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. The prologue of _Pantagruel_ is a parody and travesty of:

2. Rabelais' description of Alcibiades reflects:

3. How is the figure of the king treated in Rabelais' writing?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How is degradation expressed, in terms of Rabelais' grotesque realism?

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

3. What was the general perception of laughter in the Renaissance?

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

5. How does Bakhtin interpret the prologue of _Pantagruel_?

6. How does the marketplace become an indicator of folk culture in general?

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

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

9. What was Rabelais' relationship with the fairs based upon?

10. Describe the Catchpoles and what they symbolize.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Choose three main characters from Rabelais' novel and explain the meanings of their names (for example, Gargantua, Pantagruel, Panurge, King Anarchus, Friar John, Lord Basche, etc.) Discuss any connotations their names may have, any allusions to people, places, historical events, or mythology, and what their names represent in the context of carnivalesque folk culture.

(see the answer keys)

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