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 does Bakhtin find to be the greatest error other critics make in their studies of Rabelais' works?

2. What work of literature is parodied in the prologue of _Gargantua_?

3. Which answer best describes "grotesque realism"?

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

5. How is the Rabelaisian use of tripe an excellent example of grotesque realism?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What about the episode of the Lord of Basche is carnivalesque?

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

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

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

9. Why does the speaker of the prologue of the Third Book invite only good men to drink?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore Bakhtin's study of language in Rabelais. What is "vernacular" or "colloquial" language? How is it different from "official" languages, like that of the Church or of the monarchy? How is verbal communication different from written communication, and who or what does each type of communication serve? How does Rabelais keep his language lively and never dull? How does Rabelais transform names, nicknames, proper nouns, and all other forms of speech?

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

Describe how Rabelais uses Friar John as a representative of the Catholic Church. How does he describe Friar John? What situations does Rabelais put Friar John into, and how does the Friar behave? What might these situations and characterization say about the Church? How do official and unofficial modes of speech and communication work with Friar John? Does he represent the carnivalesque, the grotesque, or popular festivity in anything he says or does?

(see the answer keys)

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