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OG12: The play La Finestrina

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nhai2003 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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OG12: The play La Finestrina

Post Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:19 pm
Theater Critic: The play La Finestrina, now at Central Theater, was written in Italy in the eighteenth century. The director claims that this production is as similar to the original production as is possible in a modern theater. Although the actor who plays Harlequin the clown gives a performance very reminiscent of the twentieth-century American comedian Groucho Marx, Marx's comic style was very much within the comic acting tradition that had begun in sixteenth-century Italy.

The considerations given best serve as part of an argument that
(A) modern audiences would find it hard to tolerate certain characteristics of a historically accurate performance of an eighteenth-century play
(B) Groucho Marx once performed the part of the character Harlequin in La Finestrina
(C) in the United States the training of actors in the twentieth century is based on principles that do not differ radically from those that underlay the training of actors in eighteenth-century Italy
(D) the performance of the actor who plays Harlequin in La Finestrina does not serve as evidence against the director's claim
(E) the director of La Finestrina must have advised the actor who plays Harlequin to model his performance on comic performances of Groucho Marx

Guys please help me with this one, I completely get lost!

OA later.

Thanks

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:18 pm
It's an acting style of the 18th century that BEGAN in the 16th century.

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:40 am
Maybe this is just a nitpick, but choice D seems completely opposite of how I read the paragraph. The author is saying the actor's style is reminiscent of 16th century Italy, but the play was written in 18th century Italy. I get that it's the same country and could have similar styles, but by God that's 200 years! I just can't believe that acting styles changed so little as to make this a valid comparison. I know that D is the "correct" answer, but it still makes no sense to me.

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:18 pm
It's an acting style of the 18th century that BEGAN in the 16th century.

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:40 am
Maybe this is just a nitpick, but choice D seems completely opposite of how I read the paragraph. The author is saying the actor's style is reminiscent of 16th century Italy, but the play was written in 18th century Italy. I get that it's the same country and could have similar styles, but by God that's 200 years! I just can't believe that acting styles changed so little as to make this a valid comparison. I know that D is the "correct" answer, but it still makes no sense to me.

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Post Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:29 am
Hi TestLuv,

Any good variant of this question for practice ?

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:39 pm
I completely agree, I just don't see a very strong link in the paragraph between the acting tradition which started in 16th century italy and the 18th century italian style referenced earlier in the article. I suppose they might have meant to imply it by saying "Although". Anyway I'm over this now. Thanks for the explanations.

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:32 pm
Hi,

good question.

We always take stated evidence as true. If, as part of the author's evidence, the author states "cats bark", we don't argue with that. Instead, we endeavour to figure out why that evidence--bizarre though it may be--is insufficient to establish the author's conclusion.

So, here, we take it as given that the acting style began in the 16 century and persisted until at least the 18th century. We don't worry about when the cut-off is because that is outside the scope of the argument.

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Post Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:08 pm
I saw that, but I mean what's the cutoff? What if they said it began in the 15th century? Or the 14th? At what point do you say it's no longer relevant? I don't know, maybe I just didn't pay enough attention in Art History class to know that acting styles had 200+ year shelf lives.

Edit: I guess what I'm taking away from this is that GMAT questions won't always make perfect sense, so if my interpretation doesn't support any of the answers, then go back and ask whether someone could argue for another interpretation that would support one of the answers.

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Post Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:52 am
@TestLuv, I agree with GMATMachoMan - that was a concise, lucid explanation which greatly helped clarify why 'D' is the correct choice. I used a different line of reasoning, by trying to find a contradictory example which would render 'C' incorrect.

Assuming that the actors' training in present-day US and 18th-century Italy are founded on the same principles, I thought it was worth nothing that there are different styles of acting, one of which is comedic. By extension, many actors' styles would not be suitable for the role of Harlequin. I tried thinking of a highly "dramatic" actor in the US, someone whose style is greatly dissimilar from that of Groucho Marx. I couldn't think of any, so I pretended that Laurence Olivier is a US actor. Suppose he was trained with similar principles as those used in 18th-century Italy. I then asked if the acting style of Laurence Olivier be suitable for the role of Harlequin. I didn't think so and, imagined a version of La Finestrina that would be quite different from that of the 18th century.

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Post Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:58 pm
@TestLuv,Excellent explanation...

Pressed the Thanks Button!!

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Post Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:25 pm
uptowngirl92 wrote:
can someone explain between C and D?
Hi uptowngirl92,

Choice C is wrong because it is waaaay too extreme. One play is not enough to start drawing conclusions about general training principles in entire nations!

Also, all we know is that the play was originally (sixteenth century!) Italian, and that the actor might be said to resemble an American actor from an twentieth century.

But, we don't know whether "Central District" is in Italy or America (or elsewhere). So the considerations given can't be used to support an argument about how modern-day principles for training actors compare in these two countries. So,this choice is also a distortion.

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Post Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:09 pm
nhai2003 wrote:
Theater Critic: The play La Finestrina, now at Central Theater, was written in Italy in the eighteenth century. The director claims that this production is as similar to the original production as is possible in a modern theater. Although the actor who plays Harlequin the clown gives a performance very reminiscent of the twentieth-century American comedian Groucho Marx, Marx's comic style was very much within the comic acting tradition that had begun in sixteenth-century Italy.

The considerations given best serve as part of an argument that
(A) modern audiences would find it hard to tolerate certain characteristics of a historically accurate performance of an eighteenth-century play
(B) Groucho Marx once performed the part of the character Harlequin in La Finestrina
(C) in the United States the training of actors in the twentieth century is based on principles that do not differ radically from those that underlay the training of actors in eighteenth-century Italy
(D) the performance of the actor who plays Harlequin in La Finestrina does not serve as evidence against the director's claim
(E) the director of La Finestrina must have advised the actor who plays Harlequin to model his performance on comic performances of Groucho Marx

Guys please help me with this one, I completely get lost!

OA later.

Thanks
Hi nhai2003,

Step one of the Kaplan method tells us to read the question stem, and then to determine the kind of question that it is. The question stem:

“The considerations given best serve as part of an argument that”

Okay, so there are considerations given (by the author) leading up to an argument. The “considerations given” is evidence, and the question wants us to determine the author’s main point, or conclusion. We call this type of question a “main point” question.

Step two is to analyze the stimulus: Normally, we identify a conclusion by looking for words like “thus, therefore, hence, etc.” .... BUT, in a main point question, we actually don’t want to be attracted by those kind of words-they are put there by the test-maker because they know you will naturally be attracted to them in a main point question.

Instead, in a main point question, the author’s main point will often be signalled by a contrast keyword such as “but,” “however,” “while,” or, “although.”

In the passage of this question, we learn of the director’s claim in the second sentence. The director’s claim is that their reproduction of the play is a lot like the original play. The next sentence starts with the word “although.” Here, the function of “although” is to dismiss potential counter-evidence against the director’s claim: the fact that the actor is like 20th century Groucho Marx could be used against the director’s claim (that the reproduction is a faithful representation of the original 16th century version.)

So from the word “although,” and using some critical reasoning, we can determine that the author’s intent in arguing is to defend the director’s claim against evidence that could go against it (against the director’s claim).

Step three of the method is to make a prediction of the right answer. Say to yourself: “The author is defending the director. The author’s main point is that the director’s claim is correct.”

Step four is to aggressively scan for a match to the prediction. Because we spent so much time generating the prediction, and because we don’t care about wrong answers and why they are wrong, we scan for a choice that matches our insight.

Then, choice D is correct.

Because we don’t care about why wrong answers are wrong, and because wrong answers are written by the test-maker to be very tempting, whenever it is possible to predict and match, we should do that instead of over-using POE.

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Post Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:17 pm
can someone explain between C and D?

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nhai2003 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:47 pm
OA: D
Thanks guys

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