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. When did the Russian Revolution occur?

2. Why did Renaissance humanists attempt to suppress oaths and profanities?

3. With what portion of the body is grotesque debasement most concerned?

4. In Rabelais' time, the word "drum" and the act of drumming connoted:

5. What are examples of carnivalesque victims?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What was Bakhtin's relationship with the Russian Union of Writers?

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

8. Describe two episodes of beatings or injury are specifically centered around the theme of feasting.

9. What is important about the figure of the physician in Rabelais' novel?

10. What does the prologue of _Pantagruel_ parody?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define the term "carnivalesque" as Bakhtin uses it. Then, demonstrate this definition by applying it to at least two of the episodes, characters, or scenes which take place in Rabelais' novel. What does the carnivalesque demonstrate about the nature of folk culture? What role does humor play in the carnivalesque?

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

Discuss the theme of debasement in Medieval and Renaissance folk culture. How was debasement associated with the lower stratum of the body? Who or what were targets of debasement? How was debasement or degradation accomplished? How is humor associated with debasement? What is the ambivalent nature of debasement in folk culture?

(see the answer keys)

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