Search the library or a reputable Internet database for images of Carnival in the Renaissance. These could be from paintings, sculpture, or woodcuts used to illustrate books. Can you close-read (interpret) them using Bakhtin's language of popular-festive culture, debasement, material body lower stratum, folk, humor, etc.?
Research the ways in which Carnival has survived into the twenty-first century. How is it different in regions of Europe, South America, and North America? What elements of Renaissance folk humor still survive? How have they changed? What role does Lent play in our modern world? How do we perceive or celebrate Mardi Gras?
Research Rabelais' biography, focusing on the "normal" aspects of his life and career as well as the more seemingly important ones. In conjunction with Bakhtin's work, draw a timeline of Rabelais' life. Can you provide additional explanations for the things that appear...
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