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 do oaths and curses have in common with town announcements and the calls of vendors?

2. What does Bakhtin find inadequate in Veselovsky's metaphor of Rabelais as a village boy?

3. How does Rabelais accomplish the grotesque degradation of his target in the prologue to the Third Book?

4. What does Bakhtin consider the most indispensable element of folk culture?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What was the effect of the suspension of social hierarchies during Carnival?

4. Describe the Renaissance student writings.

5. What do Rabelais' long lists of names and epithets signify?

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

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

8. Describe the Catchpoles and what they symbolize.

9. What does Bakhtin mean when he argues that laughter affirms the people's unofficial truth?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

What is significant about the marketplace in the Renaissance? What is its relation to folk culture? How are social relationships conducted in the environment of the marketplace? How are the "street cries" significant aspects of folk culture? What other "unofficial" elements of communication, social commentary, and social interaction are especially prevalent in the marketplace? Are there any carnivalesque elements of the marketplace?

(see the answer keys)

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