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

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

3. With what is "folk culture" most concerned?

4. Why are Rabelais' billingsgate elements considered "coarse and cynical" by most scholars?

5. Bakhtin asserts that the advertisement for "pantagruelion" in the Third Book expresses:

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the logic of the grotesque ignore the closed surfaces of the body?

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

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

4. Describe Friar John.

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

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

7. Discuss the significance of Gargantua's birth.

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

9. Why are eating and drinking two of the most important manifestations of the grotesque body?

10. Why does Bakhtin choose to relate Goethe to Rabelais' work?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Discuss the "querelle des femmes" and Rabelais' perspective on it. How does Rabelais' novel portray women and femininity? Is Bakhtin's explanation of Rabelais' perspective on the querelle des femmes problematic in any way? Feel free to address this issue using terms of modern feminist theory.

(see the answer keys)

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