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

What roles do games play in Rabelais' novel and in the Renaissance? Discuss how games and gaming fulfill an "unofficial" social role as opposed to an "official" one. What images, traditions, and symbols does Bakhtin associate them with? How are games representative of folk culture? How did games and gaming change after the Renaissance?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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