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

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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. Did the "unofficial" and "official" forms of speech ever coincide?

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

3. In the Prologue of the Third Book, to which contemporary events does Rabelais allude?

4. According to Bakhtin, what is the function of art?

5. What does Bakhtin argue is the role of dialogue?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the significance of Friar John's description of the monastery belfry as "fecund"?

3. What is the significance of the two Russian eras of history to which Bakhtin refers in Chapter Three?

4. What is the role of games in Rabelais' work?

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

6. What is the significance of the figure of the androgyne in Rabelais' novel?

7. How are being drenched in urine or covered in excrement treated in Rabelais' novel?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Explain how laughter permeates every aspect of Renaissance folk culture, as Bakhtin argues it does. Cite specific examples from the text regarding the carnivalesque, the grotesque, official/unofficial modes of speech, and the ambivalence of certain forms and causes of laughter. Do these portrayals point to a greater "truth," as Bakhtin would say?

Essay Topic 2

Explain the role that herbalists, druggists, and physicians occupied in Renaissance France, and how Bakhtin incorporates them into his study of the marketplace in Rabelais' novel. How does Bakhtin relate the material body to physicians and medicine? How does Rabelais portray bodily ailments, physicians, heath, life, death, and birth?

Essay Topic 3

What role or roles do banquet images play in Rabelais' novel? How are they connected to popular-festive forms? How does Bakhtin interpret the material body in Rabelais' banquet imagery? How do banquets, eating, and drinking express folk culture? Refer to examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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