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 work of literature is parodied in the prologue of _Gargantua_?

2. Who is Janotus de Bragmardo?

3. Why does Friar John beat thousands of men in his abbey?

4. After Rabelais' time, the use of laughter in literature and culture moved in which direction?

5. What do some critics argue has been absent from Russian literature?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Rabelais parody with the character of Janotus de Bragmardo?

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

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

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

6. How is Bakhtin's book "double-voiced," as Michael Holquist asserts it is?

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

8. How does Bakhtin interpret the prologue of _Pantagruel_?

9. Describe the Catchpoles and what they symbolize.

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 nature of Medieval and Renaissance popular dramatic forms. On what occasions were performances held? What genre were these performances, and what was their common subject matter? What does Bakhtin mean when he asserts that such performances had no "footlights"? Citing examples from the text, explore the theme of universalism in these dramas.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the Medieval and Renaissance views of the world, including the individual, social, and cosmic aspects of the world. What spurred the change from the Medieval to the Renaissance way of thinking? How is this change, and the social, political, and religious controversies or struggles that accompanied it, evident in Rabelais' novel?

Essay Topic 3

What is significant about the marketplace in the Renaissance? What is its relation to folk culture? How are social relationships conducted in the environment of the marketplace? How are the "street cries" significant aspects of folk culture? What other "unofficial" elements of communication, social commentary, and social interaction are especially prevalent in the marketplace? Are there any carnivalesque elements of the marketplace?

(see the answer keys)

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