays after an ancient Greek play if Shakespeare knew very little Greek?

AUTHOR'S EXPLANATION: Shakespeare used a Latin translation

To strengthen this type of argument, we need to either:
1. RULE OUT some other explanation for the curious fact
2. CORROBORATE the author's explanation for the curious fact

(B) rules out an alternate explanation.
Objection: "What if Shakespeare used an English translation of the ancient Greek play?"

(B): "It doesn't look like he did. After all, Shakespeare's play differs drastically from the English translation he would have had access to."

(C) corroborates the author's explanation. The author's explanation assumes that Shakespeare had access to a Latin translation and had the capacity to read it. This answer establishes that Shakespeare had access to a Latin translation.

(D) corroborates the author's explanation. This helps establish that Shakespeare had the capacity to read Latin.

(E) corroborates the author's explanation. This just makes the author's explanation more plausible by introducing relevantly similar examples of Shakespeare using a Latin translation to read a Greek play.

(A) does less than any of those, so it's correct. If it does anything, it very mildly supports the idea that Shakespeare had the capacity to read Latin, but (D) definitely provides much more convincing evidence that Shakespeare had the capacity to read Latin.

Knowing / using widely used Latin phrases is not strong evidence that someone can read Latin. I know and use words like "ennui, menage a trois, raison d'etre, etc." but I can't speak any French and would not be able to read a French translation.