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I narrowed down the choices to D and E. I chose E because "attaining cultural preeminence" appears to be exaclty what Maravall was saying these Baroque guys were doing. One, baroque itself, is called a culture at lines 4 and 26 and 27 and two, throughout paragaraphs 2 and 3, the monarchs baroque cultural is said to be for the purposes at controlling the populace, particulary lines 20-35. It very much looks like the monarchs are creating their own culture to replace the populace' s culture.

Now, as I am writing this, I do see the support for D at the beginning of paragraph 2. It is plainly stated. But, I don't see how E is wrong. Could you help me out here?
 Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi TigerJin,

You note that the passage calls it a culture, but in context, it is called a "culture of control and containment." This isn't the same as the way the term is used in answer E. E is saying they were preoccupied with getting cultural superiority or prominence for their country (presumably, over other countries). That really doesn't match up with the passage at all, which describes a period of trying to use culture to bring order and control, rather than to gain cultural preeminence. I hope that helps clarify a bit.
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I still don't really see where the passage suggests that Maravall believes the baroque era was successful. Could someone please explain? thank you
 Jennifer Janowsky
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Great question, kcho10!

The issue here is that he did not specifically say the baroque era was successful, but rather that Maravall regards the monarchs of the era as successful in countering disruption. This is mentioned in line 14, where it states he believed monarchs had already "suppressed the worst excesses of aristocratic disorder."

I hope this answers your question!
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Could you explain why (C) is incorrect?

I thought Maravall thought monarchs tried to control their subjects(the public) by using the baroque, and I thought (C) nicely fits into that.

Also, in (D), it says "disruptive legacy of the Renaissance". in Line 14, it says "monarchs , having suppressed the worst excesses of aristocratic disorder."

How would you know aristocratic disorder = disruptive legacy of the Renaissance ? Nowhere in the passage says that.

Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
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Hey there Jay! Answer C actually describes the author's view of those monarchs, not Maravall's view. It's the author who tells us in the last paragraph that the monarchs "succumbed to the illusions carefully sustained by ceremony, theater, and symbol." Maravall thought the monarchs were using those things to control and manipulate the masses, not that they themselves were captivated by those devices. They weren't captives - they were the captors!

It's a combination of information found in the second and third paragraphs that supports answer D. Early in the second paragraph we learned that according to Maravall, the monarchs wanted to "defend traditional order and values in societies unsettled by the Renaissance’s liberating forces of criticism and opposition." At the end of the third paragraph we learned that "these enticements deflected the desire for novelty into areas of life where it represented no challenge to the political order." In other words, the monarchs wanted to control the masses who were unsettled by the Renaissance, and it worked.

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