Essay Topic 1
Define the term "carnivalesque" as Bakhtin uses it. Then, demonstrate this definition by applying it to at least two of the episodes, characters, or scenes which take place in Rabelais' novel. What does the carnivalesque demonstrate about the nature of folk culture? What role does humor play in the carnivalesque?
Essay Topic 2
What roles do games play in Rabelais' novel and in the Renaissance? Discuss how games and gaming fulfill an "unofficial" social role as opposed to an "official" one. What images, traditions, and symbols does Bakhtin associate them with? How are games representative of folk culture? How did games and gaming change after the Renaissance?
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the "querelle des femmes" and Rabelais' perspective on it. How does Rabelais' novel portray women and femininity? Is Bakhtin's explanation of Rabelais' perspective on the querelle des femmes problematic in any way? Feel free to address this...
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