QUESTION TYPE: Principle – Justify
CONCLUSION: It doesn’t matter whether Shakespeare’s work in Richard III was historically inaccurate.
REASONING: Shakespeare’s Richard III is aesthetically and morally instructive and interesting.
ANALYSIS: On principle/justify questions, you need to add an abstract principle to justify the reason. You may already be agreeing with the principle without realizing. If you agree with the author, ask yourself what assumption you have made.
Here, it is “Historical accuracy doesn’t matter if a fictional character is instructive”, or something like that.
- CORRECT. This helps. (If aesthetic value were undermined by inaccuracy, then the argument wouldn’t be very strong.)
- This weakens the argument! The author was saying historical inaccuracy is acceptable.
- This isn’t at all what the author said. And literary criticism doesn’t necessarily mean “negative stuff”; it just means making a judgement about literature. If I say “Shakespeare was good!” then I’m engaged in literary criticism. “Literary evaluation” might be a clearer term. Since the author is evaluating Shakespeare’s work, they clearly believe he’s not beyond literary evaluation.
- This is way too broad: the author wasn’t making such a general claim. And this doesn’t help the argument. It says propaganda is common, but it doesn’t show that it’s aesthetically ok to fall for propaganda.
- The author wasn’t talking about correcting inaccuracies in Shakespeare’s plays. Instead, they were talking about how we should evaluate Richard III.
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