Reading Comprehension : CAT Prepration
There are two theories that have often been used to explain ancient and modern tragedy. Neither
quite explains the complexity of the tragic process or the tragic hero, but each explains important
elements of tragedy, and, because their conclusions are contradictory, they represent extreme
and of the limitation of human effort. But this theory of tragedy is an oversimplification, primarily
because it confuses the tragic condition with the tragic process: the theory does not acknowledge
that fate, in a tragedy, normally becomes external to the hero only after the tragic process has as a
heroism that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is unique to tragedy. The tragic hero quality
of an honest person, but the external antagonist of the criminal. Secondarily, this theory of tragedy
does not distinguish tragedy from irony. Irony does not need an exceptional central figure: the
original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy.
as a rule, the more ignoble the hero the sharper the irony, when irony alone is the objective. It is
heroism that creates the splendor and exhilaration that is unique to tragedy. The tragic hero
normally has an extraordinary, often a nearly divine, destiny almost within grasp, and the glory of
the original destiny never quite fades out of the tragedy.
The second theory of tragedy states that the act that sets the tragic process in motion must be
primarily a violation of normal law, whether human or divine; in short, that the tragic hero must have
a flaw that has an essential connection with sin. Again it is true that the great majority of tragic
heroes do possess hubris, or a proud and passionate mind that seems to make the hero’s downfall
morally explicable. But such hubris is only the precipitating agent of catastrophe, just as in comedy
the cause )f the happy ending is usually some act of humility often performed by a noble character
who is meanly disguised.
This theory of tragedy as morally explicable runs into the question of whether an innocent sufferer
in a tragedy, such as Iphigenia, or Socrates in Plato Apology, is a tragic figure. They are, of course,
even though it is not very easy to find crucial moral flaws in them. Cordelia shows sincerity and high
spirit in refusing to flatter her faber, and Cordelia is 30 hanged. Tragedy, in short, is ambiguous
and cannot be reduced to the opposition between human effort. and external fate, just as it cannot
be reduced to the opposition between good and evil.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is. to
A) compare and criticize two theories of tragedy.
B) develop a new theory of tragedy.
C) summarize the thematic content of tragedy.
D) reject one theory of tragedy and offer another theory in its place.
E) distinguish between tragedy and iron
2. The author states that the theories discussed in the passage “represent extreme views”
because their conclusions are
(A) unpopular (B) complex (C) paradoxical
(D) contradictory. (E) imaginative
3. Which of the following comparisons of the tragic with the ironic hero is best supported by
information contained in the’ passage?
A) A tragic hero’s fate is an external condition, but an ironic hero’s fate is an internal one.
B)A tragic hero must be controlled by fate, but an ironic hero cannot be.
C) A tragic hero’s moral flaw surprises the, audience, but an ironic hero’s sin does not.
D) A tragic hero and an ironic hero cannot both be virtuous figures in the same tragedy.
E) A tragic hero is usually extraordinary, but an ironic hero may be cowardly or even villainous.
4. The author contrasts an honest person and a criminal primarily in order to
A) prove that fate cannot be external to the tragic hero.
B) establish a criterion that allows a distinction to be made between irony and tragedy.
C) develop the distinction between the tragic condition and the tragic process.
D)introduce the concept of sin as the cause of tragic action.
E) argue that the theme of omnipotent external fate is shared by comedy and tragedy.
5. According to the. author, Cordellia is an example of a figure who
A) transcended both the laws of ‘fate and the laws of society.
B) sinned, but whose sin did not set the tragic process in motion.
C) disobeyed a moral law, but was not punished for doing so.
D) submitted willingly to fate, even though her submission caused her death.
E) did not set the tragic process in motion, but is still a tragic figure.
6. In the author’s opinion, an act of humility in comedy is most analogous to
A) a catastrophe in tragedy.
B) an ironic action in tragedy.
C) a tragic hero’s pride and passion
D) a tragic hero’s aversion to sin.
E) a tragic hero’s pursuit of an unusual destiny.