Quiz Time! How diligent a reader of Rethink are you?

Before you yell at me for being more arrogant than usual, let me just say that I was asked to do this, and that even I couldn’t get all these questions exactly right unless I looked up the answers. This is for fun, to see how much I remember throughout the years, and obviously I’m not looking for everyone to get everything right. 5/10 is a pass because not all of you read every entry, but this is pass/fail: the medium questions are set up so you can guess. The links to the entries containing the answers are given with the question, but I know you won’t cheat : )


1. Explain how the first sentence of the Gettysburg Address is a commentary on the Declaration of Independence. (Analysis of the Gettysburg Address)

2. Why is “faction” important to the reasoning underlying the Constitution? (Analysis of the first paragraph of Federalist 10)

3. Why does Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins say he chose the bat for his symbol? What might that be teaching about the relation between justice and fear? (Analysis of Batman Begins)

4. Describe briefly why it sounds like the speaker can do all things in this short poem (Analysis of “What I can do – I will”):

What I can do — I will –
Though it be little as a Daffodil –
That I cannot — must be
Unknown to possibility –

5. Describe the tension between reason and love in Emily Dickinson using any one of the following poems: “Our share of night to bear,” “Love – is anterior to life,” “I could suffice for Him, I knew.” Bonus: if you can do all three, give yourself two points for this question instead of one.


6. What do the witches signify in “Macbeth?” In what sense do they represent a progression and regression regarding the theme of the play? (An Essay on Macbeth, pt. 4)

7. Describe the three parts of the soul as initially presented to us in Plato’s Republic. Briefly: what is peculiar about the middle element? Does our age take it rather seriously? (“These are the days when birds come back…”)

8. Describe an argument against our emphasis on “rights:” you could discuss whether free speech exists in practice, or for what specific reasons Hamilton thought declaring “freedom of the press” made no sense. (Against free speech absolutism, or Federalist no. 84)


9. What is natural right? (On Aristotlean Natural Right)

10. What are the Greek gods exactly? Describe the implications of thinking through what they represent for us. (On Oedipus Tyrannus, Blake’s “The Tyger,” Yeats’ “Leda and the Swan”)

3 responses

  1. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Because Four score and seven years before the Gettyesberg address was the War for Independence, the British American War, and which had started the writing of that declaration.
    Faction actually is a complete demonstration of the exercise of freedom of thought, expression and speech, LIBERTY and EQUALITY! Multiple factions must find common ground and work together for the common good in order to accomplish.

    So everyone could feel his pain….fear!


    Well on daffodils and reaching goals,
    I more think that she is saying if you do all you can, though the task may be so small as to see no immediate growth, much like the long blooming tiny daffodils(you do not see them grow, they are just one day there)…, possibility will never know could not. You will reach your goal, if you do all you can…..Thank you Ashok, for this…how fitting for me…

    Well….mist is being unable to see the stars, a nice or not so nice confusion(crowd), and one cannot follow all the stars, you must choose, and get to know those stars (are people), and then one day boom you know…..!

    Love just is…It is before life(breath or thought) and will belong after death, the very cause of our existence, and is the not something that you need concentrate on just like you need not concentrate on providence. God does not need your help in these departments. No less than what you would give your child….accept them.

    Well….of course we can say what ever we please, but there are just things that are inappropriate, and should be dismissed in thought.

    If you have ever played philosophical games on line…natural right is..god given, if your here and breathing, you have a natural right, .do unto others as you would have done to you….and if you don’t and I judge you, and you judge me, and we talk about it and discuss it,even politicize it that too is natural as right.

    7/10….well you should do this more often, with a shorter list at a surprise to see who is paying attention.

    Me thinks thy popularity groweth! :-)

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