On the Sublime Questions and Answers
Q.1. In any technical treatise two points are essential. Explain both.
Ans. The first, hat the writer should show what is subject he proposes to discuss; the second, he should tell us by what specific methods that subject may be made our own.
Q.2. What is Longinus’s view about natural greatness?
Ans. The reverse will prove true on examination, if we consider that Nature, a law to herself as she mostly in all that is passionate and lofty, yet is no creature of random impulse delighting in mere absence of method: that she is indeed herself the first and originating principle which underlie all things.
Q.3. What are the causes of faults spring up in literature?
Ans. These faults spring up in literature from a single cause, the carving for intellectual novelties.
Q.4. How to aid these Faults?
Ans. If we could first of all arrive at a clear and discriminating knowledge of what true sublimity is.
Q.5. What happens when men of different habits, lives, ambitions, ages, all take one and the same view about the same writings?
Ans. The verdict and pronouncement of such dissimilar individuals give a powerful assurance, beyond all gain saying, in favour of that which they admire.
Q.6. Which is the first and second source of style?
Ans. First and most potent is the faculty of grasping great conceptions. Second comes passion, strong and impetuous.
Q.7. What is important for true Orator to have?
Ans. The true Orator must have no low ungenerous spirit for it is not possible that they who think small thoughts, fit for slaves, and use them in all their daily life, should put out anything to deserve wonder than immortality.
Q.8. According to Longinus, how the hearer is attracted?
Ans. On one side the hearer is attracted by the choice of ideas, on another by the accumulation of those things which have been chosen, introduction of trivial, or undignified, or low mars the whole effect, much as, in building, massive blocks, intended to cohere and hold together in one, are spoilt the stopgaps and rubble.
Q.9. What is Amplification by technical writers?
Ans. Amplification is language which invests the subject with greatness.
Q.10. What is Amplification according to Longinus?
Ans. It seems that they differ from one another in this, that Sublimity lies in intensity, Amplification also in multitude; consequently Sublimity often exists in a single idea, Amplification necessarily implies quantity and abundance.
Q.11. Describe the imagination of Sophocles.
Ans. Sophocles has used imagination finely about the dying Oedipus, when he passes to his own burial amidst elemental portents, and again where Achilles, as the Greeks are standing out to sea, an appearance which no one has expresses with more vivid imagery than Simonides; but it is impossible to put down all instances.
Q.12. Which kind of effect Homer has produced by his Asyndeta?
Ans. Phrases cut off from one another, yet rapidly, carry the impression of a struggle, where the meaning is at once checked and hurried on.
Q.13. How excellent and stirring effect is produced?
Ans. An excellent and stirring effect is often produced by combination of figures, when two or three mingled in one company throw into a common fund their power and beauty.
Q.14. What is Hyperbaton?
Ans. Hyperbaton is a disturbance of the proper sequence of phrases of thoughts, and is the surest sign of vehement passion.
Q.15. What is the effect of vigour beauty elevation and life on diction?
Ans. These changes give the diction diversity and movement. They introduce a sudden change in the circumstances. The changes make the passage dramatic and vivid; the reader becomes a spectator. It is an excellent weapon of public oratory and contributes to every form of sublimity.
Q.16. What is the role of ‘Right Words’?
Ans. Right words very high as a point of practice with all orators and all writers, because of its own inherent virtue, it brings, greatness, beauty, raciness, weight, strength, mastery, and an exultation all its own, to grace our words, as though they were the fairest statues.
Q.17. How are idiomatic phrase is more vivid than an ornament of speech?
Ans. An idiomatic phrase is sometimes much more vivid than an ornament of speech, for it is immediately recognized from everyday experience, and the familiar is inevitably easier to credit.
Q.18. Describe the use of figure according to Longinus.
Ans. The use of figures (like Metaphors), like all other beauties of style, leads writers on to neglect proportion, is clear without my saying it. For it is upon these especially that critics pull Plato to pieces.
Q.19. What are Longinus’ argument about Genious?
Ans. First, genious has a special risk of falling. Secondly men usually mark failure.
Q.20. Which are the best Hyperboles?
Ans. The best hyperboles are those which are not noticed as hyperboles at all.
Q.21. How may Hyperboles be employed?
Ans. Hyperboles may be employed in describing things great as well as small, since exaggeration is the common element in both the cases.
Q.22. Which are the best hyperboles?
Ans. Those hyperboles are best in which the very fact that they are hyperboles escapes attention.
Q.23. What is composition?
Ans. Composition is a harmony of words, man’s natural instrument, penetrating not only the ears but the very soul. Il arouses all kinds of conceptions of words and thoughts and objects, beauty and melody – all things native and mutual to mankind. The combination and variety of its sounds convey the speaker’s emotions to the minds of those around him and make the hearers share them.
Q.24. What is the function of the notes of the lyre?
Ans. The notes of the lyre, though they have no meaning often cast a wonderful spell of harmony with their varied sounds and blended and mingled notes.
Q.25. What is the cause of decline of great literature?
Ans. The cause of the decline of great lit according to him, was the moral decline of the people. had started attaching more importance to the male value of life and they did not try to exert themselves ex the sake of praise, money or pleasure.
Q.26. Why has he written On the Sublime?
Ans. The writer addresses his friend, Terentianus; tells him of his purpose, that of correcting the faults of essay on the sublime, and makes some other preliminary observations.
Q.27. Which are the five sources of sublime?
Ans. The five sources are said to be grandeur of conception, intensity of emotion, the appropriate use of figures, nobility of diction and dignity and elevation of word-order.
Q.28. How essential the sublimity is?
Ans. It is only through sublimity that the greatest poets and prose writers have derived their eminence and gained immortality.
Q.29. Can art teach sublimity or loftiness in writing?
Ans. Some people think that sublimity is a gift of nature and it has nothing to do with art. They say “a lofty tone is inborn, and it does not come by teaching; nature is the only master that can teach it”.
Q.30. What are the faults of the style?
Ans. There are some defects of style which tend to spoil the loftiness of language. These faults are turbidity or bombast, puerility, grandiloquence and frigidity. All these faults are from the craze for novelty of thought.
Q.31. What is the difference between true and false sublime?
Ans. The true sublime uplifts our soul. It arises from lofty ideas clothed in lofty language. It gives us joy and exalts our spirits. The more we read it, the more we enjoy it. Every time it suggests new ideas and feelings. It never grows stale. In short, the true sublime, “please all, and please always”. The false sublime on the other hand, consists merely of a gorgeous exterior, which conceals nothing but emptiness. There is bombast of language.