Essay Topics/Writing Assignments
These 20 essay questions can be used as essay questions on a test, or as stand-alone essay topics for a take-home or in-class writing assignment. Students should have a full understanding of the text in order to answer these questions. They ask for a thorough analysis of the text.
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?
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?...
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