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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What are the "Catchpoles" of which Rabelais writes?

2. How is the Rabelaisian use of tripe an excellent example of grotesque realism?

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

4. How, according to Bakhtin, does the current Russian literary criticism approach Rabelais' works?

5. Bakhtin asserts that beatings, death, feasting, and merrymaking are all integral parts of:

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Bakhtin's relationship with the Russian Union of Writers?

2. Describe Friar John.

3. How does Bakhtin interpret the prologue of _Pantagruel_?

4. What about the episode of the Lord of Basche is carnivalesque?

5. What do Rabelais' long lists of names and epithets signify?

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

7. What is Bakhtin's general idea about the purpose of art?

8. In general, what happened to the use of humor in literature after Rabelais' time?

9. Describe the Renaissance student writings.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the meaning and significance of "grotesque realism." How is it manifested in Rabelais' time? How is the material body presented in the tradition of the grotesque? Why does Bakhtin connect folk culture so closely with the grotesque? Use examples from the text to support your points.

Essay Topic 2

Explore Bakhtin's study of language in Rabelais. What is "vernacular" or "colloquial" language? How is it different from "official" languages, like that of the Church or of the monarchy? How is verbal communication different from written communication, and who or what does each type of communication serve? How does Rabelais keep his language lively and never dull? How does Rabelais transform names, nicknames, proper nouns, and all other forms of speech?

Essay Topic 3

What connections do Bakhtin and the authors of the Foreword and the Prologue draw between Bakhtin and Rabelais? How were their lives and times similar? What common themes are evident in their writing? In which important ways do they differ?

(see the answer keys)

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