Rabelais and His World Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Discuss the nature of Medieval and Renaissance popular dramatic forms. On what occasions were performances held? What genre were these performances, and what was their common subject matter? What does Bakhtin mean when he asserts that such performances had no "footlights"? Citing examples from the text, explore the theme of universalism in these dramas.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the relationship between praise and abuse. Use examples of this theme from what Bakhtin identifies as billingsgate and marketplace language and from popular-festive forms in Chapters 2 and 3. How were praise and abuse part of the tradition of "unofficial" language, and specifically how did they oppose "official" language? Are there elements of the grotesque in praise and abuse?

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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