Rabelais and His World Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. During Bakhtin's time, what genre was being closely defined by the Soviet government?
(a) The biography.
(b) The lyric.
(c) The epic poem.
(d) The novel.

2. What are the "intelligentsia"?
(a) A group of exclusively male scholars.
(b) An elite spy organization.
(c) A group which provides an interpretation of the world.
(d) The bits of knowledge all people accumulate over their lifetimes.

3. How is the figure of the king treated in Rabelais' writing?
(a) Like a child: pampered, sheltered, and beloved.
(b) Like a criminal: charged, tried, and punished.
(c) Like a clown: beaten, travestied, and transformed.
(d) Like a god: worshipped, feared, and obeyed.

4. What do some critics argue has been absent from Russian literature?
(a) Political dissent.
(b) Sexually-charged dialogue.
(c) A particularly Western type of humor.
(d) Religious fervor.

5. Curses in Renaissance folk culture tended to focus most closely upon the victim's:
(a) Mind.
(b) Body.
(c) Family.
(d) Spirit.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why, according to Bakhtin, is Rabelais' parody of the Church not considered heresy?

2. In Rabelais' time, the word "drum" and the act of drumming connoted:

3. How does the prologue of _Pantagruel_ demonstrate the connection between literature and the marketplace?

4. The combination of solemnity and joking in the tone of the Prologue to the Third Book indicates:

5. The verbal interactions between the Renaissance marketplace hawker and the crowd were above all:

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do modern readers find it difficult to read Rabelais' novel?

2. What role do oaths and profanities fill in Rabelais' novel?

3. What does tripe represent, in Bakhtin's analysis?

4. How does Rabelais describe the human body in the context of grotesque realism?

5. What was the "feast of fools," and why was it a particularly festive laughter in the Middle Ages?

6. What was the effect of the suspension of social hierarchies during Carnival?

7. Why does the speaker of the prologue of the Third Book invite only good men to drink?

8. Describe Friar John.

9. What does Bakhtin mean when he argues that laughter affirms the people's unofficial truth?

10. What do Bakhtin's examples of Rabelais' tales of extraordinary urination have in common?

(see the answer keys)

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