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. Clowns and fools are:

2. What common fifteenth- and sixteenth-century literary device does Bakhtin identify in the Prologue to the Third Book?

3. How are Bakhtin and Rabelais similar?

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

5. What is a "marketplace spectacle"?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Rabelais construct the episode of Epistemon's resurrection and of his visions in the underworld?

2. How does Rabelais strengthen the exaggerated themes of his grotesque realism?

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

4. Which elements of Villon and Tappecoue's (Ticklepecker's) episode make it a "tragic farce"?

5. How does Rabelais use the element of popular speech known as "coq-à-l'âne"?

6. What was "prandial libertinism"?

7. How is "folly" ambivalent?

8. What is the connection between the banquet and speech?

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

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

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? How did games and gaming change after the Renaissance?

Essay Topic 2

Examine the structure, the presence, and the purpose of the Foreword and the Prologue. What do they offer to the reader? What is the purpose of a foreword or a prologue--what is the function of writing an introduction to someone else's book? Can, or do, such prefatory remarks influence the reader's experience of the text? Can reading ever be a "pure" activity with no outside influence of opinion?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the relationship between praise and abuse. Use examples of this theme from what Bakhtin identifies as billingsgate and marketplace language and from popular-festive forms in Chapters 2 and 3. How were praise and abuse part of the tradition of "unofficial" language, and specifically how did they oppose "official" language? Are there elements of the grotesque in praise and abuse?

(see the answer keys)

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